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Borders Backountry meets Tweed Valley Enduro
New for 2019, not only will you be sampling a sizeable portion of the best riding the length and breadth of the Tweed Valley – we have iced this scrumptious cake by teaming up with Trail House, Glentress for the finest lodgings in the area, plus, Adrenalin Uplift are on board to provide their world-class shuttle uplift to keep those weary legs at bay and the eye firmly on the prize. Mountain biking heaven!
This week-long Border Patrol mountain bike tour straddles mile-upon-mile of interconnecting valleys, hills and glens that make up the Tweed Valley. It’s a trip aimed squarely at the ‘all-rounder’. It’ll appeal most to mountain bikers who like to mix things up and don’t sit in any one camp – enduro, all-mountain, backcountry – this trip has a healthy slice of everything that is your beloved mountain biking.
It’s a one time trip and only seven lucky riders get the keys to unlock the mountain biking potential of the beautiful Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders.
The Tweed Valley’s riddled with superb riding – what we’ll show you are some of the best natural, off the beaten track trails we love.
- Type of TripAll-mountain
- Technical Grading3
- Endurance Grading3
- How Long? 6 nights / 7 days
- An expertly curated week-long mountain bike adventure in the beautiful Tweed Valley (one hour south of Edinburgh)
- Accommodation Six nights fantastic lodge B&B accommodation right at the heart of the riding
- Delicious help yourself buffet breakfasts to set you up for the day
- Professional Guides Expertly trained, hugely experienced but most of all great fun and with a wealth of local knowledge to share!
- Two days ‘Adrenalin Uplift’
- Logistics and comprehensive support including backup vehicle, First Aid and mechanical assistance throughout your trip
- Detailed pre-departure information
- Trip photo album
- Watch this space for next season’s dates or get in touch if you have preferred dates in mind!
Today we welcome you to the Tweed Valley! Meet your awesome guides and the rest of the crew over a coffee, and we’ll give you a run-down of all the fun riding we’ve got planned for the rest of the week.
We’ll be riding right from our doorstep so after coffee we’ll be hitting the trails and giving you a taste of what we love to ride in this area. You’ll catch a glimpse of why this area has become recognised as one of the UK’s best mountain biking destinations – on this trip you’ll be sampling the trail delights beyond (and hidden within) the awesome trail centre network.
Saddle up for a ‘three sandwich’ kind of day – the variety of riding here is huge, and today you’ll earn your fill with an epic backcountry mission including some big climbs and equally long descents guaranteed to keep you on your toes. You’ll get the best views across the valley!
We’ll finish off with a well-deserved beer back at the Trail House.
Today we’ll be using a little less leg power than yesterday to access those tasty descents in Innerletihen – our friends at Adrenalin Uplift will be stepping in to shuttle everyone to the top of mountain bike heaven.
This means lots of descending ALL DAY with a coffee and cake stop in between uplifts. Innerleithen has the best mountain bike friendly cafes in the Valley!
Five minutes out the door of your fantastic accommodation, you’ll be picking up your fourth taste of what’s on offer in the Tweed Valley.
Today you’ll be in the ‘whoop!’ zone discovering some of the Tweed Valley’s best hidden gems. A combination of built versus natural trails, with a good amount of natural roots and rocks to keep things interesting. After making it down the first trail, you’ll be pedalling back up for more!
We’ve been riding here forever and the mountain biking never gets stale because there’s so much to choose from. After a full hearty breakfast, we take a short trip out of the Tweed Valley to one of our favourites – including a loam-rich rollercoaster you’ll probably want to do again and again.
There is so much more to offer beyond the Tweed Valley we want you experience it all.
With so much riding on our doorstep, we’ve plenty of time for another dose of fun flowy singletrack goodness to keep your head spinning for weeks…long forgotten tracks we’ve uncovered over the years of exploring this maze of mountain biking fun.
You’ll have definitely found your flow by now so it’s time to up it a level and show you some of the best riding in the Valley.
