Mountain biking is the popular sport/leisure of riding a bike off road over rough, challenging terrain. Usually there is a mixture of different types of surface and it can include but is not limited to: country roads, land rover tracks, fire roads (non-bonded constructed roads for forestry access) single track (narrow tracks and trails through forests and over hills and mountains).
Legislation in Scotland permits members of the public responsible access to all land (with the exception of private gardens) whether on foot, horseback or bicycle. See the Outdoor Access website for details.
In addition to natural trails Scotland has extensive built trails from the Borders to the Highlands. Moments from Glasgow there are facilities including Pollok Park and Cathkin Braes, the venue for the 2014 Commonwealth games. An advantage of trail centres is that a grading system is in place, similar to that used for skiing. This runs from Green to Blue to Red to Black with Green being the most manageable from both a bike handling and physical challenge point of view and Black being the most arduous. This can allow you to judge what level of trail complements your skill level. On no account should you attempt to ride a feature without first accessing its difficulty.
Many factors (loose material, weather) can affect how your bike behaves and tyres grip to make a trail or trail feature hazardous and unpredictable.
If you are unsure of your abilities to ride a section, find an alternative route that you are comfortable with.
Mountain biking is inherently dangerous and injuries occur, ranging from minor cuts, scrapes and abrasions to major injuries such as broken bones, head and/or spinal injuries resulting from falls and/or impacts with rocks, trees or the terrain being ridden.
Protective equipment such as cycle helmets, body armour, knee guards, elbow guards, gloves etc can protect against minor injuries and reduce the extent or seriousness of major impacts. Such equipment is strongly recommended.
However, it should be noted that they may not protect you from major injury from impacts or falls.
There are many formal and informal clubs. In Glasgow the largest clubs are:
Between them they cater for varying levels between competition and leisure.