Tag Archive: Intermediate

  1. Brand New Trip for 2019 ‘Border Patrol’

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    Our brand new ‘Border Patrol’ mountain bike holiday is now live on the website. Join us for a week (starting July 27th) to sample a gargantuan portion of the best riding the length and breadth of the Tweed Valley!

    You’ll be riding with a tight crew of seven, looked after by our professional guides (and all round GCs), stay at the amazing Trail House, Glentress and we’ll throw in some limb relief from our friends Adrenalin Uplift to keep those weary legs at bay and the eye firmly on the prize. Mountain biking heaven!

    Border Patrol Tweed Valley Mountain Bike Holiday Scotland UK
    During this special week-long tour you’ll be exploring mile-upon-mile of interconnecting valleys, hills and glens that make up the Tweed Valley. It’s a trip aimed squarely at the solid ‘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.
    Border Patrol Mountain Bike Holidays Scotland Tweed Valley UK

    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.

    📸: Andy McCandlish

  2. Border Patrol

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    Border Patrol™

    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 Trip

    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

    Trip Highlights

    • 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

    2019 Trip Date/s

    • July 27th to August 2nd

    Essential Information

    Itinerary*

    Saturday

    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.

    Sunday

    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.

    Monday

    Good morning!

    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!

    Tuesday

    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!

    Wednesday

    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.

    Thursday

    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.

    Friday

    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.

    Trip Grading


    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.

    Technical Ratings

    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.

    Rating: 3

    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.

    Rating: 4

    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.

    Rating: 5

    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.

    Endurance Ratings

    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.

    Rating: 3

    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.

    Rating: 4

    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.

    Rating: 5

    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.

    Accommodation


    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.

    Lodge

    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

    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).

    Lunches

    ​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).

    Evening Meals

    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).

    Budget

    We estimate a budget of £20 to £35 per person per day is adequate for lunches and evening meals with refreshments.

    Included

    Included

    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

    Backup vehicle

    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

    Excluded

    Meals and drinks except breakfasts and those stated above

    Travel Insurance

    Personal Equipment

    Additional transportation or accommodation not mentioned above

    Extras

    Bike Rental

    Equipment Rental

    Vehicle Rental

    Additional accommodation before, during or after the trip

    Additional transportation

    Baggage / bike box collection & storage

    Single room supplement (if applicable)

    Logistics

    Meeting Point

    Glentress Forest Park

    End Point

    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

    Equipment

    Suitable Bikes

    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

    Rental Bikes

    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.

    Expert Guides


    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.

    Safety


    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.

    Environment

    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.

    Financial Protection

    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.

    Reviews


    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?!

  3. Duke’s Gold

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    Duke’s Gold™

    Loch Lomond and Trossachs’ best kept secret

    What is all this ‘gravel’ malarkey about? Following closely on the heels of the phenomenally successful gravel event we were proud to be a part of – the Dukes Weekender – we were left in no doubt that it was time to stop all the talk and get on and organise the ultimate gravel tour in Scotland.

    Why? Because we love anything that means more folk are out having fun riding bikes in the dirt (or grit). Riding gravel bikes combines so many of our favourite things – mud, mountains and spectacular locations – and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is one of the most magnificent locations of them all.

    Combining the best of mountain and road biking – take the tracks less travelled for exhilarating discoveries amidst Scotland’s hidden forests and glens. The Duke’s gold gravel weekend break takes place in one of Britains most magnificent areas of natural beauty. Here, you will access a huge trail network, wild places on predominantly smooth gravel surfaces – forest tracks, fireroads and dirt single tracks. With Aberfoyle as our base for the weekend, this little village with a huge heart is surrounded by a network of trails and tracks that a weekend is never going to be enough – we have a hunch you’ll be back for more.

    The Trip

    This gravel tour breaks down all the barriers and throws away the rule book blurring the lines between mountain biking and road cycling. Join us!

