Ben Macdui

Riding Britain's second highest mountain!

Parts of the climb aren't rideable or even pushable so you'll need to carry the bike up some stretches but it's absolutely worth it. There's a few parts of the descent that also aren't rideable as it's either too bouldery or the ground is too loose and steep which would only result in a fair amount of damage to the path from braking. The rideable stuff is the typical Cairngorm mix of water bars, rough stone staircases and amazing mountain views, ie absolutely brilliant. Should you push/carry your bike for three hours up to 1309 metres? Of course you should! Trail centre and woodland trail riding is great but the ultimate experience can only be achieved from taking your mountain bike into the actual mountains. Knowing that when you're at the top there's no other rider higher than you in the UK (unless there's someone on Ben Nevis, but that'd be daft), that alone is worth the effort to the top. Of course you don't need to head up the second highest mountain in the UK (it's been on my bucket list to ride for ages though), as there's almost endless other smaller hills and mountains that are just as much fun. So next time you get the bike out for a day's riding, go somewhere new and special. There's tonnes online about classic mountain rides ranging from a couple of hours to a full day out. Go explore, you won't be disappointed!*

*Just bear in mind that you'll likely be riding on terrain that's more susceptible to damage than purpose built trail centres. Adjust your riding style, be very mindful of braking/skidding and walk the particularly fragile bits. You may even have to share the descent with non-bikers. Be nice, say hello and remember that the Scottish Outdoor Access Code does say that you should give way to walkers, not the other way round - although the vast majority of walkers will move off the trail for you, sometimes to watch you ride the techy bits! Also, do make sure you have the required skills, knowledge and kit for a ride in the mountains.