You may well have heard of A-Line, a popular trail at Whistler Bike Park in British Columbia. In a kind of homage, the latest trail from the legendarily-industrious 7Stanes trail builders in Scotland has been christened Ae Line. Or the Ae Line Scottish Power Renewables Trail to give it its full, sponsor-friendly, name.
The 7Stanes project has now been running for three years, and the launch of Ae Line marks the end of the first phase. Official estimates suggest that the existing trails are already bringing £3million a year into the south of Scotland economy, and when everything’s finished the projection is for £6million a year. They’ll need more funding for phase two, but all involved seem pretty confident about that.
As you’ve probably guessed, the new trail is at Ae Forest, Dumfries. It’s 19km (12 miles) long and “packed full of tight, twisty singletrack, jumps, berms and lung-busting climbs”, it says here. It’s graded as a red route, for experienced mountain bikers, and includes a black-graded section called The Omega Man – 3km (1.8 miles) of steepness, big berms and tabletop jumps.
The next 7Stanes trail to open looks like being a little bit different – it’s a long-distance “touring” trail at Glentrool. More on that as it happens…
Find out more at www.7stanes.gov.uk.