    • Type of TripGravel
    • Technical Grading to
    • Endurance Grading to
    • How Long? 2 nights / 2.5 days riding

    Here’s what you can expect

    • The best gravel routes in the majestic Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park handpicked by our local gravel expert guide
    • Professional Guide – expertly trained, hugely experienced but most of all great fun and with a wealth of local knowledge to share!
    • Cosy B&B accommodation in a traditional inn in the centre of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park (Friday and Saturday).
    • Scrumptious, hearty cooked breakfasts (and lighter options too if you’re watching your waistline) to set you up for the day
    • Even scrummier two-course evening meals
    • Comprehensive logistics support including first aid and mechanical assistance throughout your trip
    • Detailed pre-departure information
    • Trip photos
    • Join the trip in Aberfoyle (alternative arrangements may be possible – please contact us to discuss)

    2019 Trip Dates

    • April 26th to 28th

    Essential Information

    Itinerary*

    Friday

    12:00: meet at the Forth Inn for a light lunch and meet the rest of the crew before saddling up for a short shakedown ride to whet your appetite for what is to come – two more days drinking (and eating) up the splendour of the Trossachs, often considered the Highlands in miniature!

    Saturday

    After setting up the day nicely with a brew and a hearty breakfast in the Forth, we venture deep into North Dukes country for some of the finest Trossachs Grit. Following in the footsteps of the legend of Rob Roy McGregor himself and his arch advisory the Duke of Montrose, we take a journey through the Great Trossachs Forest.

    Miles upon miles of Forest trails and lochside singletrack we show you why this place is now regarded as the gravel capital of Scotland. Plenty of miles and smiles in the legs, it’s back to the Forth for some local ale sampling and to recharge.

    Sunday

    A very different feel, heading south into the Lochard Forest with magnificent views of Ben Lomond and beyond. Long smooth gravel roads will have us knocking out the gravel miles and rewarded with some of the longest and most eye watering descents in the area. Finishing up with arguably the most scenic lochside trail in Scotland! We all have our favourites but you’ll just have to make your own mind up on that one.

    Will you go back with gravel rash?? We hope so… 😜

    *The itinerary provided for each trip is representative of the types of activities contemplated, but the route, schedules, itineraries, amenities and mode of transport may be subject to alteration without prior notice due to local conditions, circumstances or events.

    Trip Grading


    We want you to pick the right 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.

    Technical Ratings

    This trip will be enjoyed by riders at technical levels 0 – 2. 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.

    Rating: 0

    You have never ridden a bicycle off-road before. You have no mountain biking or gravel skills. Maybe you are a roadie, or you have some mountain biking or gravel riding friends that want you to have as much fun as them and keep pushing you to come out riding with them. This will be your first introduction to the world of mountain biking, gravel riding or bikepacking.

    Rating: 1

    You are still new to mountain biking, gravel riding or bikepacking but have ridden off-road a few times before and have basic bike handling skills. You are comfortable on a mixture of double tracks and estate roads, and trails approximately 36 inches wide or more that are firm and stable, with mellower gradients, some rocks and roots but nothing too severe. You are comfortable traversing unavoidable small obstacles such as roots and rocks that are up to 2 inches tall.

    Rating: 2

    You have been riding a mountain or gravel bike off-road for a season or two. You have consolidated basic bike handling skills and an appetite to progress to the next level. You are comfortable on a mixture of singletrack and landrover track, on uneven, loose and occasionally steep gradients, with some variation in trail surfaces from rocks to roots. You are comfortable on narrower trails approximately 18 inches wide that are mostly stable with some variability. You are comfortable traversing unavoidable obstacles such as roots, rocks and logs that are 8-10 inches tall.

    Endurance Ratings

    This trip will be enjoyed by participants who rate themselves level 2/3 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 gravel riding and mountain biking is a slightly 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. Plus the ground we can cover on gravel bikes is phenomenal and we want to ensure you have enough stamina to enjoy the rides. 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.

    Rating: 2

    You are a mountain biker or gravel rider riding once a week, or a roadie riding twice a week or more when the weather is cooperating and some days when its not. You are at an average fitness level, and regularly do other activities that qualify as exercise. You can ride on consecutive days and usually find yourself riding for 3-4 hours per day on the road, or 2 hours per day on the trails, and you ride at a relaxed or moderate pace.

    Rating: 3

    You are an avid mountain biker or off-roader 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.

