Video of the Week
(if you cannot see a picture above its either because you havea very slow connection, youtube is down, or the most likely problem which is you are at work and your "friends" in the IT department have blocked it to encourage you do so some "work".)
19/08/07 - Loch Ordy page updated with new pics
03/08/07 - second munro summit - mount keen - description and pics added
22/07/07 - My first Munro summit on the bike - Glas Tulaichean - read more about it here
This site is not about the steepest downhill, the worst fall, or who has the biggest and hairiest...... Its about getting fit, seeing our beautiful countryside and having a good time,
If you are new to the sport or considering taking it up don't be put off by the pictures and videos. We have been off road cycling and mountain biking for 10 years now, since we were...11 (ish) when we got our BMXs ....ah those were the days. There will always be someone faster, fitter and more adventurous than you...but for every one of them there are at least 10 people who's idea of adventure is to actually walk to the TV and change controls on the TV without using the remote.
What I am trying to say is this - Mountain Biking is the sport/hobby/form of exercise you want it to be. Its not about shiny expensive bikes, about being better than the next person, its about you and the countryside. Enjoy it - there is nothing that will put a genuine grin on your face from ear to ear (and inside) like a good day on your bike
If you are lucky enough, like me, to live in Scotland, or be visiting us, then there are two things you will notice. One, is out lovely warm climate (ahem...), and the second is the hills and the countryside. But the question remains, especially for beginners, is - it is suitable for mountain biking? We are lucky enough to have in this country an access code that pretty much is a license to explore anywhere we want. But for the most part we want to choose a route that is suited to out ability, that has terrain that is suitable for our bike, and most of all a route that we will enjoy.
Having spent years on a mountain bike and living in Scotland I have accrued through; trial and error, friends and hill walking a good knowledge of my locality and where to take my bike. However searching the internet with search engines, it is frustrating trying to expand this knowledge due to a lack of good websites with free information on routes. Yes there are plenty sources if you want to buy books or pay to join, but I want the countryside to be free, to share the joy I get from the sport and the countryside with others. hence the creation of this website.
Please note that while this site is free for you, it does cost me to maintain it, for web space and domain registration. One way you help is to click on the ads on the right hand column - I make no profit from this website, it will just help me meet the costs of maintaining the site... Now on with the show.
One thing is guaranteed - hat you will get out of mountain biking (or perhaps more accurately called off road cycling as it doesn't need to be on a mountain) the dividends (fun, fitness and friends) from the time you invest doing it it, not the money you spend on it. See the "what bike should I buy?" page
Scotland is teaming with places to take your mountain bike - this can be just a nice leisurely ride along a flat wide track in a forest, to holding onto the brakes for dear life as you negotiate a steep narrow rocky path down a mountainside. The truth is that anyone who can ride a bike can do it and you find your own limits, both of ability and enjoyment. You might be able to go down a strep descent, but only actually enjoy nice rolling landrover tracks. Unless you get out there on your bike you wont know which it is. So turn of the TV, stop playing internet poker, switch off MSN, and get that bike out of the shed and go for a ride..
Just ride safe and within your limits...yes it can be dangerous, but the health benefits surely outweigh this. Ride at a speed and down gradients you can control - ride within your limits.
If you know of any routes you would like to add then email me - preferably with some pics, but its fine without - all credit will be given to route authors/photographers (but no payment as I do not make any profit from the site)
Whether you are 10 or 40, there is nothing quite as exciting as getting a new bike, and its easy to get carried away and jump into buying a bike without much thought, and regret it later. There are just so many bikes available its difficult to know where to start. To begin, decide what you are going to need it for. If realistically you are only going to use it along towpaths and firetracks then you really don't need a full suspension bike. These tend to be heavier and more expensive. Likewise if you have visions of doing big jumps and drop offs then you don't want a hybrid commuter style bike. The truth is that most mountain bikers fall somewhere in-between these two extremes and use their bikes for a combination of roads, fire tracks, singletrack, the odd small jump and drop off - so you want an all round bike (cross country XC).
As to whether you opt for a front suspension only bike (otherwise known as a hardtail) or a full suspension bike is really a matter of personal preference. Full suspension bikes are heavier, more costly, but do offer a smoother ride, particularly when your technique comes up short. Full suspension bikes are getting lighter, but for a good quality bike they are still more expensive. Yet the true XC bikes until recently were all hardtails and these were right at the top end of the price spectrum - the cost reflected in their lightweight and superior quality parts. It is possible to get down everything on a hard tail you can get down on a full suspension bike. its just makes a difference to how fast you can descend and how bumpy the descent will feel.
Amazing MTB trails in Scotland
Mountain biking is a sport that gains in popularity each year. People love outdoor activities, to explore new forest paths and ride their bike outside the city. There are numerous wild mountain bike trails in Scotland, passing through green forests, on rocky granite trails and displaying some breathtaking views. If some trails are for beginners and children, others are built for adrenaline junkies. Venture on these MTB trails and you will not regret any minute of your experience.
Routes for downhillers
Enjoy the wilds of Scotland from your mountain bike. If you do not have one, you can rent it at the trail centers. Go to Ae Forest and you will ride on trails built for all levels. With more than 30 km of paths and organizing periodically races, these trails will take you in the Ae valley, by the river, in the green forest, on fast flowing descents and difficult climbs packed with switchbacks. Some trails will combine dirt sections with technical root, so you will definitely love this place.
For some rooty horror shows and tarmac loops you must go to Drumlanrig. They have impressive trails for all mountain bike enthusiasts, regardless their levels. Spend two hours on the Old School trail, the red one, and ride on 20 kilometers that tuck and turn in the forest. Pass between majestic trees, enjoy the nature surrounding you and feel how adrenaline is rushing through your veins. But in case you want to feel more thrilling sensations, go on Magic 8 trail for its steep descents and climbs.
Have fun on your MTB at Fort William center. You will arrive here if you will depart from Fort William towards Inverness. After three miles you will see on your right the signpost of Nevis Range, where you will discover some of the best MTB trails in Scotland. They have 5 huge trails that sum about 55 km. Bloomstick Blue has many flowing singletracks, so it is great to start on. But go on with World Champs – the red one – and you will ride on just one climb and one descent, yet they are steeper and way longer that you are used to.
Venture on Scotland’s best trails
Everyone comes to Glentress to try the MTB routes. Doctors, engineers, or an escort Paris who work, teachers and students will ride on these trails to experience the amazing sensations. Glentress is home to 73 km of trails and you will reach to this center if you head from Edinburgh on A703 to Peebles. Drive on A73 and two miles outside town you will find the trails. Freeride fans and beginners of all ages will have a wonderful adventure on the great loops, weaves and climbs that pass between the tall trees.
Escape the bustle of the city and break the routine in one of these MTB trails centers. Feel the wind blowing near you, feel the breath of nature and feel free while you will ride on your mountain bike. Try these great trails and you will have the time of your life!