Riding technique – Dalbeattie The Qualifier

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  • Riding technique – Dalbeattie The Qualifier
  • jonba
    Member

    The slab is easier (although I thought it was a black feature?).
    Saddle down, weight back, arms and knees bent, steady on the brakes, pick your line and roll in. It’s actually not that bad once you are on it. It always scares me far more than the slab ever does though.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    Have they felled all the trees around it or is that an old picture?

    It’s hella steep and looks likely to kill you but staying off the brakes and getting your weight well back will see you safely down. It looks worse than it is and the there’s nothing to really pitch you over the bars unless you’re leaning over the front of the bike

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Its the only pic I could find off the web so Im guessing very old, its amazing how the whole area route is now completely obscured of any views of the surrounding area.

    In terms of technique thats pretty much what I thought.. guess its mainly in the mind…

    thegman67
    Member

    I just stay low and off the back more the entry is the hardest part but its not harder than the slab in my opinion

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    I just go for it, a 50/50 chance, aim to exit right, the left exit has a wheel jammer iirc.


    I didn’t find the qualifer that hard….i had a look at the line before riding it, weight back/saddle down etc.

    The slab on the other hand… 😥 Don’t ride either of them now!

    Crag
    Member
    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Hopefully next time I go will be with mates, and not riding by myself at 7:30 on a week day night where I didnt see another sole… wouldnt have been good to have come off at that point!

    What does amaze me is how over grown it all has become since any of your photos, its almost an unrecognisable place now.

    Premier Icon GavinB
    Subscriber

    I think first time I rode there was around 2006 or early 2007 and the pics I have of me and mates on the Slab are not much different from the ones here.

    Just stay balanced on the bike (rather than ‘off the back’), keep rolling and look ahead and you’ll be fine.

    Grabbing loads of brake will never work, and if you start picking up speed, scrub it off after the end of the Slab, rather than on it. (Ouchy @ that pic up there ^^^)

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    DGOB what a fantastic photo tho!! 😀

    I’ve never had an issue with going down the Qualifier (have crashed), but I’ve never dared the slab, just can’t force myself over the edge.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    It doesn’t look so steep from the side, does it…

    Dunno who that loser in lycra and kneepads is.

    mr_mills
    Member

    The qualifier is sooooo much easier than it looks!

    The first time I saw it I said “no way” too, then the next time I went decided to give it a go. There’s really nothing to it.

    Vid of me mincing down it

    cynic-al
    Member

    Does look steep but rollable – all in the mind, like much of Laggan black.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    I rode the red route at Dalbeattie a few weeks back by myself, the week after getting back on the bike after a fractured wrist.

    On getting to the trail entry to the slab, which I think is called ‘the qualifier’ I thought f@ck that just looking at it. I just looked at it and thought hmmm front with caught in a rock, over the bars, in A&E….

    So how do you ride this? Is it just over the back of the bike, brakes covered but not actually on?

    That image does no justice to how steep it is or how rocky it is! Besides that theres much more vegitation around these days.

    When I eventually got round to the slab on the red route, I thought the slab looked easier than the entry to it?!?!

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Nice vid Mr Mills, make it look nice and smooth. I’ve swerved the qualifier a few times, but did it the one time and the mental block dissolves. I’d say the Slab is more of a bottle job – scrotum-tightening when you’re stood at the top for the first time. Again, do it once and it becomes comfortable.
    Not yet done the top twin – ugly looking thing. Sure the same holds though.

    haggis1978
    Member

    ive done the qualifier but bottled it on the slab every time as its either been too wet or i’ve been by myself. anyone got any tips for getting onto the slab as its not as if you can just roll onto it from any point that i can see which i think for me would be the hardest part

    mr_mills
    Member

    The slab is the scary one for me.

    Fortunately my first ever attempt was videoed

    Haggis – I just aimed straight down the middle!

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    There’s a pretty obvious line left to right as you look down. I’ve done it from a standing start because I don’t fancy rolling over the bumps at the top, but others may differ.

    I tend to ride it on my own and a big part of doing it the first time was seeing a 14 yo lad rock up and do it whilst I was mincing around the top. Seeing someone else do it does help, although hitting it mob-handed with 10 mates would be counter-productive for me.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Ha – couldn’t bring myself to ride The Qualifier…..much to my annoyance.

    I was there with 2 mates. One of them rode it on his Coiler, eventually after a few run-ins & then stops.

    I tried it about 10 times, but just couldn’t commit to it. Very annoying! I was sure that it wouldn’t be an issue once I was over the edge, it was just keeping the bike rolling without bottling it that I couldn’t do.
    Very disappointed.

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    anyone got any tips for getting onto the slab

    This helmet cam of mine from a few tears back shows the line: http://www.mountainbikerides.co.uk/video/16-scotland/143-dalbeattie-qthe-slabq.html

    Qualifier and slab.

