Category Archives: Scotland Biking

Biking in Scotland Part Two

Travelling north the drive although gruelling and bum aching at times, was an interesting way to sample Scotland’s nature and wilderness, with rolling hills and snow-capped mountains which towered over vast lochs. There was no people or sign of civilisation for miles. Our destination was Glenuig Inn on Lochaliort, a secluded and magical place where family friend Steve Mac runs the Glenuig Inn. Arriving at the Inn after a journey of epic proportions we were greeted by the smiling face of Steve and wagging tail of Isla his dog. We were happy to not be spending the night under canvas and the temptation of a hot well cooked meal was an appealing thought.

We went explorinIslag the area surrounding the inn, Steve took us up to the highest point above the inn to see breath-taking views over the islands, looking out over Eigg, Muck and Rum places my Dad had described as being stunning and wild. I had seen pictures and thought it had looked idyllic but seeing the scene first hand was truly impressive. As the heavens opened we retreated back to the Inn and a hearty meal of well-cooked scrumptious food. With Steve busy preparing for filming the next day with Country File, we said our goodbyes that evening before getting a good nights rest ready to hit the trails the next day.

Arriving in a soggy Fort William, home of the UCI downhill biking world cup. We went straight to Ben Nevis. The plan was to bike the ‘Ten under Ben’ but the weather was not exactly ideal. We seized the opportunity to make a run for it when there was finally a break in the clouds. As we rode out into the clearing of trees the sun started to shine just in time for our decent. We twisted and turned through the forBikingest trail over boarded sections and tight switch backs reaching a technical section named ‘Nessie’, the crash mats and netting in the trees said it all, get this one wrong and its probably going to hurt! After this adrenalin busting section the trail returned to a more tame approach treating us to a glorious downhill ride all the way back to the car in time for a well earned hot chocolate.

The day was still young and we decided to go up a little further and try out the Wolftrax. From the car park the trail gave nothing away, however, once making our way to the highest point our journey descended into boulder fields, and rocky bridges. Each corner we were met with a new challenge and yet more rock crossings. The trail was fast and adrenalin pumping and most certainly worth the journey to find it.

We spent our last night in the wilderness of Scotland cooking a mountain of sausages and pasta on our little stove before withdrawing into our tent to stop the rampage of midges which had arrived since the rain and wind had calmed.

martyn biking

The next day we started the long journey back south around Loch Lomond to Glentress, the last stop on our biking adventure. I was really looking forward to this ride it sounded challenging and fun and the sun was again shining on us as we set off. Along the way up the track wound its way upwards throwing obstacles such as tree crossings and rock jumps to practise on. This trail has many surprises including rocky drop offs, berms, table tops and jumps. It’s a fantastic for downhill and cross country bikers alike with loads of features to suit both rider styles.

After a week of leg busting, lung burning climbs, sweet decents and plenty of bruises and laughs along the way our adventure had sadly ended. Packing the car for the last time we headed back to Southampton with some fantastic memories and promised one another that we would return another day to the wilds of Scotland.

I would recommend biking in Scotland to anyone who has a passion for single track and loves a challenge.

Loch Lomond

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Biking in Scotland Part One

In six days we covered 1,212 car miles, 60 bike miles, went through eight inner tubes, broke gears, lost iPhones and met the BBC Country File cast. Not bad for a relaxing week away.The Slab

Our journey started at Dalbeattie one of the best (according to a friend) of the ‘7stanes’. These are seven mountain biking centres 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 7stanes locations, you’ll find a stone sculpture reflecting a local myth or legend.

The red ‘Hardrock’ trail at Dalbeattie is a pleasant 25 km with not too many steep climbs and some fantastic views along the way. The ‘slab’ which is by far the most talked about part of the trail is a 15 meter granite ‘slab’ which from the top looks more like something you should climb up than ride down!

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On day 2, we went to Mabie another of the 7 Stanes. The Pheonix trail is a 19km mix of cross country and twisty single track. Mabie encompasses the most fantastic switchbacks ive ever encountered which feel like your entering a washing machine spin cycle as you get sucked into the never ending spiral. Rocky drop offs and routed sections make this an interesting and technical ride at times. The scenery was stunning with hills covered in Scots pine and purple patches of heather making every climb worth it!

The South of Scotland brought many surprises and had been a good warm up for what was yet to come.