    Accommodation


    Where we stay during our gravel 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, and for this our first ever gravel trip, we think the Forth Inn in Aberfoyle offers the perfect blend of traditional charm, fine food, drink and the warmest hospitality.

    Renowned & accredited for great Country Pub Dining, serving superb “Scottish” Cask Marque awarded Ales & selected Craft Beers the Forth Inn also happens to be on the doorstep of Scotland’s finest gravel trails whilst being less than 1hr from Glasgow. Lucky us!

    Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

    Gravel 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 on this gravel biking trip.

    This trip is offered on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis (some menu items attract a supplement e.g. steaks and seafood).

    Lunches

    ​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 traditional Inn (your guides will let you know the plan each day).

    Budget

    We estimate a budget of £15 to £20 per person per day is adequate for lunches and refreshments.

    Included

    Included

    Three days riding (shakedown ride plus two full days) the Trossach’s finest gravel trails, expertly curated to make you want more

    More beautiful mountains, lochs and glens than you can imagine amidst the national park

    Professional Guide/s – expertly trained, hugely experienced but most of all great fun and with a wealth of local knowledge to share!

    Two nights 3* accommodation in Aberfoyle

    Full Scottish breakfasts to set you up for the day

    Superb two course evening meals in a traditional Scottish Inn

    Full laundry and drying facilities

    Secure bike storage

    Bike wash facilities

    Qualified first aid assistance

    Mechanical assistance throughout your trip

    Detailed pre-departure information

    Trip photo album

    Excluded

    Meals and drinks except those stated above (some menu items attract a supplement e.g seafood & steak)

    Travel Insurance

    Personal Equipment

    Additional transportation or accommodation should you require it

    Extras

    Bike Rental

    Equipment Rental

    Vehicle Rental

    Additional accommodation before, during or after the trip

    Additional transportation

    Baggage / bike box collection & storage

    Single room supplement (if applicable)

    Logistics

    Start / Finish Point

    Forth Inn, Aberfoyle (showers will be available at the Forth Inn a the end of your trip)

    Equipment

    Suitable Bikes

    We designed the Dukes Gold gravel tour not to favour one type of bike over another. Any bike with decent off-road tyres and brakes will be perfectly capable on this gravel adventure. Most of you might even have a suitable “Gravel” bike in the garage without realising it. Mountain Bikes and Cyclocross bikes are very well suited and many hybrid and commuting bikes would be great if the tyres have a bit of off-road bite. For those using mountain bikes, we recommend running higher tyre pressures or slightly less chunky tyres (new tyres are not essential!).

    Our take on the various permutations available. A cyclo-cross bike will offer light weight, fast rolling and an aerodynamic advantage over a mountain bike whilst the comfort and smoothing out of the trail by fatter MTB tyres and suspension will certainly help on occasions and you could well benefit from the improved handling of a MTB elsewhere too. You may even be the owner of one of a new breed of gravel bike which combine elements of Cross and MTB. They are not essential for the Dukes Gold gravel tour but they are awesome.

    Rental Bikes

    If you prefer not to travel with your bike, or you’d like to try something new, we have access to some great gravel bikes from Scott, Cube and Focus.

    If you’re interested in hiring a great gravel bike for your weekend cycling break, we have fantastic deals from our retail partners – available from £50 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 (up to 18%) 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.

    Expert Guides


    Our guides are fully trained and qualified to the highest standards required to operate in the environments where our trips take place.

    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 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 main concern.

    Safety


    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 guide 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 always 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. Daily. 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.

    Environment


    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’ 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. There are other outfits who operate this way, but we’re in it for the long haul and without preserving and managing the environments we hold so dear – we don’t have a business in the long run.

    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 always do more.

    Financial Protection

    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 gravel bike holiday package in Scotland? That’s why we have ‘Tour Operators Liability Cover’. It’s always worth asking your supplier if they have this insurance and you are properly protected. You need it and they should have it.

    Reviews


    We work hard to maintain high professional standards but you probably wouldn’t know it because we’re having way too much fun most of the time. 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 bike trip in Scotland. See what ‘Our Clan’ have to say about their bike holidays on Google and via our trip reviews.