    (Sorry: pre-nice HD cam)

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I just entered it at stall speed and let the gradient set the pace, trundled down the right hand side of it, weight back a little, but not as dramatically as people seem to think is neccesary, since I wanted to keep the front end well planted and in control.

    Did take a couple of cracks to get into the slab as I rode up to it on a horrible line the first time.

    I rode the 1st big steep bit on Stripes at Guisborough last week for the first time, I was so happy with myself I promptly forgot to go arround the next corner and went into the bushes at warp speed!

    There’s a similar looking section to the qualifier down from captain cooks monument, lots of debate over taking the shallower but with a bit of a bend line round the outside of the near vertical plument inside line (think of it like a section of very steep spiral staircase), first time I did the steep route on the SS hardtail no wories, then for no apparent reason got double pinch flats on the Pitch second time through!

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    Bunch of us doing the qualifier and slab (plus other bits)

    haggis1978
    Member

    cheers guys those vids have shown me the line i need to take. think i’ll head down there next week 😀

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    I’m guessing these are like a really steep set of steps?

    There are a couple of sets that have scared the bejesus out of me the first times I’ve rolled up to the top of them (partly because you can’t see down them until you’re practically on top of them!)

    But once you’re in and rolling, they’re much more straightforward than expected.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Mad Pierre – … from a few tears back …

    Freudian spelling slip? 🙂

    Done them both many many times over the years. The slab has actually gotten worse over the years. Back when they first ‘uncovered’ it the granite was so fresh you could do a track stand half way down the grip was so good. Now it it coated in a layer of rubber and much slippier imo.

    Its still one where its more a case of relaxing and letting the bike cope with it than skill. Think about it, the ‘ruts’ arent much bigger than a tram line in a town centre. You would trust your 5yr old to ride over them on the flat.

    The qualifier is harder for me but again, as long as you have the bike under control and dont let it gather too much speed (Your back wheel starts to skim the rocks) its again a lot more down to relaxing than skill.

    I did them a few years ago on a night ride which was fun. It took a couple of goes but managed to get the qualifier and the slab without stopping which added to the excitement. As you approach the slab your lights are pointing in the air then BAM, you are pointing down the slab with no chance of picking a line. Great fun.

    I am officialy a pussy now so i can say this without being a big head know it all 🙂

    amasaback
    Member

    I’ve ridden the qualifier a few times and find that ok. My technique is just get my weight back, keep a bit of momentum and feather my brakes ever so slightly.

    I’ve also ridden the slab a few times, but last time I ended up sliding down on my a*** for most of it much to the amusement of my mates. It was wet and covered in pine needles from about the half way point. The time before it was dry and I rode a diagonal line across all the ridges. This worked fine in the dry, but not in the wet.

    I’ve only ever ridden the TT once and bottled it last time after looking at them too long. Do most people ride the top TT using the straight line to the left or attempt to cut down them diagonally? I can’t remember what I did first time.

    Premier Icon a11y
    Subscriber

    It’s the Terible Twins I struggle with too. Qualifier, no prob. The Slab I find definately more difficult and I wussed out of it last time in the pouring rain despite riding the qualifier with (relative) ease. But the Terrible Twins… I don’t know what it is but I have a bloody mental block about those.

    bigdugsbaws
    Member

    Same as a11y, qualifier and slab are not too bad but I refuse to do the twins (the run outs seem to get more eroded as time goes by disuading me even further!)

    olympus
    Member

    I took this photo of a mate on the qualifier. I didnt attempt it or the slab!

    Photo

    stumpy01
    Member

    That’s a good photo angle for the qualifier – looks properly steep!

    fergal
    Member

    Your having a laugh shirley.

    My vote for the most awkward feature at a trail center, goes to the black rooty shoot on Hit Squad Hill(Glentress) sees a few OTB for sure.

    gordonb
    Member

    Fergal, surely the most awkward trail centre feature is the Devil’s Chessboard at Laggan Black. The GT black shoot just involves not freaking out whilst semi-endo-ing the bike…

    jwt
    Member

    Rode both a couple of years back, local at the bottom told me they don’t ride it anymore due to all the moss and slime on it from the trees growing up around it…………….

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    For those of you worried about the Terrible Twins here’s another old video of that. http://www.mountainbikerides.co.uk/video/16-scotland/139-dalbeattie-qthe-terrible-twinsq.html

    My mate Baz (first on the video) double pinch flats on the first slab but just carries on rolling down so you shouldn’t worry about the run out with your tyres up!

    carbon337
    Member

    Im Sure To0ns wont mind this one being dragged up…

    crash

    bangermoose
    Member

    my first dalbetie ride last week, after some initial hesitation did the quali and slap, let some air out of the tyres for more grip, which was OK in the dry, leant right back & easy on the brakes. though took one look at the TTs and turned right back around back on the red, the bottom part looked vicious!

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