The Summer Mountain biking expedition is one of the highlights of our cadet calendar and it is a key foundation of cadet development. The Team picks its self with volunteers wanting to take on the ardouous challenge set by the Scottish 7Stanes Mountain Bike Trails. Having completed an Intermediate course in Delamere and then an Advance course in North Wales using the Marin Trail.
Our Advanced course is focused on building on bike skills on arduous terrain and longer distances. Developing bike instinct and robustness in preparation for Scotland.
So extra core skills like:- Single track routes, obstacles like Berms, Northshore and rocky step-downs to name a few.
Marthrown of Mabie is right in the heart of Mabie Forest, Dumfries- a unique rustic environment in a breathtaking setting. This was our staging post to which we adventured our each day to the trails of Mabie, Glentress and Dalbeattie.
We encouraged all cadets to explore the woods and surrounding area in their free time and enjoyed a family style evening meal each night to encourage all to share stories and experiences. Not just for the day but in life generally. This usually finished with a quick help clearing the table then having a board game or two………. away from social media and seeing them interact with each other was a pleasure.
The 7stanes are severn mountain biking centre spanning the south of Scotland, from the Heart of the Scottish Borders to Dumfries and Galloway.
‘Stane’ is the Scots word for stone, and at each of the 7Stane locations you will find a unique stone sculpture – a stane – reflecting a local myth or legend.
It also provides some truly unique mountain bike trail experiences and challenges of which vary in grades and distance. We will be attempting the ‘red’ trails on each of the Mabie, Glentress and Dalbeattie trails.
The enthusiasm to complete the Trails was very positive from the cadets who through themselves into every hill, Northshore, Berm and downhill with at times ‘Fear’ and excitement, not to mention a sense of adventure.
It was always inevitable that some had steering problems and speed issues which resulted in some very comical falls and misjudgements. So, yes the odd scrape and cut was soon dressed and robustly carried on.
With quotes of-
“That was madness but great fun”
kind of summarised the trip and the enthusiasm put into each Trail by the cadets. Laughs, giggles and stories of “How I nearly” will live in the memories of all.
The isolation of Marthrown of Mabie also allowed the cadets time away from the Social Media world with no signal and so the skills of communication, teamwork, sense of adventure and just being children gave them soft skills that will help them in the future.
WO2 (SSI) Tony Brown
The King’s School CCF