    Trip Tips

    A good, strong gravel/cross tyre with decent tread if you’re on a gravel bike, or, for MTBs we’d go with a lightweight xc tyre

  4. Enduro Raid

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    Enduro Raid™

    Mission Enduro!

    For riders who like things edgy, steep and technical the Enduro Raid™ slingshots you into the UK’s enduro epicentre – the Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders.

    Home to the best loved 7Stanes Glentress and Innerleithen trail centres, in 2009 MBR Magazine set out with us in pursuit of the disused, the forgotten and the remote – and since then the area has become infamous for its off-piste trails and enduro racing scene. Join us on this guided bike adventure and we’ll help you uncover the Enduro World Series gems and a whole lot more besides!

    The Trip

    The Tweed Valley’s riddled with superb riding – what we’ll show you are some of the best natural, off-piste and off-map trails in the world.

    • Type of TripEnduro Backcountry and trail-centre link ups to access unforgettable technical ‘enduro’ descents
    • Trip GradingCheck dates for specific grading
    • How Long? Two nights / days (ask us about longer trips!)

    Here’s what you can expect

    • Graded Rides Every trip is packed with two superb guided rides (Saturday and Sunday)
    • Accommodation Two nights fantastic B&B accommodation right at the heart of the riding (Friday and Saturday)
    • Professional Guides Expertly trained, hugely experienced but most of all great fun and with a wealth of local knowledge to share!
    • Comprehensive Support Including First Aid and mechanical assistance throughout your trip
    • Detailed pre-departure information
    • Trip photos
    • Join the trip in the Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders

    2019 Trip Dates

    • ***Watch this space – dates coming soon!***

    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?!

  5. Soul Trails

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    Soul Trails

    Women only yoga & bike adventures

    We’re now seeing almost as many women mountain bike riders as men coming on trips and exploring Scotland with us. That’s a big shift from the early days when it was single figures and we’re stoked to be a part of that. We recently asked whether there was still a place for women-only trips and the response was a resounding YES!!

    Soul Trails are a fresh twist on our popular Mountain Lassies adventures, and for 2018, we are combining all of the best bits of one our favourite Mountain Royale trips with one of our favourite people – Anka Martin. Bikes, being outside in the wilds and the flow of Vinyasa style yoga makes this a truly memorable experience. And all in Scotland of course!

    So, what makes Soul Trails with Anka so special?

    • Guaranteed good times. We laugh a lot on trips with Anka!
    • Learn from Anka’s experience as one of the world’s most seasoned riders, racers and adventurers – on and off the trail
    • See your riding get stronger as the week goes on with expert guidance and bucketloads of support
    • Ride in wild settings, enjoy the rugged landscapes while taking on unique challenges and find new-found flow
    • Get more mountain savvy and confident riding in the mountains and sharpen up your trail repair skills (or if you’re already a super-confident all-rounder – come on board and share your expertise with the group!)
    • Get bike fit and strong with Vinyasa style flow yoga to help build up your core strength, balance and coordination (optional / no experience needed)
    • Go home with memories of a truly unforgettable experience and make lifelong friends from around the world

    The Trip

    Our exclusive base for the week is the Highland village of Braemar. It’s a very special place, so much so even the Queen spends her vacations here. And it’s no wonder why – you’ll sample incredible riding in the splendour of the Cairngorms, Angus Glens and Deeside. We guarantee you’ll be spoiled for choice in this secret mountain bikers paradise. Our guests love the riding here – take a look at some recent feedback!

    It feels like we’ve been riding here forever and the mountain biking never gets stale because there’s so much to choose from. Each day on this mountain bike tour, we spider out into the wilderness by bike or in the vehicle from the picture postcard Highland village of Braemar in Deeside to pick up sweet ribbons of singletrack, ancient drove roads and long forgotten tracks we’ve uncovered over the years.

    The Mountain Royale mountain bike trip is something we’re very proud of and to have Anka onboard in July makes it extra special. It’s one of those areas that’s still very much under the radar of the mountain biking public so it comes as a big surprise just how fantastic the riding is. But also because it offers up such a huge variety of riding from big mountain epics to sweet forest singletrack (plus a healthy slice of ‘apres-biking’ too!).

