Glasgow City Council

Mountain Biking

Contact Sustainable Transport

What is it?

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).

Where can I mountain bike?

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.

What equipment do I need?

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.

What clubs are there?

There are many formal and informal clubs. In Glasgow the largest clubs are:

  • Glasgow Mountain Bike Club
  • Mountain Bike Glasgow

Between them they cater for varying levels between competition and leisure.

Cathkin Braes Country Park update

The mountain bike course in Cathkin Braes Country Park is being extended. Work will start during late summer 2017 and be completed during the spring of 2018.

A pre-start communication event is being held on Thursday 27 July 2017 in the Maureen Cope Community Hall, 201 Ardencraig Road, from 3pm to 7:30pm, so that the public can drop-in and find out more about the new trails, skills loop, pump park and visitor car park, pdf icon see the attached poster [569kb].

Following the drop in session, the designs will be finalised and a plan will be published on this webpage, so look out for further information.


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