Where is the best palce in the world to go off road


David Martin

Apparently Scotland is not far off the top of the list.

From today's courier:

ŒGreat news¹ for mountain biking

SCOTLAND IS ³one of the hottest places to ride in the world²‹according to an
independent report card on mountain biking.

For the past six years, the International Mountain Bicycling Association
(IMBA) has been collecting data on the best places to go in the world for
mountain biking, and rating the information each year in the form of league
tables. Scotland has come out as one of the top five places to go on the
planet, and the best outside North America.

But the real bonus for Scottish mountain biking is being voted number one in
the world under the People¹s Choice category, which is determined by the
highest combined grades in an on-line poll of bikers.

The popularity of Scotland as a top biking destination has been mainly
attributed to the work by Forestry Commission Scotland to build seven
mountain bike centres across the south of Scotland through the 7stanes

Credit was also give to the commission for its development of new trails
that can be ridden all the year round.

Karl Bartlett of Forestry Commission Scotland said, ³This is great news for
Scotland and mountain biking in general.

³We have been working hard to build some of the best trails in the world,
and it¹s a great achievement for everyone involved to get this recognition
from IMBA and mountain bikers.²
I've not been to Scotland mountain biking but I know people who have
and love it. I live close to Sherwood Pines / Sherwood Forest which
isn't really proper off-road stuff, but it's nice to get away from the
roads on a regular basis and for night riding.

For proper off-road stuff I normally travel up to the Peak District
which I'm really fond of - there's plenty of nice scenery and a good
variety of hard hill climbs, downhill stupidity (the various descents
near Ladybower from the Win Hill side back down to the lake spring to
mind) and generally nice countryside.

Yorkshire is good too if you like good long day routes - I'm thinking
of Whernside and Ribblehead.

Finally - Wales - absolutely loads of great places. Coed-y-Brenin is
the typical one that everyone raves about, and with good reason - if
you don't come back from there with a massive fixed smile on you then
somethings wrong!

One of the best web sites I've found for this kind of stuff is
www.mtbbritain.co.uk - also check out their forum and photo gallery for
extra information.

GPS fans might like to look at www.tracklogs.co.uk too - you can browse
the routes on their web site and see user reviews and photos that the
riders have sent in.

I'll have to get up to Scotland in 2005 though - the 7Stanes project
looks too good to miss out on for much longer :)

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