    • Type of TripAll-mountain
    • Technical Grading and above
    • Endurance Grading and above
    • How Long? This is a week-long adventure running Saturday to Friday

    Here’s what you can expect

    • A week exploring the lesser known trail gems of the Cairngorms, Deeside and the Angus Glens
    • Professional Guides – expertly trained, hugely experienced but most of all great fun and with a wealth of local knowledge to share!
    • Unique Lodge Accommodation in the heart of the action
    • Healthy breakfasts everyday (for other meals, we’ll enjoy preparing fresh lunches and evening meals together at the lodge as well as dining out on local treats in nearby inns and eateries)
    • Logistics and comprehensive support including backup vehicle, First Aid and mechanical assistance throughout your trip
    • Detailed pre-departure information
    • Trip photos
    • Join the trip in Innerleithen, Edinburgh or Perth (alternative arrangements may be possible – please contact us to discuss)

    2019 Trips

    • ***Watch this space!***

    Trip Tips

    Awesome riding, bike specific yoga classes to help you warm up and wind down, small groups and a cosy atmosphere, great healthy food and nice wine. Curious about this trip, but still not quite sure if it’s really for you? Drop us a line and we’ll talk through the whole adventure with you!

  6. Mountain Royale

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    Mountain Royale™

    More Alpine than the Alps!

    Come and sample the incredible riding in the Queen’s ‘backyard’ – the splendour of the Cairngorms, Angus Glens and Deeside. We guarantee you’ll be spoiled for choice in this secret mountain bikers paradise, but don’t take our word for it – it’s what our guests say! Watch our video for a flavour of why they love it so much.

    The Trip

    It feels like we’ve been riding here forever and the mountain biking never gets stale because there’s so much to choose from. Each day on this mountain bike tour, we spider out into the wilderness by bike or in the vehicle from the picture postcard Highland village of Braemar in Deeside to pick up sweet ribbons of singletrack, ancient drove roads and long forgotten tracks we’ve uncovered over the years.

    The Mountain Royale mountain bike trip is something we’re very proud of – not least because it’s in one of those areas that’s still very much under the radar of the mountain biking public so it comes as a big surprise just how fantastic the riding is. But also because it offers up such a huge variety of riding from big mountain epics to sweet forest singletrack (plus a healthy slice of ‘apres-biking’ too!).

    • Type of TripAll-mountain
    • Technical Grading and above
    • Endurance Grading and above
    • How Long?  This is a week-long adventure running Saturday to Friday

    Here’s what you can expect

    • A week exploring the lesser known trail gems of the Cairngorms, Deeside and the Angus Glens
    • Professional Guides – expertly trained, hugely experienced but most of all great fun and with a wealth of local knowledge to share!
    • Unique Lodge Accommodation in the heart of the action
    • Buffet breakfasts to set you up for the day
    • Logistics and comprehensive support including backup vehicle, First Aid and mechanical assistance throughout your trip
    • Detailed pre-departure information
    • Trip photos
    • Join the trip in Innerleithen, Edinburgh or Perth (alternative arrangements may be possible – please contact us to discuss)

    2019 Trip Dates

    • May 25th to 31st
    • June 29th to July 5th
    • July 13th to 19th
    • August 3rd to 9th
    • August 31st to September 6th

    Essential Information

    Itinerary*

    Saturday

    Did somebody say coffee?

    Trips typically begin with a fresh coffee (of course!) and a rendezvous around 9am in the Tweed Valley with pick-ups in Edinburgh and Perth (full details are sent out beforehand).

    After high-fives and handshakes, a last-minute supply run may be the order of the day, then we safely secure our precious cargo onto our custom bike trailer, load the minibus, turn on the tunes and kick off the adventure! 

As we truck north to our Deeside HQ, we’ll treat ourselves to a tasty ride on some lesser-known trail delights in this slice of mountain biking heaven.

    By the time we swing back into the village we’ll be ready to crack open the beers and rustle up a hearty dinner at our accommodation or nip out and enjoy some local pub grub and ale of course!

