*Please note that due to the current COVID-19 advice, any large events are subject to cancellation. If you are planning to visit in 2020, please check the event website for the latest information.*
Scotland is quite simply one of the finest places to mountain bike on the planet. Period.
With over 30 dedicated mountain biking centres spread across Scotland and miles-upon-miles of off-road National Cycling Network routes, historic cattle droving roads, tracks and trails, bikers of all abilities are truly spoilt for choice.
Alongside the amazing choice of routes to explore, Scotland also hosts some of the best and most popular mountain biking participation and spectator events in the UK. Here’s just a selection that you won’t want to miss this year and next.
1. Macavalanche, Glencoe Mountain Centre
25 April 2020
Macavalanche is a race that features big views, a big demanding descent and ultimately, big smiles. The race begins above the snowline and Glencoe Mountain snowsports centre, on the Munro of Meall à Bhuiridh. A mass-start sees up to 300 competitors set off together at speed through the snow and sod towards the finish line, many hundreds of metres below. The fastest time for the 2018 event was 21 minutes!
2. 10 Under the Ben, Nevis Range
This long-established event is quite possibly Scotland’s best mountain bike endurance event. Running for 10 hours, competitors must complete as many laps as possible of the 10-mile cross-country course, which was once used by World Championship competitors. 10 Under the Ben takes place in the shadow of the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis, in Leanachan Forest and the lower slopes of Aonach Mor, near Fort William. Why not make a weekend of it and test your skills on the Nevis Range downhill courses and the excellent trails at nearby Laggan Wolftrax.
3. TweedLove Bike Festival, Innerleithen
The Scottish Borders is an historic and romantic region. Set within it and only one hour by car south of Edinburgh, the beautiful Tweed Valley, with its renowned 7stanes centres of Glentress and Innerleithen, is arguably one of the best mountain biking destinations in the UK, if not Europe. Combine these two into an festival and you have TweedLove – a programme of biking events running in the area from March to October.
The key summer event in the TweedLove calendar is the TweedLove Bike Festival and this year, they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary! Based at Tweed Green in Peebles, this is the UK’s friendliest bikefest and is all about riding bikes and ‘gid’ (good!) times. Choose from family-friendly, enduro and gravel rides and races – there’s even a Electric TweedLove ePowered by Bosch event. Make sure you join them for their big birthday ‘hoolie’!
Alongside the biking, there’s on-site glamping and camping, some fabulous street food, delicious local craft beers, bling to buy in the event village, live entertainment and loads to keep the kids amused.
4. Mountain Bike World Cup, Fort William
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is a multi-award winning event, that’s been hosted on the slopes of Aonach Mor at Nevis Range near Fort William since 2002. It’s highly regarded by the world-class riders who participate, the thousands of spectators who come along, and by the UCI themselves.
Expect an energetic and electric atmosphere as pro riders defy gravity and tackle the gnarly 2.82 km World Cup Downhill Track, regarded as one of the toughest on the World Cup circuit, in under 5 minutes! There’s also a 4X ProTour competition, which sees four riders go head-to-head on a 200m long course of lumps, bumps, berms and jumps. In between races, wander through the event village, where you’ll find delicious food and drink, clothing and shiny bike gear to buy. You can also see some of the downhill track action from the Nevis Range mountain gondola.
*Join in on Facebook on Sunday 7 June 2020 at 4pm for a special online Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup Gathering, featuring a host of stars and guests, memories and celebrations, plus a unique virtual World Cup.
5. Relentless 24, Fort William
TBC – usually October
We’re just awaiting confirmation of this event which usually takes place at Nevis Range and is a mammoth 24-hour mountain biking challenge. Relentless 24 is open to solos, pairs and quads looking to ride as many laps of the course as possible within 24 hours. Remember to bring or book powerful lights as you’ll need them as you scoot through the world-class cross-country trails in Leanachan Forest. Keep checking back on this page for updates.
6. Fair City Enduro, Perth
31 October 2020
Muckmedden Events are back, adding their unique style to celebrating Hallowe’en and all things mountain biking. Taking place in and around the ‘fair city’ of Perth, participants are encouraged to join the Fair City Enduro in fancy dress, so you could find yourself riding alongside a penguin, a Power Ranger or even Evel Knievel! The course is ridden ‘blind’ and although it’s not the toughest enduro around, it’s Muckmedden’s most technical and includes gnarly forest trails and some awesome views.
Scotland was made for mountain biking. Why not try some of Scotland’s outstanding mountain biking trails and trail centres, when you visit one of the above events?