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Scotland Mountain Biking: The Wild Trails Paperback – 20 Apr 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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  • Scotland Mountain Biking: The Wild Trails
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  • Mountain Biking in Southern and Central Scotland (Cycling Guides)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vertebrate Graphics Ltd (20 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906148104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906148102
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 1.3 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Vertebrate Publishing has made a name for itself with a series of glossy, highly polished and well researched guidebooks to some of the UK's favourite riding spots." Mountain Bike Rider (MBR) Magazine "I'd say the best Mountain Bike Guide I've seen to date." Planetfear.com on Yorkshire Dales Mountain Biking - The South Dales"

About the Author

Phil McKane is a Scottish Mountain Bike Leaders Association (SMBLA) qualified trail cycle leader, mountain bike leader and expedition leader, and has over 15 years of experience in all aspects of mountain biking, from cross country racing to epic tours. Phil runs Scottish Mountain Bike Guides (www.scottishmountainbikeguides.com), leading mountain bike holidays and skills courses all over the country, from the 7Stanes to the Western Isles.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm new to this series of books, but we've done a few rides out the South Wales one, and loved them. I've now got the South-West one and planning rides from that. Got this one to take on holiday to Scotland.

Plus points:

The rides in this one look great - varied, interesting, great descriptions on what sort of terrain to expect and ability levels required. The directions appear well described and the OS maps are very useful. The beginning sections have good general advice. If you are up to the standard of the book, and in the vicinity of a ride, it is probably excellent and will suit your needs.

Negatives for me:

1. It is disappointing that the book covers such a large geographical area (a whole country!), so that on any particular holiday there might be just one ride to choose from in your vicinity. In contrast, England (of a similar geographical area but arguably with less rugged terrain) gets many guides e.g. Cotswolds, South-West England, Peak District.

2. The rides are really long and hard! Ok, I may be pretty rubbish/wimpy at the sport, but the other guides typically have rides from 25-60km, and many around the 30-40km mark which may be described as challenging. I have done or plan to do all but the one hardest ride in the South Wales book, for example. This Scotland guide starts at around 30-40km ("red" graded) and has many rides which are MUCH longer with a huge amount of climbing, graded "enduro" standard and "killer"(!). This is inconsistent with the other books in the series. I appreciate that this reflects the nature of the terrain in Scotland, offering harder rides than available in England, but surely it is possible to do tamer stuff too.
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Format: Paperback
Another mountain bike guide from the Vertebrate Publishing stable using the same tried and tested format as proven with their guides to the Peak District, the Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales.

To me a guidebook should be more than just a set of instructions on where best to go: It should be a sage that offers advice and encouragement to enable you to push the envelope and to travel far beyond where you would go normally. And that's what has been achieved here. Up until this guidebook became available, the only source of information on mountain bike routes in the Scottish Highlands were either some fairly bland guidebooks, occasional descriptions in the magazines or adaptations gleaned from walking routes, which are frequently unridable. The guidebook itself is small enough to fit in a bum bag, comparable in weight to a map and robust enough to survive being taken out on each ride.

To those who think Scotland is primarily trial centres and man made playgrounds, think again: The highlands are an awesome area of wilderness. To put it all in context: Snowdonia is pretty much fits on 1 Landranger OS map. You would need more than 40 to cover the Highlands alone. The Lake District has 3 mountains over 3000ft, Scotland has in excess of 280.

I've just returned from a short trip with a fellow middle aged, middle capability partner, both of us riding XC hardtails, where we sampled some of the routes up the west coast.

* Glen Finglass: A short, sweet circuit in an area frequently driven
past on the way North. An excellent circuit with a gruelling climb
rewarded by a roller-coaster descent.
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Format: Paperback
We've used this book in and around the Aviemore area and it proved very helpful. The range of routes and the directions (using an OS map) are quite impressive, though I would recommend anyone to buy the OS map for the region they wish to explore as well.

We also bought the "Bike Scotland Trails Guide: 40 of the Best Mountain Bike Routes in Scotland", the poorer of the two guides.

Its attention to detail is a vast improvement on the latter book - we got lost twice using it. Thus, buy this book and avoid the bike Scotland Trails Guide.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well presented and neatly packaged guide.

A great variety of routes and the use of OS mapping places it ahead of many others around.

One warning: the guys who put this together are clearly exceptional MTB Riders and some of the routes require that level of skill to stay on the pedals. However, better this than the other way round! I love this book and hope to tick off more of the routes this year.

I want them to produce some more like this for the Glasgow and lowlands!
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who is familiar with VG's great trailguides for the rest of the UK will know the format of their guides; great trailmaps, inspiring pictures and what I find to be the perfect level of information; enough that you don't get lost, but not so much that feel like an infant being spoon fed.

The guide is divided into 3 logical sections and each of these sections has a range of rides, varying from quick blasts to full day trips and multi-day epics, including an accurate description of the Coast to Coast ride starting in Montrose and finishing in Fort Bill.

Many of the routes described are the "classic" XC circuits of Scotland, usually taking in fantastic scenery, sampling from all the varied and beautiful parts of the country. If you are a "local" you will probably know the trails closer to you, from word of mouth or basic information on a website or forum, but away from your home turf the trails are all here, accurately described, and neatly laid out using OS Style Maps, so all mapping is familiar and easy to follow. If you planned on doing all the routes in this map using the individual OS Maps it would cost a fair few pounds.

This is a great guide for anyone, either local or visitor, who wants a bit more adventure from their mountain biking than following the neatly marked "pistes" at the trail centres scattered across the country. Definitely worthwhile buying for yourself or as a pressie for any friends or family who are mountain bikers.
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