Just as you’re getting into the groove, you realise it’s our very last day…but don’t despair! Adrenalin Uplift are on hand again to finish the trip on one more high. If your appetite for new adventures still isn’t satisfied then you’ll be relieved to hear we still have some treats in store for you before we say our reluctant goodbyes.
We want you to pick the right mountain bike trip in Scotland for your fitness and technical ability – it helps ensure you’ll be riding with people of a similar skill level and can ride at the pace you want to ride at.
We’ve developed a trip grading based on our experience riding the terrain that features on our trips, as well as meeting and learning from riders from all over the world and understanding their expectations.
Please read the following guidelines carefully to ensure you pick a mountain bike holiday in Scotland suited to your skill and fitness. If you are unsure if a trip is right for you, please contact us.
This trip be enjoyed by riders at 3-5 level.
The goal of the Technical Rating is to understand the ability of the rider as it pertains to obstacles, conditions and trail design. This means it has nothing to do with your physical endurance, but is instead strictly a measure of your technical ability. Making sure you accurately rate your technical ability will ensure you have an exciting ride, while remaining within your ability level to keep you safe.
We use ‘+’ to designate when a trip is at the top of a grading e.g 2+ is just below grading 3; and ‘++’ when a trip grading subsumes all other higher gradings e.g. 3++ would be suitable for 3+ riders as well as grading 4 and 5 riders.
You are a confident mountain biker and have been riding technical terrain for at least 2 years including exposed singletrack and rough landrover track, on uneven, loose and frequent steep gradients, with frequent variation in trail surfaces from rocks to roots. You are comfortable riding on trails approximately 12 inches wide that vary greatly in their stability and may be unpredictable including loose rock. You are comfortable regularly traversing unavoidable obstacles such as roots, rocks, logs and drop offs up to 15 inches tall, and some obstacles encountered may exceed that.
You are an expert mountain biker and have been riding expert level trails for at least 5 years. You think of yourself as a ‘mountain biker’ and you already know that the more competent a bike handler you are beforehand, the more you’ll get from the trip; you’re confident riding unpredictable terrain and using bunny hopping and front/rear wheel lifting techniques and relish unpredictable, varied natural ungraded trail surfaces including a mix of flowy and loose rocky or rooty singletrack, landrover tracks, steep technical climbs (including hike-a-bike sections) and descents, frequent rocks, slabs and water bar drainage features.
You are comfortable riding on trails of any width that are highly unstable and are completely unpredictable including loose rock. You are comfortable regularly traversing unavoidable obstacles such as roots, rocks, logs and drop offs well over 15 inches tall, and many obstacles encountered will exceed that. You are comfortable riding any technical trail features that may be present on the trail.
Level 5 is reserved for our Level 4 Expert riders who live and breath mountain biking and take every opportunity to manual, nose-wheelie and bunnyhop the trails. You love the biggest, most technically challenging trail features – up or down. Speaking of which, you also know that in order to go down, you must pedal (and carry) up and can handle any trail conditions or obstacles identified in Level 4.
This trip will be enjoyed by fit riders who rate themselves 3-5 for endurance.
The goal of the Endurance Rating is to understand the ability of the rider as it pertains to overall physical endurance. Riding on the road or in “Spin Class” is great and all, but mountain biking is a completely different animal (ask anyone who has made the switch). The reason being is that the terrain is changing every second, which forces your entire body and your mind to be involved in the exercise process. This exertion will cause exhaustion to set in a lot quicker than you think. Be sure you read the descriptions carefully because we want you to have fun out there, not think this is a form of cruel and unusual punishment.
You are an avid mountain biker riding twice a week or more, and the weather isn’t a big factor for you. You are at an above-average fitness level, and regularly do other activities that qualify as exercise. You usually find yourself riding for 3 hours on the trails, you’ll ride on consecutive days, and you ride at a moderate pace.
You are a very avid mountain biker, who is considered an ‘athlete’ by friends and only getting out on the trails twice in the week is a bad week for you. Riding and exercising is a frequent part of your weekly routine: you relish sustained challenging riding including long rides of 4 – 6 hours at a moderate pace for four or more days in a row.￼ The weather is never a factor for you, rain or shine – you are riding.
