Send it to the city!
Cathkin Braes on the fringes of Glasgow has shaken off its XC past, with new trails, jumps and a pumptrack. Send it to the city!
Cathkin Braes in numbers
- 20 new tables, doubles and gaps on the Red
- 9 kilometres of trails at Cathkin Braes
- 1.2 million quid well spent!
At mbr we’ve always been suckers for great little tracks or trail centres right in the heart of urban areas because it democratises the joys of mountain biking. Towns like Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol, Edinburgh and plenty more boast lunch-hour trails. And now the good people of Glasgow have something for, with new trails at Cathkin Braes on the city’s limits.
OK, so they’re not strictly new, there have been natural trails at Cathkin for some time and the official mountain bike trail to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. And while this worked so well for the event where local Scot, Grant Ferguson, placed fifth, as a recreational rider you could do a lap in 20 minutes and feel like there wasn’t really much else to do. Now, new facilities that have been built on the lower slopes of the hill have changed all this. A brand new car park with 60 spaces, a Velosolutions pump track, a new climb to the woods, and multiple jump lines with berms and gaps, have created a lot of variety and challenges that will easily keep a rider engaged and wanting to come back for more.
As soon as you roll up to the trailhead you can tell that the £1.2 million has gone to good use. The line of sight over the whole facility is incredible. As is always the case with projects like this, much of the funding went on infrastructure; a new road leading in, signage and landscaping, but over £700,000 was still spent of trails, and it shows. From your parking space you’ll be able to see the main jump line winding its way right back down the hill. On a busy day all you can see are riders popping up over all the jumps as they work their way down the hill. It immediately inspires you to want to grab your bike and get involved.
The massive Velosolutions Pump Track alone is worth checking out. Its trademark, fast-flowing asphalt gives you 260m of perfectly sculpted transitions that will keep you challenged for hours. The shapes have been deliberately laid out to encourage a mix of abilities, from smooth rollers to massive gaps, all within 50m of the car park. It will also host a round of the RedBull Pump Track World Championships, firmly putting the venue on the map internationally.
The experienced team at Architrail were responsible for reshaping the hillside. They’ve done an excellent job of working with existing features and making good use of the camber of the hillside. the bulk of improvements mainly cover Red trails, with Blue and Black options allowing riders to progress at a safe pace that’s comfortable while allowing room for challenges. In total there are over 3km of new trails to take the total at Cathkin to over 9km, including the natural trails in the woods. the new jump line is perfect for sessioning with safe access back to the top and good line of sight right down the hill. Therea re over 20 new tables, doubles and gaps over the 650m Red line, meaning that you can break it down into sections or do full loops right down the hill. If the jumps are too much for you then there are 800mm of Blue trails to keep you occupied as well.
The view across Glasgow is the perfect reminder that you can get away and escape despite only being a 15-minute drive away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This is apparently only the beginning of a whole new push to engage the community in mountain biking, so head along and get involved.