The facility, developed by Glasgow City Council, is the city’s first international standard mountain biking course and will remain as part of the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It will not only provide a venue capable of staging future international events but will also be a facility that will benefit people from the surrounding area and visitors alike.
Because of its location close to the city centre, it provides easy access for residents and for elite athletes – as well as some of the most stunning views over Glasgow and beyond.
Local communities have been involved in the creation of the 5.6km course with eight of its key features being named by local schoolchildren from Glasgow and South Lanarkshire – the neighbouring local authorities in which the park lies.
This section runs down the open hillside of the north facing slopes of Cathkin Braes overlooking the City of Glasgow. It is a 200m section of double trail that snakes down the hill towards the Maureen Cope Community Centre in Castlemilk.
Beginning from the Big Wood at the top of the hill, this section drops down a small bank before splitting into two identical parallel tracks. The first corners head right, with berms taking riders out of the thick bracken onto the open grass, from here the tracks head left over
a natural bedrock outcrop. Heading back into the bracken again the trails snake right and left
using any natural bedrock as a technical riding surface.
Identical bermed corners keep the two tracks the same speed so there will be no advantage to either track. Seven corners lead riders down towards the community centre where the two tracks merge and become a single trail again.
This section traverses the open hillside before gradually climbing towards the transmitter area.
Using grade reversals and natural undulations the trail flows along the hillside incorporating a short natural bedrock technical climb and a small stream. Being the main climb on the course this section will favour the fittest of riders.
Rest and be thankful
This technical trail section is located at the end of the long ‘Clyde Climb’ giving it a
sting in the tail for riders climbing up to the transmitter plateau at the top. Riders will wish that they had wings to get them up this switch-back climb.
Following a short rest on the flat section of the top plateau, riders then have a choice of three lines to drop down to the lower plateau. The shortest route comprises a double drop- off with a tight turn however.
The less technically gifted rider can swing wide, but could lose their race position. The worse the off camber technique, the higher the time penalty. From there, it is then through a narrow gulley to the upper plateau, before immediately dropping down a steep bank and looping round to the woodland above.
This section of trail has been designed to create multiple line options where a shorter, more technical route will be awarded with a time saving.
It contains a number of drop offs and exposed bedrock sections. The whole section undulates naturally with sections of exposed bedrock already existing in places.
A berm is a banked and curved cornering feature on a trail that facilitates a change in direction in a smooth manner. A berm allows the user to maintain speed while cornering.
A ‘Moderate’ difficulty (Blue) graded berm will be generally open and shallow with more difficult berms encompassing tighter angles, steeper surfaces and higher entrance speeds. The speed at which a berm is ridden increases with rider skill and experience.
This section of the Big Wood has several berms, with ‘A’ and ‘B’ lines at technical features.
First the trail twists and turns up against a 2m high rock outcrop, then across a causeway over the burn with a tight turn before being faced with sharp ris, forcing riders to kick hard or stumble in the gulley.
Finally the rider have a water splash through the burn.
To be created in this naturally bowl shaped area of the heathland, the surface of the causeway will be constructed from rock boulders or large flagstones rather than crushed stone.
Riders will need appropriate momentum to navigate this feature, which may feature small steps or small drop-offs, demanding advanced bike control skills.