March 3, 2020

MTB in Scotland

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

I have been an avid mountain biker since I was a kid. Riding and building trails down the peaks were, along with photography, my biggest hobby. The playfulness of keeping the bike in motion through a dance between the two wheels to maintain the momentum and keep upright worked magic for me – so good! But then, I finished high school, and after a series of failed plans, I sold most of my stuff, including my bike, to fund my move to the other side of the planet. I went to the US, where I started a new life, and my mountain biking stalled.

Years went by, and due to the odd ways the US immigration works, I had to move again. Eventually, I ended up in Scotland, but before I did, I shattered my knee, and doctors said I wouldn't be able to walk properly again. But I pushed exercising step by step, and it worked a miracle. As the knee got better, I made a few hikes in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and while I enjoyed it a lot, I had many moments when 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. 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. The exercise to muscle the bike over rough terrain; the thrill of finding traction; the focus it requires to thread through the trees... "Oh, this needs to come back into my life!" I thought. So, I put some effort into making it happen, and here we are.

So, how is mountain biking in Scotland? Well, for me, a big part of MTB is the adventures it can take you on. Scotland offers a massive treat in this case.

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 total blast.

Yet, 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 many folks share my feelings about this sport. And so, over the last year or so, I met many amazing people, and we sampled various riding spots across the country. Below are my favorite photos I took during those times.



Comrie Croft







Scottish MTB can be muddy, rocky, but it always brings a smile to people's faces.

I couldn't be happier about returning to mountain biking. Onwards and upwards!

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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