You are fit! You devour 6 – 8 + hour rides for five or more days in a row.￼ You are an XC or Enduro racer who probably missed their flight to the World Cup / Enduro World Series this year because you were too busy training so you opted to come for a ride with us instead. You train on your mountain bike daily, and you are comfortable riding on trails for distances in excess of 60km per day and climbing vertical in excess of 7000 feet in a day. You ride your bike everywhere, in all weather conditions, and would likely enjoy riding in a hurricane.
Where we stay during our mountain bike tours of Scotland plays almost as big a part in the overall experience as the trails we ride.
We use a wide variety of accommodation, from wild camping and bothy huts in remote wilderness settings to rustic hostels through to comfortable and friendly inns and guest houses, luxury self catering lodges, castles and everything in between.
On this trip, we stay in a ‘lodge’ on a bed and breakfast basis – think of it a bit like a ski lodge (without the snow obviously!); a comfortable self-catering vacation rental chalet in the heart of mountain biking heaven.
Our lodges provide a fantastic base in a prime location to come back to at the end of a big day in the hills – with the added benefit that you don’t need to unpack and repack throughout your trip, and the flexibility of full catering, laundry and drying facilities at your disposal.
Food & Drink
Mountain biking in Scotland means you will be hungry (very hungry!) and there are opportunities to enjoy great fresh Scottish fayre and of course a dram or two and a fine ale!
Breakfasts are included and are provided on a help yourself continental style basis to set you up for the day e.g fruits, yogurts, muesli, cereals, porridge, juices, breads etc (dietary requirements are taken into account from your booking).
There will be opportunities for you to buy packed lunch provisions to carry on the rides, or, depending on routes we may enjoy a great cafe stop or lunch at a local pub or Inn (your guides will let you know the plan each day).
Some meals are enjoyed in locally selected inns and bistros, and for the rest, provisions will be purchased on your behalf by ourselves to enjoy preparing meals at the beautiful accommodation facilities, or for a BBQ on the deck (your guides will let you know the plan each day).
We estimate a budget of £20 to £35 per person per day is adequate for lunches and evening meals with refreshments.
A week uncovering the lesser known trail gems of the Tweed Valley
Two day ticket with Adrenalin Uplift
Professional Guides – expertly trained, hugely experienced but most of all great fun and with a wealth of local knowledge to share!
Six nights accommodation in the ‘Trail House’
Help yourself buffet breakfasts to set you up for the day
Free shuttles throughout the trip
Qualified first aid assistance
Mechanical assistance throughout your trip
Full kitchen, laundry and drying facilities
Secure bike storage
Bike wash facilities
Detailed pre-departure information
Trip photo album
Meals and drinks except breakfasts and those stated above
Additional transportation or accommodation not mentioned above
Additional accommodation before, during or after the trip
Baggage / bike box collection & storage
Single room supplement (if applicable)
Glentress Forest Park
At the end of the trip, we will be arriving back in the Glentress area around 17:00
Luggage & Bike Transportation
For all trips, there is allowance for one large holdall plus riding backpack per person
Bikes are securely carried (fully-assembled) and attached to our custom Burtech trailer and should be ready fully assembled for the trip start
We always recommend guest bikes are fully insured
A fully serviced 3 – 6 inch travel full suspension bike with dropper seatpost and hydraulic disc brakes is recommended
It’s entirely possible to take part in our trips on more modest setups or hardtails but we find that over the course of several consecutive days riding, the added comfort and confidence of a full suspension trail bike is a real asset, and enhances the overall experience
If you prefer not to travel with your bike, or you’d like to try something new, we have access to some of the best full suspension mountain bikes available from brands including Santa Cruz, Juliana, Trek, Orange and Whyte to name just a few
If you’re interested in hiring a great bike, we have fantastic deals from our retail partners– available from £50 – £80 per day – so please just ask or add this option to your trip on the booking page
If you’re hiring a bike, for your safety and comfort we always recommend bringing your own helmet and pedals
Groups & Individuals
We welcome solo travellers (in fact most of our guests travel solo) but did you know that if you’re making a group booking (2+ riders) you’ll automatically save money at the checkout whether you’re booking for a club, colleagues, friends or family – whoever’s in your tribe.
