Pentland Hills Thread

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  • Pentland Hills Thread
  • Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Druidh, I’ve edited my post, you might want to edit your posting my post πŸ˜‰

    coastkid
    Member

    Im busy Sat to go out, but Port Seaton to Gosford Bay then JMW to Aberlady is nice, (Gosford Bothy cafe)

    Or Aberlady to NB as mentioned,(Westgate Gallery Cafe is ace. bike parking in wheelie bin compound)

    Or Seacliff to Tyninghame,(Tyninghame Cafe)

    or John Muir Bay from Tyninghame to Dunbar then around to Barnes Ness,
    (Old cafe in High Street)

    Or you could just spend all day riding the miles of criss cross sandy singletrack around Gullane, (German Cafe)

    Spoiled for choice πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Bigjim, any evidence of the Pentlands ‘Megaavalanche’ event that was held on Cox’s in October?

    No way – I have previously commented on the state of the steep bit at the end of Cox’s a month or two back – I thought a large group had been down it with locked rear brakes as it has become a mud chute. I didn’t ride it yesterday based on that – I did the first bit then took the right down the the jonny zebra bit. Bit of a shame about that, it was such a sensitive bit of trail that steep bit.

    I remember there was some adventure race in the Pentlands in 2008 which saw a load of people on bikes go down Phantoms and it was never the same after that. Apparently they were supposed to stick to paths on a 50k OS map and they didn’t.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Does this post date tie in with the pentland megaavalanche?

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/its-glorious-out-there#post-3137131

    edit, no dates are there, but it was 2 months ago, so would fit…

    Yeah, about the right time. If you imagine trying to race down that steep bit, blind, then there probably would be a hell of a lot of back brake!

    Notice suggestions that it might have been the uni club, it was organised by a uni, but not the uni πŸ˜‰ The uni club are pretty good at staying off squishy stuff on their big rides, or so I’ve seen on my infrequent outings with them.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    druidh – Member

    TJ/13fm – I hate to say this, but I reckon that the Nail Trail should be off-limit to bikes until it recovers. Judgng by its current condition, that would be a couple of good (i.e. warm/dry) years).
    The section from Balerno to the pylon is basically OK.
    Round the pylon is as bad as I’ve seen.
    From there to the wee bridge is passable.
    From there onwards, it’s truly awful. In fact, I really can’t work out what was going on just South of the bridge because it’s massively chewed up over a really wide area – much wider than the trail.

    I can’t see how any of those bits could be repaired and, in any case, there are a couple of fairly hefty trees down across the trail too.

    How do we deal with this then if it really has deteriorated to teh point that bikes need to keep off it? notice at the entrance ? Publicise it round the forums?.

    Its a real shame. I have only been down it once in the last couple of years

    What makes me particularly sad is that I included that trail on the wee Google Earth map I drew up and shared.

    I don’t think that was the real cause – was it not included in a magazines route guide that caused immediate increased traffic?

    I am in the process of trying to arrange some more repair dates and maybe something could be done with it. Do you know who the landowner is?

    ojom
    Member

    Which bit is Cox’s? Is that the bit going down to Green Cleugh?

    stanfree
    Member

    I must be out the loop as I haven’t a scooby where Cox’s Is.? I did a lot less riding in the Pentlands last year , Probably up a total of six times . If you stick to the higher parts and out of the woods Its usually still pretty rideable.
    Shame a lot of It has been ruined but a lot of that is down to two fairly poor summers and bad winters.

    Mark/Stanfree, Cox’s is the skinny, slightly exposed singletrack along the top of the cliffs above the Dreghorn end of the red road.

    Initially the ‘megavalanche’ route was supposed to avoid the steeper run out (taking it instead across the boggy stuff towards Jonny Zebra πŸ˜• ) but I think someone had a rush of blood to the head on race day.

    I think a lot of factors contributed to Nail Trail suffering, must confess when we first discovered it (well, were shown it) about 8 years ago I blabbed to all and sundry, just because it was such a nice bit of trail. The fact its so close to one of the major car parks can’t help…

    Maybe collaberate with the rangers and put up laminated signs at the start of trail sections asking bikers not to ride it due to damage and trying to let it recover?

    If I came across a sign politely asking me not to ride a particular section of trail for a short period of time while it was repaired/naturally recovered, i’d take heed…some wouldn’t though but it would probably help.

    I definately think that the Pentlands needs a voluntary MTB group to help maintain and educate riders. The repair days last year were a very good start. I’d help out/be part of it.

    IA
    Member

    There is just to many people riding, I have seen a massive change since I started riding up there 5 years ago

    I’ve seen even bigger chances in the 5 years prior to that, and the 5 prior to that, and the 5 before that…etc..

    I’m not sure that erosion/damage is specifically a bike thing. Though obviously they don’t help, especially when riders tend to concentrate on certain trails – and then so you notice changes in those more.

    The biggest changes I’ve noticed in trails being destroyed etc etc. have been from when we’ve had a load of snow, it melts/freezes/melts again then rains. Black hill 3 years ago springs to mind. We had that really bad wet spell, the trenches appeared basically overnight and it’s never recovered.