    Sunday

    Five minutes out the door of your fantastic accommodation, you’ll be picking up your second taste of what’s on offer.

    Big ups for big downs and wide smiles. We’ll take it easy on the climbs though, keeping plenty in the tanks for the good bits. A mix of fast natural heathery singletrack, granite slabs and long steep descents are the rewards for today’s efforts.

    That evening, we’ll probably give in to the lure of the local pub and enjoy some great grub, a tasty ale and the buzz from shredding some of the funnest descents anywhere.

    Monday

    Big mountains and big flow. Epic panoramas are just one reward for reaching the plateau of one of the UK’s highest summits – the real dessert comes when we tackle the maze of pristine singletrack below us.

    Before we focus on the trail, we’ll take five to soak it all up – in this landscape of giants, we’re just dots. It’s the perfect environment to forget the daily grind.

    Tuesday

    The tiny mountain town of Braemar is the gateway to the most rewarding backcountry mountain biking in Scotland – today’s going to be quite an ‘out there’ experience.

    Definitely a three sandwich kind of day!

    Wednesday

    It feels like we’ve been riding here forever and the mountain biking never gets stale because there’s so much to choose from. Mountain Royale is a land of contrasts – the Queen’s highland retreat is nearby, hidden deep in the silent forests of ancient Scots Pine sheltering beneath some of the UK’s highest summits, where the sub-arctic landscape is more similar to Scandinavia than the rest of the British Isles.

    Today is one of our favourites – a loam-rich rollercoaster through the pines.

    Thursday

    With so much riding on our doorstep, we’ve plenty of time for another dose of singletrack goodness to keep your head spinning for weeks – this time a sweet ribbon, only reached by an ancient drove road and long forgotten track we uncovered over the years of exploring this maze of mountain biking fun.

    Friday

    Just as you’re getting into the groove, you realise it’s our very last day…after a relaxed breakfast, we’ll sort out our kit, take one last look at this incredible part of Scotland before starting our homeward journey south.

    Trip Grading


    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.

    Technical Ratings

    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.

    Rating: 3

    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.

    Rating: 4

    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.

    Rating: 5

    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.

    Endurance Ratings

    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.

    Rating: 3

    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.

    Rating: 4

    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.

    Rating: 5

    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.

    Accommodation


    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.

    Lodge

    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 despite the remoteness of this particular trip, there are opportunities to enjoy great fresh Scottish fayre and of course a dram or two and a fine ale!

    Breakfasts

    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).

    Lunches

    ​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 traditional Inn (your guides will let you know the plan each day).

    Evening Meals

    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, around the firepit or for a BBQ on the deck (your guides will let you know the plan each day).

    Budget

    We estimate a budget of £20 to £35 per person per day is adequate for lunches and evening meals with refreshments.

    Included

    Included

    A week uncovering the lesser known trail gems of the Cairngorms, Deeside and the Angus Glens

    Professional Guides (two minimum) – expertly trained, hugely experienced but most of all great fun and with a wealth of local knowledge to share!

    Six nights accommodation in a Highland cabin

    Help yourself buffet breakfasts to set you up for the day

    Free transport (start/finish of the trip)

    Free shuttles throughout the trip

    Backup vehicle

    Professional mountain bike guides

    Qualified first aid assistance

    Mechanical assistance throughout your trip

    Your first meal with refreshments is our welcome to you (no cost)

    Riverside firepit

    Apres-bike swimming in the river!

    Full kitchen, laundry and drying facilities

    Secure bike storage

    Bike wash facilities

    Detailed pre-departure information

    Trip photo album

    Excluded

    Meals and drinks except breakfasts and those stated above

    Travel Insurance

    Personal Equipment

    Additional transportation or accommodation not mentioned above

    Extras

    Bike Rental

    Equipment Rental

    Vehicle Rental

    Additional accommodation before, during or after the trip

    Additional transportation

    Baggage / bike box collection & storage

    Single room supplement (if applicable)

    Logistics

    Outward Travel

    Initial departure point: 08:45, Co-op Supermarket​, Innerleithen (free parking available)

