Our journey started at Dalbeattie one of the best (according to a friend) of the ‘7stanes’. These are seven mountain biking centres spanning the south of Scotland, from the heart of the Scottish Borders to Dumfries and Galloway. ‘Stane’ is the Scots word for stone, and at each of the 7stanes locations, you’ll find a stone sculpture reflecting a local myth or legend.
The red ‘Hardrock’ trail at Dalbeattie is a pleasant 25 km with not too many steep climbs and some fantastic views along the way. The ‘slab’ which is by far the most talked about part of the trail is a 15 meter granite ‘slab’ which from the top looks more like something you should climb up than ride down!
On day 2, we went to Mabie another of the 7 Stanes. The Pheonix trail is a 19km mix of cross country and twisty single track. Mabie encompasses the most fantastic switchbacks ive ever encountered which feel like your entering a washing machine spin cycle as you get sucked into the never ending spiral. Rocky drop offs and routed sections make this an interesting and technical ride at times. The scenery was stunning with hills covered in Scots pine and purple patches of heather making every climb worth it!
The South of Scotland brought many surprises and had been a good warm up for what was yet to come.