Tales of derring-do have emanated from the Tweed Valley for thousands of years; from the brutal, lawless Border Reivers, to the fisherman who travelled the globe to sample Scotland’s finest Salmon river or the hardy, stoic mill workers of the 19th and 20th century, there have always been tales to tell, and a spirited bunch who would happily undertake acts to place themselves into folklore.
The Valleys laid back ebb and flow of everyday life, mixed with a topography that alights a sparkle in any two-wheeled pilots eye has seen mountain biking thrown into the mixing pot of it’s future history and tales.
The trail builders saw potential, the racers raced, and many under-sung hero’s spent countless hours amongst the blocks of Sitka Spruce, slowly chipping, trimming and sculpting their artwork onto the slopes that surround Innerleithen.
So it was that the “Golfie” and it’s world class network of trails, or Caberston Forest and Cairn Hill if we’re being official, entered the nomenclature of every aspiring rider or trailer creator in Britain as a standard to aim for.
A short ride from the village centre, The Golfie, located above Innerleithen’s Golf course, is in a constant state of flux. Trails appear, then slowly fade from memory, only for others to emerge and alight the forest with sounds of joy. It is a dynamic place, shaped by those who care.
To ride every trail on this hill is a task few have attempted, let alone completed. Rising up to over 600m, to do so requires an insane level of fitness, and commitment. Then you need the “knowledge” - knowing of every trail on this hill, some dating back to the 80’s, requires a local’s eye and support of those that have traced this expanse. The trails range from mellow-ish, through to EWS hard, and too hard for EWS, challenges. In short, it isn’t simply about fitness. You must be good. You must be liked by the community. You must be……mad.
As for how many trails and how far a “Full round of Golf” is? That’s the beauty of it, you simply won’t know until you try.