    In fact I’d struggle to think of a trail that’s not seen significant change in the years I’ve been riding in the hills.

    So no particularl comment to add to this discussion, other than change isn’t a change. No change would be.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I didn’t think nail trail was in the PHRP. Most trails in the park do have those little colour coded signs indicating sensitivity to cycling.

    Premier Icon mustard
    Subscriber

    We were out for a quick loop on Sunday – which was lovely on the frozen ground btw – and the bottom of Maidens is a mess of tyre tracks from the junction with Phantoms down to the rocky section before the road at Glencorse.

    Obviously a lot of people don’t want to get muddy when they’re out on their bikes so lots of new lines down Maidens* and generally all the areas that would have been a little muddy line are now wide expanses of mud.

    The bottom of the rocky road from Kinleith is shocking too, there is now axle (at least) deep mud from the fence on one side to the wall at the other although from what we saw horses are making a contribution to this too.

    Two issues that I can see and I don’t think will be addressed no matter how many mtb forums you post on are;
    1-with the easy accessibility to these bits of the hills there are a lot of people using them that are just out riding their bikes, and possibily making their first forays offroad, but haven’t bought into the lifestyle and don’t have any contact with the ‘mtb community’ and dont know/care that they are doing damage.
    2-Horse riders need to take some responsibility and think about how much damage hooves can do on soft ground.

    *I don’t really think this is too much of an issue except for the widening effect as it’ll get resurfaced soon enough and everyone will complain about it being ruined πŸ™„

    There, I’ve taken ages typing and deleting and re-typing that so I hope it makes some sense!

    p.s. the work done by the stw work crew looks like it is holding up well.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    The frozen horse hoof prints on Capelaw hill were knocking my fillings out on Sunday actually, was surprised they’d been up there but guess I’ve seen them up there before.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I like the idea of little polite signs, “We can’t tell you not to ride this but it’s probably not a very good idea” sort of thing, wouldn’t stop everyone but for a lot of people I think it’s a lack of awareness rather than a lack of consideration.

    13thfloormonk – Member

    Notice suggestions that it might have been the uni club, it was organised by a uni, but not the uni

    Wasn’t Heriot Watt was it?

    TandemJeremy – Member

    I don’t think that was the real cause – was it not included in a magazines route guide that caused immediate increased traffic?

    MBR… Can’t have helped but it’s not the cause, the article didn’t come out til after the trail really started to suffer.

    druidh
    Member

    Northwind – Member
    I like the idea of little polite signs, “We can’t tell you not to ride this but it’s probably not a very good idea” sort of thing, wouldn’t stop everyone but for a lot of people I think it’s a lack of awareness rather than a lack of consideration.

    I might get in touch with the PH Rangers and suggest this. They might even let me borrow a laminator πŸ™‚

    nikk
    Member

    IA – I’ve seen even bigger chances in the 5 years prior to that, and the 5 prior to that, and the 5 before that…etc..

    I’m not sure that erosion/damage is specifically a bike thing. Though obviously they don’t help

    Bikes don’t help, but yes it is a general land use / path erosion issue.

    The worst erosion I have seen is on Dreghorn Drop landrover track, where the rain runoff has eroded deep (4 foot?) gullies right down the road.

    I think some of the main loops should be maintained and metaled. I’m not sure of the routes from Bonalay as that isn’t where I start from apart from the rare occasion I go on a Wed night run, but the loop from Flotterstone is almost all good apart from the drop back down to Glencourse, which depresses the hell out of me as it is quite trashed in at least three places – tramlines at the top that have really widened recently, the middle bit that is cut up and boggy, and the bottom mudfest where it joins Madens.

    I went round the back of Black Hill once maybe 4 years ago and was horrified at the gully gouged out the side of the hill.

    The track down from East Cairn Hill is also quite eroded in places – but this isn’t a main MTB route at all, it is another landrover track.

    So yes, all usage – landrover, horse, foot, and bike, has a negative impact, and subsequent frost and water erosion can sweep away the paths.

    The plain fact is the park is not being maintained enough. All these eroded tracks especially need corrected, or they will just get worse and worse, and we’ll end up loosing the sides of hills.

    Workparties are good, but they won’t solve the issue. There needs to be a considerable amount of money manpower and resources put into maintaining the main routes and stopping the path / track erosion. I would also think that signs and maybe a path report website would help keep at lest those of us that give a toss from riding impacted trails. I have been there, and I’m sure most of you have as well, where you set out to do a route, and find yourself half way round in a bogfest, and no option but to keep going.

    druidh
    Member

    nikk – Member
    I would also think that signs and maybe a path report website would help keep at lest those of us that give a toss from riding impacted trails

    I was hoping that this thread might be of some use in that regard. There’s also a section over at TrailScotland which would be appropriate

    IA
    Member

    The worst erosion I have seen is on Dreghorn Drop landrover track, where the rain runoff has eroded deep (4 foot?) gullies right down the road.

