Scottish coast-to-coast adventure

What’s your favourite day of the Scottish coast-to-coast mountain bike holiday?

Our Scotland coast-to-coast tour is an epic mountain bike adventure, with every day full of challenges and thrills. We asked our guide Alex to tell us which was his favourite day of the Scottish coast-to-coast, and here’s what he had to say…

My favourite day of the Scottish coast-to-coast is Ullapool to Poolewe. It’s not the most flowing, exciting or technical riding of the week, that will come later. The riding is brilliant, yes, but it’s the scale of the day that makes this day so memorable. It would be very difficult to ram any more ‘experience’ into one single day.

By the evening, sitting in Poolewe, a big hearty meal and a cold pint in front of us all, it’s hard to believe that the boat trip this morning – rushing across the sea, passing the seals at 30 knots – was today; it seems so long ago…

On no other day is the guiding so intense. I’ve just met these people, will they make it through today? They’ll have to!

From the moment the alarm goes off in Ullapool, through a rushed breakfast, getting everyone gathered at the RIB in time, through the ups and downs, and more ups and downs (many of them), of the day’s ride, I am always checking the time. How are we doing? Sheneval by 1pm – great, time to push on; Causeway view by 4pm – phew, can I relax yet? Will I be phoning the dinner order in from the hill? Will we have time before dinner to clean bikes, to change, for showers? Hopefully, it’s been a sweaty day…

As we sit together over that disappearing meal and that rapidly draining pint, I just sit back for a minute, a warm feeling of fatigue running through my body and a satisfied relief that, yes, we all made it. I try to take a moment to myself to have a good look at the expression on everyone’s faces round the table. There are a lot of different emotions visible – fatigue like mine, maybe even exhaustion on a few I think. Relief at having made it back to civilisation. Shock, even, at what they have just gone through – ‘Did I really do all that?’

But above all and through these emotions runs a slightly wild effervescence of excitement, a buzz of overwhelming ‘experience’, of having achieved something they didn’t think they could achieve, and a joy from having shared that experience with new friends.

Friendships have been cemented today, we’ve all had to look out for each other out there. We’ve learned about each other today and we trust each other now.

OK, can we see the maps for tomorrow?”

If this sounds like the kind of ‘experience’ you’re looking for, join Alex on our coast-to-coast Scotland adventure this year, and surprise yourself at what you can achieve in one day!

Photos by Piet Hein van Niekerk