EMTB Coaching’s Scotland Long Weekend eBike Trip
EMTB Coaching went to Scotland for a long weekend on the eBikes to find out what the fuss is about.
Our journey started from the Midlands Saturday morning with the SatNav set to Peebles town centre, this being our home for the next few days. As per usual the banter started from the moment our arses touched the seats in the van. Four of the EMTB team were present, Alex – Dave – Ryan and Nathan. Having a hassle free drive we reached Peebles early afternoon to find the 4star hotel room perfect for dumping our luggage, getting changed and hitting Innerleithen late afternoon.
Innerleithen is a small Scottish town set at the bottom of hills surrounding it, one hill side has way marked trails running from the car park with no facilities at the bottom. There are downhill runs and a red graded trail with black sections on the descend which pop off and back onto the red. The climb is pretty hard going even on an eBike, the Haibike Xduro Nduro Pro’s were fantastic at climbing up some sections but Ryan’s Haibike Xduro FullSeven RC was even better at setting the pace for the rest of us to follow him up the hill, 2000ft in sub 30mins was a great achievement for us all. Once at the top we all started taking pictures due to the nature of Scotland being so beautiful its hard to resist touching the camera buttons on our phones. Off we go down Innerleithen to the car via the red trail decent, open up top with berms and small table tops, small drop off’s and narrow single track makes this a tick in the box for most mountain bikers. Further down we were spat out onto a fire road and diversion put all of us into a forest section that was a little sketchy, tight turns and roots exposed made this very exciting for some, others were a little sceptical as to why Alex and Dave were whooping and yelling to each other. The woods wasn’t part of the trail as we ended up onto the trail further down realising this was for a race that was going on, the home straight was larger table tops, step ups and bigger drops (optional chicken lines were in place) making our wheels leave the ground at every given chance made this first ride in Scotland one to remember.
Our hotel room slept all four of us, a clean large bathroom that had a complimentary burn setting on the shower… .very welcoming after our first ride out. The beds were extremely comfortable and having 3 sized pillows to choose from on each bed we all slept well. Waking up on Sunday morning for our Scottish breakfast, cereals, croissants and jam or fruit was the best way to start the day before going back to our room to get changed and take the batteries off charge ready to head out to Glentress forest.
Glentress Forest has a trail centre shop, wash rooms, jet wash and cafe along with other activities in the forest. The trails are what we are hear for though, hitting the red trail from the car park it has a steady climb with balance beams and rock sections along the way to keep you entertained during the climb to the top. Upon our ride to the top we met 2 other eBikers who both had CUBE Stereo Hybrid 140 Race 27.5 which was great to meet other eBikers who was enjoying the trails the same way as us. The decent has very similar features to Innerleithen, this time though its a lot more thought out for the average rider who has any ability with mountain biking. Everything is rollable or has a ‘chicken line’ if this is not the case. There are very good sections on the down hill run which is like a runway through the forest made up of consecutive jumps making for great practice, the eBikes allow you to ride these several times without getting too stung for energy loss. Its times like these that make you fully aware of the eBikes ability to enhance your riding skills. Back down at the van we used the jet wash in the car park, this cost’s 1 pound for one and half minuets… not long when you have pine needles stuck in the frame and you don’t want to blast the bikes bearings to bits. A full production line was made between the four of us coving cleaning, drying, lubing and packing the van.
Back at the hotel in Peebles town we found out it was Dave’s birthday which he kept quiet, so we decide to celebrate by hitting the tiles. Many drinks later and a few out of time boogie moves we call it a night and hit the hay. Up early again on Monday the breakfast is a warm welcome knowing what is in store for our pedal assist machines.
We choose to explore natural trails around Innerleithen area away from the main way marked trail we head off into a fire road climb, ascending 1950ft with the front of the bike lifting even though our chests were practically on the bars made Alex’s heart rate reach 188pbm. Feeling fresh with amazing “on top of the world” views we cant resist that camera button once more. We head off down the hill to what looked like a forest entrance which cut us dry once we entered. So turning round and traversing along the tree line through heather we find a trail entrance with fresh tyre marks so we start pedalling hard riding blind down this trail that we had no idea where or what was in front of us, the thrill was immense arriving at a step down onto a fire road and back into the trail, wiggling through trees like a side winder snake. We reach another fire road to work our way back up towards where the trails started, so pedalling up once again was such a laugh talking to other riders who was out enjoying the sunny Scottish weather. Two particular riders who were also riding up was blowing a little so we offered to pull them up to a level point ahead, two eBikes to one rider made it light work of the steep fire road climb and the lads were extremely grateful at the top saying they would get us a pint…. still waiting for that though. Carrying on up we spotted several trails popping down the hill side to our right Dave decides to turn off leaving the rest of us to follow him, watching Dave ride is a good educational experience seeing what lines he is taking over rocks and off camber roots it is clear he is brilliant at what he does. We all round up together at the bottom with Nathan and Ryan both grinning from ear to ear. All of our batteries are on one bar so we head back to the hotel for a recharge along with lunch.
Glentress has a large spread out skills area ranging from greens to blacks and further more to free ride areas. So over our lunch stop we decided to go back and explore what Glentress has in store for teaching capabilities. Two hours of messing around searching what the skills area has to offer people we had climbed a whopping 482ft. Once again our royalty like feeling shined through the rest of the park with majority of other riders coming over to us and asking questions after the infamous comment of “thats cheating” had came out their mouths. Everyone at the park was interested in the Haibike Xduro Nduro Pro’s due to these bikes being slightly larger bikes yet still quicker than them around the trails. Giving other riders from the park a go on our eBikes was a good feeling seeing their faces light up during that first pedal stroke right through to getting off after a few laps of a skills section.
Dinner time at the hotel and batteries on charge again for the third time in one day. This time we were off to do Innerleithen again but at night. Lights were charged and chest camera was on, turbo was engaged before heading out the car park to ride the red route to the summit. Once again we recorded our times setting a record of 1860ft at the summit from van in 28mins. While we were gaining our breath back from the monster climb we had the delight of watching the sun set through the mountains, the phones were out once again to capture these amazing shows that Scotland is giving us. Once the sun had dropped out of view the temperature had dropped instantly, lights were turned on and pedals were moving fast taking us on a roller coaster ride back down to the bottom. Riding Scottish trails by night are the best fun ever as it makes you feel like you are in a scene from star wars travelling though space at warp speed. At the van all of us are congratulating each other in the form of ‘high fives’ heckling at each other in silly accents because that’s what we do. It was 10.30pm when we arrived back at hotel knowing there was no food source around other than the local chippy, ordering the entire contents of the pre cooked food and taking it back to our hotel room, Ryan had brought his laptop where we all stuffed our faces and ate around the table watching a film before bed.
Tuesday we got up, packed our stuff and left the room as we found it. We had our last Scottish breakfast with haggis, beans, sausage, beacon, tomatoes, mushrooms with a coffee.. the food this hotel provides is delicious. All slumped in our seats in the van the journey home was full of stories from over the last few days that Scotland had provided us with. EMTB Coaching’s Scotland long weekend eBike trip was our favourite adventure so far.