Scotland Mountain Biking: The Wild Trails Paperback – 20 Apr 2009
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"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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great for mountain biking. Full of off road trails which one would expect. Well illustrated and worth purchasing.Published 7 months ago by P. Graham
Very good. Well written, good OS maps reproduced to scale. All the information you need. It's how all guidebooks should be. I just wish there were more routes in it.Published 12 months ago by Matthew Cartney
Great book. Cannot recommend this highly enough. Used it every day in holiday.Published on 5 April 2015 by Alison Matthews
If you love Mountain biking and want to get away from the crowds then this is a must. Trail centres definately have their place but this book will take you away to the great... Read morePublished on 30 Jun. 2011 by Amazon Customer
This guide is very well written and very well presented.
The routes are clearly described, shown on OS maps and show ascent, descent, alternate starts etc. Read more
This book is fantastic. It shows with great accuracy the best wild MTB trails in Scotland. I have only completed a couple of them but they were extremely exiting. Read morePublished on 9 Nov. 2010 by Stuart M. Fenwick
bought this guide for the bonus section on coast 2 coast and it did not let me down will be looking forward to going on tripPublished on 17 Oct. 2010 by Mr. J. T. Clark
after reading previous reviews regarding this book i sensed it was the one for me. I wasn't disappointed. currently I am looking for trails that are away from the usual. Read morePublished on 16 Jun. 2010 by M. Hunter