March 3, 2020

MTB in Scotland

How I got into mountain biking here, along with photos from my recent rides.

I was an avid mountain biker from an early age. Riding and building trails down the peaks was, along with photography, my biggest hobby. But at one point, I didn't think about anything better than dropping everything and moving to the other side of the planet, and to get sufficient funds for the plane tickets and other expenses, I sold most of my stuff – including my bike. I went to the US, where I started a new life, learned loads of skills, and met some great people; however, my mountain biking went on hold.

After a few years, another big step came, as due to the odd ways immigration policies work, I had to move again. The place I picked was the Netherlands. The country with the biggest ratio of bikes per capita, but also one of the flattest countries I've been to.

Alas, the flatness was the least of my issues, so I relocated to London and started again. But getting back to biking still wasn't a straightforward path. I shattered my knee, and doctors said I won't be able to walk properly again. But I pushed exercising step by step, and it worked a miracle.

Climbing a smokestack with a knee immobiliser, the type of rehabilitation doctors won't tell you about.

As the knee got better, I moved to Scotland and started hiking around the beautiful hills the country has to offer. And nearly every time somewhere out, I looked at the paths lining the mountains and thought: "Very cool; but it would be better with a bike…"

One day, I couldn't hold on anymore; I rented a mountain bike and went to the hills to see if it wasn't just a glorified memory that followed me for those years. And nope; hard to find words to do it justice. While I felt that long gap of not riding anything technical, it felt just as grand as I remembered it. "Oh, this needs to come back into my life," I thought and put some effort to make it happen. And it did, about a year ago.

So, how's mountain biking in Scotland? Sometimes muddy, sometimes rocky, but it always brings a smile to people's faces.

For me, a big part of mountain biking are the adventures it can take you on.

Scotland offers a treat in this case, as it has fantastic laws for accessing the land – one can take a bike pretty much anywhere, and there are loads of exotic locations to have a blast.

And one doesn't go far to explore the unknown. Going out at night, for example, opens an entirely different world even at places that you know well during the daytime.

While biking alone is fab, joining a group of like-minded people is even better. And Scotland shines here too, as there are many folks who share my feelings about this two-wheeled sport. And so, over the last year-or-so, MTB took me to various places across the country, and I met many good people. Below are my favourite photos I took during those times.



Comrie Croft







Overall, I couldn't be happier about the decision to return to mountain biking. The activity itself is fun, and to be able to do so in an amazing scenery all around...what's not to like?

This is a view I had last weekend - It's a bit off-topic, as it's in England, but it demonstrates my point. I'll write a post about it soon.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this content, you might also like following:

Night is Gold

An article about appreciating the night.

Cairngorm on a bike

All my stories about cycling.

You can also visit my Blog Archives for more categories and topics.

Published by: Jakub Stepanovic in Collections


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