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Wandering, but not lost
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Discussion Starter #1
We’re visiting Scotland for 2 weeks this summer and in researching rides found Phil McKane’s Scottish Mountain Bike Guides website. He has listed a self guided 4 day supported MTB tour (transport of luggage between nightly lodging) around the Cairngorms that really interested us, but so far have not gotten any response back from trying to make contact. I’ve read Phil’s posts here on MTBR in the past and have always enjoyed them, but noticed he hasn’t posted in quite a while. His website looks to be functional except that I do notice it hasn’t been updated for tours for 2010, so maybe he is on to other projects. We do have his Wild Trails book and could piece the tour together ourselves, but coming from across the ocean the logistics are a bit daunting. I have seen other self-guided tour websites for Scotland, most of them offering some version of a longer Coast to Coast ride, but that would be a bit more time that we could spend. So, I was just wondering if anyone knew of other tour groups offering a Cairngorms area self-guided supported tour. We’ve contemplated bikepacking the route, but coming the arid southwest we're somewhat dubious about our abilities to camp in the likely “wetter” conditions than we’re used to.
 

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Team 5Hunner
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Goatrak said:
We’re visiting Scotland for 2 weeks this summer and in researching rides found Phil McKane’s Scottish Mountain Bike Guides website. He has listed a self guided 4 day supported MTB tour (transport of luggage between nightly lodging) around the Cairngorms that really interested us, but so far have not gotten any response back from trying to make contact. I’ve read Phil’s posts here on MTBR in the past and have always enjoyed them, but noticed he hasn’t posted in quite a while. His website looks to be functional except that I do notice it hasn’t been updated for tours for 2010, so maybe he is on to other projects. We do have his Wild Trails book and could piece the tour together ourselves, but coming from across the ocean the logistics are a bit daunting. I have seen other self-guided tour websites for Scotland, most of them offering some version of a longer Coast to Coast ride, but that would be a bit more time that we could spend. So, I was just wondering if anyone knew of other tour groups offering a Cairngorms area self-guided supported tour. We’ve contemplated bikepacking the route, but coming the arid southwest we're somewhat dubious about our abilities to camp in the likely “wetter” conditions than we’re used to.
i find on the bike youth hostelling is far better than camping, as ye say it gets wet here and it can fairly uncomfortablle camping if you are out on the bike all day... have a look at the sih website(scottish independent hostels) and the syha site and maybe piece together a route from hostel to hostel. plus you generally meet some interesting folk in them i find adding to the experience.... plus it'll give you alot more freedom on the routes you choose

anyhow http://www.syha.org.uk/home.aspx



http://www.hostel-scotland.co.uk/

you'll generally get a nights kip in a dorm with shower and kitchen facilities, and generally a drying room... makes logistics quite a bit easier than camping. beds are usually to be had for about 15-20 quid a night.
 

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Wandering, but not lost
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the input and links, that was a big help. I think we will try to put something together ourselves staying at hostels or B&Bs and carrying some minimal necessary gear and clothes.
 

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Goatrak said:
Thanks for all the input and links, that was a big help. I think we will try to put something together ourselves staying at hostels or B&Bs and carrying some minimal necessary gear and clothes.
i take it you know about the oridnance survey maps?

the double dotted lines on them will generally be fine(landrover track and double), but single dotted lines do some research on them, sometimes they are track sometimes not.. just so you know. but on these is where you will find most of the good single track.. like i say don't ignore them just be wary that they will vary, from very good single track to no track to crazy unridable steepness.

also PH means public house, always a good idea to keep an eye out for them if you need a few refreshments! :)

If you want to look at the OS maps online, don't go to the OS website, use www.multimap.com and when you zoom in close enough it will give you the option of changing to OS map, 1:50,000 and then close in at 1:25,000.
 

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Wandering, but not lost
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Discussion Starter #7
Allright, now we're getting into some really important riding information, ...the "PH" refreshment stops that is. I know it's going to be a lot of remote riding, but we do like to take advantage of such pitstops, whenever possible. Yes, I've been looking at the OS maps on line at the Trekbuddy website, sounds a lot like the multimap site. I'm able to download the map tiles and will have them electronically, but also always like to have a hard copy of the map, since I trust electronic gadgets about as far as I can drop them. That does bring up a another question, where can the OS maps be purchased generally, ...a map store, outdoor gear store, bike shop?
 

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Goatrak said:
Allright, now we're getting into some really important riding information, ...the "PH" refreshment stops that is. I know it's going to be a lot of remote riding, but we do like to take advantage of such pitstops, whenever possible. Yes, I've been looking at the OS maps on line at the Trekbuddy website, sounds a lot like the multimap site. I'm able to download the map tiles and will have them electronically, but also always like to have a hard copy of the map, since I trust electronic gadgets about as far as I can drop them. That does bring up a another question, where can the OS maps be purchased generally, ...a map store, outdoor gear store, bike shop?
you can buy them online at amazon, if you are coming in thru glasgow and edinburgh, most book shops or outdoor shops should have them in stock, places like wh smith, tiso, waterstones etc, you also likely to get them up in aviemorein the shops up there, plenty of places.
 
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