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:
1. (Tweed)Love in the Scottish Borders
26 May – 10 June
The Scottish Borders is a historic, rural and romantic region. Set within it and only one hour by car south of Edinburgh, the beautiful Tweed Valley is arguably one of the best cycling and mountain biking destinations in the country.
Combine the two into an event and you have TweedLove – the UKs biggest and most welcoming bike festival. It’s run for bike riders, by bike riders and has grown into a major draw for bike riders and visitors to the region alike, over the last few years.
A mind-boggling array of events awaits! Participate in skinny tyre rides, mountain biking races, skills coaching sessions, trail runs and family rides, or see the action from the Whyte Bikes British Enduro Championships, featuring some of the world’s best enduro athletes.
If you prefer, simply spectate and enjoy the amazing vibe in the festival village, where you’ll find bike and gear demos, films and entertainment on the main stage, great food and drink and lots more.
Visit the Tweed TV page for lots more inspiration.
2. Adventure, Forged in the Fort
2 – 3 June
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 throngs of spectators (usually numbering over 20,000) who come along, and by the UCI themselves.
Expect an energetic and electric atmosphere as pro riders throw themselves down the gnarly 2.82 km World Cup Downhill Track, often noted as one of the toughest on the 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, browse the stands in the event village, where you’ll also find lots of delicious food and drink to try. You can even watch some of the downhill track action from the mountain gondola. All-in-all, this is one event not to miss.
3. Cream o’ the Croft
15 – 17 June
This event is best summed up by the organisers “In a nutshell, Cream o’ the Croft is a top mountain bike enduro, a food and drink festival, a beer festival and a family-friendly music festival all rolled into one.”
You’ll find Comrie Croft a few miles beyond Crieff in west Perthshire where a packed programme of outdoor adventures, kid’s activities, health and wellbeing sessions, and lots of exciting mountain biking action awaits you.
On Saturday night the Chitterybite Ceilidh Band, The Banjo Lounge 4, and Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5 take to the stage, followed by a silent disco into the wee small hours.
There’s lots of great overnight options on-site including a bunkhouse, Nordic Katas, camping and camper van pitches.
4. Muckmedden: The Eliminator MTB Festival
31 August – 2 September
Muckmedden Events will transform Parkhill Farm near Newburgh in north Fife into a fantastic mountain biking venue for the Eliminator Festival. The event will feature cross-country, duathlon and enduro events and an Eliminator Head2Head downhill race.
Enduro Mountainbike Magazine called it “delightfully unique and riotous fun!” and “a highlight on the Scottish racing calendar.”
The programme also includes kid’s activities, plenty of great food and drink options, yoga sessions and evening entertainment with family-friendly camping and glamping available on site too.
5. Tour de Ben Nevis
At its heart, the Tour de Ben Nevis aims to bring ‘mountain biking back to the mountains’. Now in its eighth year, the event starts (and finishes) in Fort William and involves a 45-mile circumnavigation of the UKs tallest mountain. Expect wild and remote trails and terrain and possibly a river crossing, depending on the weather, as well as an outstanding sense of achievement when you cross the finish line!
6. Fair City Enduro
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 some gnarly forest trails and some awesome views.
Spring has finally sprung and it’s time to get into the great outdoors again, so make sure you get along to one or all of the above events, whether you’re joining in or just watching.