To secure a booking, we require a 25% deposit when the reservation is made, with the balance payable within 60 days of your booking commencement. For bookings made less than 60 days before booking commencement, full payment is required at the time of booking.
Our guides are fully trained and qualified to the highest standards required to operate in the environments where our trips take place.
“So what, we’re a bunch of friends, we ride lots and we’re pretty good at navigation.”
We hear this all the time, and we don’t want to baby anyone. That’s why we offer self-guided packages too, once we’re confident that our clients will be safe first, and have a great experience second.
Scotland is a beautiful but wild place. When you pay for our services, you’re paying for the reassurance that we know our way around the mountains, how to read people, the local conditions, logistics, fix mechanicals and always have a another ‘plan A’ up our sleeve.
As well as being extraordinarily great human beings (as standard!), all our mountain bike guides hold, as a minimum, the Mountain Bike Leader qualification and emergency outdoor first aid qualifications. We believe these to be the most robust and rigorous qualifications in the business and the minimum standard for running trips like ours in Scotland. They’re not easy to come by but your enjoyment is our business.
An adventure wouldn’t be an ‘adventure’ without a degree of risk. It’s our job to manage those risks so you have the best time possible. As well as substantial field first aid kits, your mountain bike guides will be packing (or distributing among the group) essential group emergency items including mobile telecom’s, VHF long-range radios, emergency survival shelters, and extra emergency clothing and supplies.
Speaking of guides – we operate with the highest ratio of professional guides to clients in the industry. The current regulations permit one guide per group of eight. We don’t agree this is acceptable. We’re a lot more comfortable with at least two staff per eight clients, and a maximum group size of eight in the sensitive mountain environments we run our trips. Sure, we might not be the most profitable outfit in the industry but we strive to be the safest.
We employ robust late back procedures, and every trip is fully risk assessed. While no one can guarantee a 100% safe trip, we do everything possible to minimise risks. And long before we depart we ensure the trip is suitable for you – none of this one size fits all approach – it simply doesn’t work.
Only one thing matches our desire to enjoy Scotland’s amazing outdoors and that’s our commitment to contribute to sustainable adventure tourism in Scotland.
We operate ‘small footprint’ mountain bike adventures to minimise any negative environmental impacts of running our business. We are often asked about running large group trips in remote, sensitive locations but in line with our safety and environmental policy – that’s not really our forté.
As well as being members of the key environmental organisations in Scotland, we encourage our clients to consider their interaction with the environments they are riding wherever possible. We also make use of local hospitality, products and services to ensure our trips contribute economically to the rural environments we enjoy so much. We took another small step in the right direction recently by becoming members of ‘1% for the Planet’. But we must do more.
Consumer Financial Protection
Our Consumer Financial Protection insurance protects your money. This is in fact a legal requirement but not every adventure company even knows this and some choose to ignore it. Why? Because it’s expensive and complicated to become fully insured in this way, and not every application is accepted. Ours was. Your money is safe with us.
Tour Operators Liability
Did you know that in the UK it’s us, the tour operators, who are liable for all aspects of your mountain bike holiday bike package in Scotland? That’s why we have ‘Tour Operators Liability Cover’. Always ask your supplier if they have this insurance. You need it and they should have it.
We work hard to maintain high professional standards but you probably wouldn’t know it because we’re having way too much fun. Ten years on it still puts the biggest smile on our faces when our clients take time out to tell us how much they enjoyed their mountain bike trip in Scotland. See what ‘Our Clan’ have to say about their mountain bike holiday on Google and via our trip reviews.
Believe the Hype!
Believe us when we say there’s a whole load more to the Tweed Valley than just the phenomenal trail centres – why else would the Enduro World Series roll into town two years on the trot?!