    Pick-up point two: 09:30/45, Edinburgh Park train station

    Rendezvous point: Lochside Avenue entrance / Premier Inn (Gyle) side of the track (Edinburgh Airport Tram connection is available​, 12 min journey)

    Pick-up point three: 10:30/45, Perth Services Travelodge Hotel​, Perth

    Journey time to the accommodation in Deeside is approximately three hours excluding stops

    On our way north, we’ll pick up supplies in Blairgowrie

    Near Braemar, we’ll have a quick lunch and afterwards enjoy a short ride to sample the trails and stretch the legs before reaching our accommodation around 17:30

    Return Travel

    At the end of the trip, we will be arriving back in the Edinburgh (Park) area around 15:00 and Innerleithen by 16:00.

    Luggage & Bike Transportation

    For all trips, there is allowance for one large holdall plus riding backpack per person

    Regrettably, we do not have provision to store/carry bike bags and boxes during trips – please ask your accommodation e.g. in Edinburgh if they can store it for you; most will be happy to. Please request this service in advance

    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

    Equipment

    Suitable Bikes

    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

    Rental Bikes

    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 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 (up to 18%) 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.

    Expert Guides


    Our guides are fully trained and qualified to the highest standards required to operate in the mountain 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.

    Safety


    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.

    Environment

    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.

    Financial Protection

    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.

    Reviews


    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.

    Trip Tips

    Looking for world-class riding and a real wilderness feel? And a real Scottish Highland village to come back to at the end of the day – to enjoy a fresh coffee, a real ale, or a hearty evening meal – not to mention one of  Scotland’s best stocked bike shops just around the corner? This trip’s for you!

  7. Border Raid

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    Border Raid™

    Borders Backountry

    One of the most popular short breaks in our growing arsenal of intrepid mountain biking adventures, the Border Raid™ lifts the lid on the beautiful Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders.

    Home to the best loved 7Stanes Glentress and Innerleithen trail centres, in 2009 MBR Magazine set out with us in pursuit of the disused, the forgotten and the remote – and since then the area has become recognised as a mountain biker’s paradise with mile upon mile of the sweetest riding anywhere. Join us on this guided bike adventure and we’ll help you uncover the gems buried deep within the forests and glens skirting the River Tweed!

    The Trip

    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 A mix of natural backcountry trails and trail-centre link ups to uncover extra special singletrack descents
    • Trip GradingCheck dates for specific grading
    • How Long? Two days / nights (ask us about longer trips!)

    Here’s what you can expect

    • Graded Rides Every trip is packed with two superb guided rides (Saturday and Sunday)
    • Accommodation Two nights fantastic B&B accommodation right at the heart of the riding (Friday and Saturday)
    • Professional Guides Expertly trained, hugely experienced but most of all great fun and with a wealth of local knowledge to share!
    • Comprehensive Support Including First Aid and mechanical assistance throughout your trip
    • Detailed pre-departure information
    • Trip photos
    • Join the trip in the Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders

    2019 Trip Dates

    • ***2019 Dates Coming Soon***

    If you have specific dates, gradings or a longer trip in mind please contact us to discuss opening up a new trip for your group.

    Sample Itinerary

    Friday

    You’ll arrive in the Valley (hopefully) in time for a lovely pub meal and a nightcap before settling down for a great night’s rest before the fun begins tomorrow

    Saturday

    We’ll rendezvous in the Tweed Valley and over a coffee in the best cafe in the Borders we’ll get to know everyone before hitting the trails for an introduction to our favourite Valley and catch a glimpse at why this area is rapidly becoming recognised as a slice of UK mountain biking heaven.

    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.

    That evening, you’ll probably give in to the lure of the local pub and enjoy some great grub, a tasty ale and retell tall tales of the big ups and even bigger downs encountered in the Valley.

    Sunday

    Five minutes out the door of your fantastic accommodation, you’ll be picking up your second taste of what’s on offer in the Tweed Valley.

    With so much riding on our doorstep, we’ve plenty of time for a final dose of singletrack goodness to keep your head spinning for weeks! If your appetite for new adventures still isn’t satisfied then we still have some treats in store, or revisit your favourite spot.

    It might be goodbye for now, but you know where to find us next time.

    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?!

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