Cycling Scotland -

As well as being the home of hillwalking in the UK, Scotland can now boast the best mountain biking in the country. Acres and acres of forest tracks, hills, mountains, fields, cinder trails and river tracks provide a rich stomping ground for stomping around on two wheels. And nowhere is this more true than in Innerleithen, a small town nestled in between Peebles and Galashiels, and only 30 miles from Edinburgh, which has all the above, and more.

The tiny Borders town (population: less than 1,000) has been taken over by mountain bikers. In recent years the surrounding area has become a mecca for cyclists, and, if you pass through the town itself, you're more than likely to come across a throng of mud-spattered cyclists hanging in and around the town's biggest shop, Bikesport.


Cycling through the forest

Yes, bizarre as it may seem, Innerleithen's largest and busiest shop is a bike shop. It's only natural, of course, that the well-equipped shop has become a popular meeting place for the growing band of mountain biking day-trippers, and the complimentary Bikesport coffees come particularly highly recommended after a cold day's pedalling in the hills.

Mountain biking might be a sport still in its infancy, but it has long been recognised that the hills and forests of the Borders contain a network of tracks and trails to rival - so it's claimed - any terrain this side of the French Alps. Tapping into this rich natural resource are a collection of people keen to set up the infrastructure - in terms of facilities and maintenance of the trails - which will do justice to Innerleithen's claims to be recognised as the unofficial home of British mountain biking.

Sunset in the forest

Glentress Forest - Forestry Commission - click for more.....
Already there have been new tracks established in Glentress Forest, one of the most popular locations for mountain biking. These will be maintained by the Forestry Commission, who are clearly well aware of the area's popularity and potential. And there are other bodies which aim to develop mountain biking in Innerleithen.

According to those connected with mountain biking in Innerleithen, there are more people, of all ages, heading for the woods.

There's no question that if you're looking for off-road riding, and a cycling-friendly town, then Innerleithen is the place to go. The town has already been featured in numerous cycling mags but, as the 'locals' will tell you, there are plenty of unexplored runs, from easy pedals along the Tweed to tough and technical epics to Peebles and beyond.



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