In case you’re in need of a little ride inspiration this month, we thought we’d take a quick look at some of the stunning locations we’ve visited recently, which helped create the February issue of MBUK. Maybe they’ll make you want to plan a trip for yourself, or just get out and ride what’s near you.
Cademuir Hill, near Peebles, Scotland
With its picture-postcard composition, this is Katy Winton’s stomping ground and features rolling hills in all directions, just a stone’s throw from the mountain biking hub of Peebles. With Glentress and Innerleithen nearby, this is an enviable place for any mountain biker to call home and where Katy has built her skills, ready to move in on an Enduro World Series title challenge in 2018.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
The islands of British Columbia are rich with trails, making them the perfect location for a bunch of riding buddies to re-ignite one of their gang’s passion for MTB after he splits up with his girlfriend. Vince may be unlucky in love but he’s lucky in mountain biking, as he discovers the wonder of northern Vancouver Island and the lesser-known Hornby and Quadra islands. Totally rad, dude!
Ben Alder, Grampian Mountains, Scotland
As Hannah Barnes, Rachael Walker and Brodie Hood go in search of Scotland’s most remote bothy (rumoured to be haunted – woo-ooah!), they ride alongside a meandering river, skirt the shores of a beach-lined loch and cross a swinging wire bridge as they head deeper into the mountains. And this is all within just a few hours.
Stainburn Forest, Yorkshire
Our Biketest focuses on four short-travel full-suspension bikes this month, which are built to cover big distances in the quickest time possible. During our testing we took them to Stainburn and put in some winter miles on one of the rare recent dry days there. There’s been quite a bit of recent trail maintenance going on so perhaps it’s time you got a visit planned.
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
This is one of MBUK‘s stomping grounds – we do a lot of testing and general riding here. Well, it is just under an hour away from our Bristol offices. There’s a whole load of variety and accessibility, which makes it a great location for riders of all abilities. Plus the facilities courtesy of Pedalabikeaway are top notch too.
Fylingdales, North York Moors
A big ride that starts out at a place called the Hole of Horcum – a natural ampitheatre, 1.2km wide, which can’t fail to leave you seriously impressed. As our route guide Max Darkins and photographer Russell Burton embark on this epic across open heather moorland, they blast through huge pools of water on trails that are surprisingly firm and fast, despite all the recent rain.
This issue’s route maps – in association with Ordnance Survey
Fylingdales, North York Moors
A typical North York Moors ride, with big exposed, wild moorland crossings. Some sections can get waterlogged and muddy but it’s not the sticky tyre-grabbing type of mud.
Distance: 42.9km (26.7 miles) Climbing: 800m (2,625ft) Time: 3 to 5hrs
A straightforward, non-technical but pleasant ride along canal towpaths on varying surfaces, with a little woodland singletrack to explore too.
Distance: 25.9km (16.1 miles) Climbing: 200m (656ft) Time: 1hr 30mins to 3hrs
A simple out-and-back ride, made not-so-simple by its climbing, terrain and remoteness. Don’t underestimate it, or the need for good weather!
Distance: 12.6km (7.8 miles) Climbing: 845m (2,772ft) Time: 2hrs 30mins to 4hrs
A big ride around the Chilterns, taking in lots of fun singletrack, picturesque countryside and pub stops (should you so desire!). Best in the spring or summer, colourful in autumn and hard going in winter.
Distance: 53km (32.9 miles) Climbing: 790m (2,592ft) Time: 3hrs 30mins to 5hrs
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