I got into Mountain biking thanks to the first lockdown and living in West Yorkshire this meant that I had to get stuck in with hard routes. Being new to biking the idea of gravel rides made me think was just a fancy name for the type of cycling I did as a kid. Tow paths, old railway lines. What’s special about that?
Gravel rides Scotland is a great book for shining a light on the gap between road cycling and mountain biking. Providing 28 routes around Scotland divided into 7 regions, the book has the typical VP quality of grading of routes and safety advice.
Routes vary from 20 miles to 80 miles (the majority being 30-40miles) and provide great options for bike packing the longer routes.
All the routes have an introduction which gives a good overview of the area including tourist information and reasons to stay a while longer. They also include a summary box with key information, a good map which is useable for navigation and a detailed description of the route. At the start of the book there is a QR Code link to be able to get gpx files of the routes too.
I think this is a really inspiring book including some great routes, such as the 7 stanes in Dumfriesshire and remote cycling on Rum.
It’s perfect for anyone keen on exploring on a bike and provides a great range of forest, mountain and countryside routes. It also proves that gravel riding is a worthy activity in it own right and not just tame mountain biking.