If you only cycled in Scotland when the weather is good, you wouldn’t be cycling but a few months of the year. But that doesn’t stop this intrepid bunch in Aberdeenshire.
Taking to the road, and off-road in the Northeast
In the latest podcast episode we are staying on the adventure sports topic and we are having a conversation with Steven Strathie, a keen adventure cyclist and outdoor sports enthusiast.
Steven recently joined the board of directors of local adventure community- Scottish Adventure, which was established in 2020. The group is made up of people who have a love of the outdoors and come together to participate in different cycling activities but also to have a genuine community feel by sharing stories, adventure experiences and social elements to their rides.
Scottish Adventure strongly believe the outdoors is for everyone and all abilities are welcomed. The main objective is to get out there, slow down, take in the wonderful landscape and to enjoy the company of others. To listen to the podcast, click on the audio player below.
There are many wonderful places in Scotland for visitors and residents to get outside and participate in a wide range of sports and activities. In the last series of the podcast and the second series we are touching on just a few possibilities here in the Northeast. The team at Scottish Adventure feel strongly that Scotland is a global destination for adventure activities and they are doing this by finding ways to connect people who love adventure, with local businesses and the best route & destination information to enable people to experience the the best adventures Scotland has to offer. Aberdeenshire has, and continues to, spent a lot of time developing networks and opportunities for adventure activities. Everyone from the seasoned explorer to the individual who is new to outdoor activities will be able to find something for them to get involved with. VisitAberdeen has put together a few suggestions for inspiration. For example taking to the water for a sea safari, or learning to fly fish in some of Scotland’s prettiest rivers. Racing downhill on a MTB through the woodlands that surround Aberdeen or winding your way along the disused rail lines which snake through the countryside. Or hitting the slopes in the winter months, did you know we are a ski destination too?
Central to Scottish Adventure is the ethos of bringing people together, to enjoy a shared experience and to share stories. They organise a number of different events throughout the year which combine overnight stays and trips to other events in Scotland. They are a membership organisation and will work together the support members and enable them to participate in a variety of activities. Whether this is their weekly ride out or activities further afield. For those who have always wanted to try something but maybe don’t have the social network around them to feel confident to go out and hit the road, this could be the option for you. As Steven says; it is taking the time to be social while out enjoying an activity that is is what makes us special.
Many of Aberdeenshire’s outdoor companies collaborate and they have created an informal network to offer outdoor enthusiasts the best of experiences. Scottish Adventure works closely with eguidescotland who are based in Aboyne and offer ebike (electric bike) and mtb hire for visitors. They also offer guided tours around Deeside and the Cairngorms, the introductory sessions are very popular for those who haven’t experienced ebikes before. In Ballater is the company Cycle Highlands, a bike shop which offers everything you may need from maps to keep you on the right path to bike maintenance and repair. For those who want to brush up on their cycling skills before adventuring or want the support of a guide then the team at Ride in Peace offer coaching sessions and little Ripas holiday camp sessions too. Alternatively the staff at Macdui Bike Adventures are happy to create a ride for you and your family to meet the needs of your group. There is something for everyone whether you are just starting out on your cycling adventures or have years of experience, getting out on two wheels was never easier!
Another benefit of building our adventure network is the ancillary services which goes with adventuring. We have noticed a rise in the number of businesses that are now working together to offer complete packages for outdoor enthusiasts. The increase in package style arrangements where, for a whole weekend or week, everything is being sorted for you. From accommodation to equipment, meals and entertainment everything is catered for by local independent businesses who all want to share the best of Aberdeenshire with visitors. No longer do you need to book everything separately and research the best places online, those who are “in the know” have done the hard work for you, making Aberdeenshire even more accessible.
Need for Inspiration?
Now if you needed any more inspiration to get out on two wheels, watch the video below and experience what cycling in the Northeast of Scotland is really like.