Where: Innerleithen Uplift
Best suited to: Extreme
What to expect: Distance: 3.81Km
Estimated Time To Ride The Route: Depends how fast you go down! Under 5mins if you are quick!
The downhill trails at Innerleithen are regarded as some of the best in the UK. A rich history of track building has resulted in a rabbit warren of ‘natural’ and machine-built trails that drop steeply through the forest from the summit of Plora Rig. Together with the many classic trails here, four marked tracks crafted by renowned local trail builder Dik Hamilton provide a stack of options for both riders and race organisers. The site regularly holds rounds of the British Downhill Series and Scottish Downhill Series as well as a popular winter race series sponsored by Alpine Bikes. Summer 2012 also saw the return of the IXS European Downhill Cup.
All routes are graded ‘extreme’, with small, medium and large trail features. Full face helmet, gloves, body armour and a Downhill specific bike are strongly recommended for all trails. Downhill bikes and full face helmets can be hired from one of the many Innerleithen bike shops.
Signed push-up paths from the car park will take you to the top, but it’s a serious workout, climbing over 300 vertical metres! (Give yourself 45 – 60mins bottom to top).
Uplift services are run regularly at Innerleithen by ‘Uplift Scotland’. Booking essential. Contact David ‘Tally’ Tallontine on 07709 144 299, or see www.upliftscotland.com for more details and booking.
Starting a little away from the other 3 tracks, the Matador is one of the trails that demands the most commitment. Steep with some large features, including some large rock drops, rocky chutes, gap jumps and big table-tops.
An all-hand-built run, in classic Innerleithen style. Steep, rooty, tight and twisty! Lots of tight S-bends through the trees, and offering multiple different line choices on the way down, Cresta run is one of the classic runs at Innerleithen.
Another hand-built course similar in nature to the Cresta Run. Gold run starts off fairly fast and open, before diving into the trees. Plenty of rooty, off-camber turns await, on this part of the course. The gradient mellows a bit in the middle part of course, but there is no let-up in the tight twisty nature of the trail. For the last part of the track, it joins up with Cresta run for the final blast to the finish.