    Aye, they appeared (in current really bad form) in the same snow/melt/snow/melt/rain cycle that did black hill in. It was amazing how quickly that went from “a little rough but you could still get a landy up it” to “scale model of the grand canyon”. As you say, that needs serious work to fix that path, and not just manpower, needs machines! TBH i’m surprised the army haven’t sorted it out, as it’s basically there for their access. Used to see them using it fairly often, but not in recent years. I wonder if because it’s in disrepair, or it’s not repaired cos they don’t use it any more…

    cynic-al
    Member

    The army smoothed-out (ruined) that trail in the 90s IIRC – don’t they use it any more?

    IA
    Member

    Not that i’ve seen, since it became a gully. As you say, I’ve always thought of it as “the army road” cos they made it.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    There needs to be a considerable amount of money manpower and resources put into maintaining the main routes and stopping the path / track erosion

    Yep but sadly the PHRP has very little money coming in now, the car parking charges might help a bit hopefully. Needs a millionaire to leave something in a will really!

    The army road was repaired a couple of years ago on the Castlelaw side, as they rally drive a Mule up there twice a day to raise and lower the flags on the top and it had made a right mess. There would be less motivation to repair the natural flood damage on the Howden Glen side as they don’t need to get anything up there.

    Don’t forget another big issue for track repair is landowner permission, there are many landowners up there PHRP have to negotiate with. Black Hill for example is heavily managed as a grouse moor, and I would be very surprised if the owner gave permission to trail improvements that would lead to more people swanning through their grouse moor.

    IA
    Member

    The army road was repaired a couple of years ago on the Castlelaw side, as they rally drive a Mule up there twice a day to raise and lower the flags on the top and it had made a right mess

    Aye, but I remember fairly regularly seeing them take landys out the back of the barracks and up the Howden Glen side, but that doesn’t seem to happen much these days. I guess they just minibus round the roads to the range now.

    pixelmix
    Member

    As you would expect, crispy and icy today. Most mud on main routes is frozen, although Pistachio was still a bit mushy in places. Lots of smooth ice around to catch out the unwary.

    I’ve not ridden the Pentlands for a while but I did notice a lot of frozen tyre tracks around (presumably laid down in recent damp weeks) – certainly more noticeable than frozen footprints for example.

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Subscriber

    Set cold for a while. Maybe a frozen night ride this week, like old times πŸ˜‰

    ojom
    Member

    Steven – if it’s icy, shout me. Will come. But not thursday.
    Bring some more of that SC n Bramble though.

    Out tonight – proper crispy / crunchy almost everywhere I went. Just now trying to get blood flow restored to toes!

    ojom
    Member

    Was tempted tonight to keep riding up the hill but the lass had the tea and a bath on. She’s the boss.

    I’m keen to help out with any repair work that needs done. I haven’t up there in a couple months as it’s in a pretty poor state, but normally up at least once a week.

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Subscriber

    Maybe Tuesday? Or Monday if fitba is canned. Just filled the flask with the last of the 2009 stuff.

    drookitmunter

    Today’s the day! Bloody perfect!

    As a foreigner in these parts can I ask what your user name means?

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    Drookit – the rangers are being reorganised. I am awaiting them getting back to me with dates for trail repair days

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Subscriber

    No fitba, we’ve got a bye this week, so Monday is good for me.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    As a foreigner in these parts can I ask what your user name means?

    drookit to me means drowned/saturated, and munter is a bit of a derogatory term for a lass that is shall we say “no oil painting”. I’m not sure they go together so I might have drookit wrong.

    I’m up in Aberfeldy for a few days but I’m normally available weekdays after 6 or weekends so let me know if there’s anything I can help with.

    Drookit means soaked. Where I’m from (Elgin) Munter doesn’t necessarily mean a woman – just a person who is a bit of a fanny and particularly ugly.

    Premier Icon robgarrioch
    Subscriber

    Point of interest; took the offspring up white hill for a forage yesterday – man, there’s some tree damage up there… aftermath of the new year gale I suppose. Them DH trails must be affected, though saw a bit of dirt ramping making use of a hefty pines bole. The big beeches that fell across the footpath that skirts the road next to scout camp had been sawn up though.

    redfordrider
    Member

    Been up on the Pentland Hills for a run with the dog. Mostly frozen solid and probably good for riding. However, there are a couple of sheets of ice that could be a bit tricky. Might fit the Ice Spiker Pros on the 29er. πŸ˜€

    cake eater
    Member

    Was up there last night. Great conditions, good mix of everything, hardpack, mud, ice and maybe some dust! Obviously cold in the open exposed bits where the wind was blowing. Great couple of hours.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    So busy up there tonight, little clusters of lights all over the hills! Largely frozen solid, pistachio still liquid though. Bit icy but no major problems. Came back with a clean bike and bum, good stuff.

    Premier Icon FraserCook
    Subscriber

    not much ice around today. muddy, but not stupidly muddy. Ground still a bit draggy. not too windy. sky grey. could be worse. Not really proper winter tho is it.

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 107 total)

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