Summer Cycle Special

Shetland and two in Orkney. Glasgow is set to be one of the main ’departure' towns, while Edinburgh is to be more of an ‘arrival’ town.

The Cyclethon Ride The Net, from 22—25 June, will also comprise various events on, or to, sections of the new network.

The huge system of new cycle paths that are the cause of the celebrations have their roots in the charity Sustrans, formed in 1984 to promote sustainable transport.

When it was awarded £435 million from the lottery to create a national cycle network, Sustrans quickly grew in size and was soon working with 400 local authorities to develop the network.

Scotland has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of this work with new routes covering some of the epic journeys that can be made across the Caledonian landmass. Sustrans itself produces a single guide to the new network, although as it covers the entire UK in 250 well-illustrated pages it is not the best guide to the Scottish routes.

For a long distance trip, Sustrans produces a series of useful maps. They cover routes like Glasgow to lnverness, Clyde to Forth, and Edinburgh to Aberdeen, all of which should be available from cycle shops.

Net gains

The UK is now criss-crossed with bike-friendly routes forming the National Cycle Network. Words: Tim Dawson and Richard Moore

Over half a million cyclists are expected to mark the opening this month of the first 5,000 miles of the UK-wide cycle network during a week-long programme of events.

They will be celebrating the half-way point in the creation of national network of dedicated cycle routes and quieter roads that criss-cross the country from Lands End to John O'Groats. There are events all over Scotland during the week from Wednesday 21 June, including dozens of rides of various levels of difficulty starting from Glasgow, Edinburgh and numerous intermediate points; check the website for full details. The format for the key event, the Longest Ride, will be similar to a relay race. In Scotland, that’ll be a 57-leg relay race, including three in

touring, a lot of trail riding I'm not really into heavy off-road rnountarn biking I like touring - | lzke to go soriie\.'.here

Cycle tracks cover 5000 miles

For information on ride the net events in Scotland, www.ride-the- or, contact Andy Dunn 01505 614302 or For the Longest Ride: Sustrans, 0131 623 7600

What's your favourite ride?

lhe best ride I ever (1l(l unasn't rr‘. Scotland Well, \.'.e started in Srotland, a group of us ere going to an environmental

David Marsh, development officer, Scottish Cycling

DevelopmentProject management of Elibank Forest. It’s the

scene of some of the UK's major downhill

What bike do you ride? Oh, that's an interesting question My Trek frame died recently and I got a frame ‘.'.';th no transfers and put all my old bits on it, so rt's1)est described as a heavily- hybr‘rdised mountain bike I got the frame from a great wee shop, Wheelrrat’t, i.’1 Milton ot’ Campsre

Where do you like to ride? I'm mame -nto (yr 1e

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conference in lylagdebur'g, in Germany We rode there, down through the Netherlands, it took about t\.'\.'o weeks It's not one I do regularly

Where do you like to ride in Scotland?

I love Callander, round the Trossat hs But if you go out from Glasgow and Edinburgh there's a lot of good mountain biking I usually like to go somewhere different, for me that's the key attrattron But if I had to pit k S()lll(‘\‘.1l(‘l‘t‘ I'd say ariy\.'.'here along the Forth and Clyde (anal You (an trundle along a\.'v.'ay from the traffit

Mountain language

lvlountain hiking is one of the fastest growing leisure actrvrties in the world. And Scotland is one of the best places to go off- road riding Pick a forest 0r hill rust about anywhere and chances are you'll have a great time. Hey, you c0u|d even take y0ur mountain bike up a mountain , ,

Tucked away in the rolling hills of the Borders, lnnerleithen is Scotland's numero uno mountain biking location. Some claim the tracks and trails rival anything this Side of the French Alps.

Whatever, every weekend hundreds of cyclists head to lnnerleithen to Cycle, And now the infrastructure is being put in piace to cater for the demand.

The Forestry Commission is developing some great new trails in Glentress Forest; there are route guides available in the car park with (learly marked rides for a range of abilities

The same is likely to happen Just across the River Tweed where local cycling groups have srgned an agreement to take over the

races, and the course is well worth checking out. Not for the faint hearted.

Illustrating the status of mountain biking in lnnerleithen, the town’s biggest shop Bikesport speCiaIises in mountain bikes, gear and clothing. (Richard Moore)

Smart mountain bikers head to lnnerleithen

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