Gravel Rides Scotland is our new book, it has 28 of the best gravel riding routes in Scotland (unsurprisingly!). WeLoveMountains.net has been quiet recently from a combination of COVID19 and Lockdowns limiting our big adventures, in part from a second baby but also because Ed was writing Gravel Rides Scotland and now we can share it finally!!! It is the first Scottish gravel cycling guide book to be published and shares 28 of our favourite gravel rides in Scotland, it was intended to be a cross between a traditional guidebook and a coffee table style book that inspires you to get out. It has loads of our photography from rides but is laid out really clearly with descriptions, facts about the area, maps and route details. The descriptions and details of the routes really let you know what to expect and how to make the most of the ride. It hopefully explains more about gravel riding as a new niche in cycling but also what makes Scottish gravel biking so special. It was a lot of work but it is truly awesome to see it published and it was even No.1 on Amazon for quite a few categories (but please buy it from here or the publisher!). It was also professionally proof read so rest assured it will be a lot better written than Ed’s writing on this blog too!
Why did we write it?
Essentially because Ed can’t say no to anything! But seriously it was such a good opportunity to explore, share what we know and love about Scotland, but also an excuse to explore new places while still close to home and that’s what really makes us tick. It also combined with COVID lockdowns which forced us to keep it local so we explored, photographed and wrote down the routes that were just so good they had to make it into the 28 in the book. There were and still are a few book ideas we’d like to write, like most people they are ideas that have always been at the back of the mind so to actually get a chance to write this one was something we couldn’t turn down. Although to be fair had we known the amount of work involved we might have not done even this one! In part that is because we really wanted to devise the routes from scratch not pick our favourites, then ride them all and take our own photos along the way – so no light undertaking. This approach of doing everything helps ensure consistency on the routes both in style but also the nature of them.
What makes the book unique?
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We tried to set the book up a bit differently to most guidebooks. For a start the imagery is intended to inspire you to plan and ride, as much as to be practical and as a result its a bit bigger than a normal guide book but still small enough to take away with you or leave in the car or campervan. Then rather than dot routes all over the place and randomly right across the breadth of the country, we wanted it to have destinations of gravel hotspots where the routes are based. It means some regions have no routes but the idea is that it will support more great weekends away, rather than there being a route in each corner. As a result it has 7 regions with 3-5 routes in each, these are loosely based on: Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Argyle, Trossachs and Perthshire, East and West Cairngorms and North West so quite evenly spread over the country still. This hopefully means there’s a high chance you’ll actually ride all of them while letting you link lots together for overnight or longer adventures too.
Why should people buy a copy?
Because it’s currently the only gravel guidebook to Scotland and Scotland is the best place to ride gravel bikes so you’ve basically no choice! We’re also really pleased with how it turned out, the work on the design, the maps and the layout by Vertebrate Publishing is remarkable. It really is easy to read, navigate the book and use the maps to plot the rides. It also has the GPX files ready to download. The positive feedback so far has blown us away and we love hearing all the rides it has inspired already. People tell us it looks good on the book shelf or coffee table too! You can either get a copy in our shop if any in stock or direct from publisher