Scottish is…. pretty harsh apparently! Especially for mountain bikers.

A very wet, snowy day with man mountain biking in Scotland

Rain, sleet and snow - all the treats you have in store, mountain biking in Scotland

I’ve been working away today listening to Radio 1’s coverage of the annual rammy at T-in-the-Park.

It’s one of the times I’m happy enough to listen to Scott Mills’ irritating little voice as there’s a lot more about music and a lot less acting as if he’s 15 years younger than he actually is. The music should be kicking off soon too and there’s even a few decent bands on, so might be worth keeping it on.

But, what’s this got to do with mountain biking I hear you ask? Well, not a lot I have to admit. But one thing that caught my…. ear, was a song they’ve produced this week following a call for comments on “What is Scotland? What is Scottish?”

I’m Scottish obviously, and a massive amount of the material on this blog centres around Scotland – biking the 7 Stanes, exploring Edinburgh’s trails and escaping to the highlands for example.

Well, it turns out that a common theme of being Scottish is the weather, the harsh landscape, the rain, the ice, the snow. Then there’s the losing, the falling, the getting back up.  It’s funny how, speaking those words, they all sound completely negative, but listening to that song I just pictured the days in the hills…

Cold, wet and muddy, slogging up a ridiculous gradient.

Head down, lungs heaving, legs burning.

Back wheel slips, front wheel slides, feet detach and you end up in a heap.

Rub your aches, back on, crank the pedals, 10 more metres.

Crest the hill, grimace at the pain, look at the view, smile and laugh.

That’s Scotland – certainly it’s biking in Scotland. And we love it. Funnily enough, even the 13 year olds listening to radio 1 seem to have got it, and I’m pretty sure there’s not that large a group of them heading out to Glentress of a weekday evening.

Anyway, just thought I’d have a vaguely patriotic ramble about how shit, and yet, utterly great our country is. Despite the harshness… or because of it? Triumph through adversity they say – well, try mountain biking here in January and you’ll agree that we’ve got plenty of that.

Check out the video and let me know if you feel the goosebumps too.


Colin started mountain biking in the early 2000s and has haphazardly, and with barely increasing skill, dragged his bike around the majority of Scotland's trail centres since then. Colin has oodles of hard earned experience in how NOT to do things - listen, be warned and don't repeat his mistakes...   More about Colin... Google+ Colin

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