We invited each Scottish MTB event organiser to nominate the events they are most proud of for this award. We are so lucky to have such a broad spectrum of events to take part in across the country. We know that many of you will have competed in at least one, if not all of these awesome events and we know that it’ll be a really difficult choice to make, but we asked you to choose your very favourite event, race or race series.
The result of the public vote 2017
Here's a brief summary of each event to remind you of what they've done this year:
Air Maiden was born out of an idea by Lynne Armstrong, who, after competing in women’s slopestyle and freeride competitions in North America, wanted to encourage more women to develop their jumping and drop off skills and to be able to showcase the talent that was out there.
9 years after the first event, 2017s event saw over 60 women and 12 girls take part in the weekend long activities up at the freeride park in Glentress. The weekend gives everyone the opportunity to progress their skills with coaching clinics delivered by some of the most experienced coaches in the country, as well as take part in the pumptrack challenge, jump jam (on a purpose built kicker and landing) and fun freeride competition on the Sunday, with optional fancy dress! This year also saw a Saturday night social with BBQ, limited edition beer (courtesy of Tempest Brewery), quiz and short films providing some fun and relaxed down time after a hard days riding. The event is fast becoming more of a women’s bike festival with the coaching element, competition element and social element bringing everyone together in a way that fosters such an awesome vibe!
With some great sponsors on boards there are many prizes to be won, but the main attraction for the women who come to this event is the atmosphere that is created by both organisers and riders alike. The supportive and relaxed environment means that progression is off the scale in terms of how it meets riders’ expectations. The feedback speaks for itself with many leaving with big grins, having conquered features they never thought possible and helps to create new friendship and riding community across the country.
In 2016 Enduro Mag opened its race report with following paragraph:
“There are certain things that are unique to Scotland, Haggis for sure, Single Malt Whisky certainly and now the No-Fuss Macavalanche, an insane big mountain race that brings good times racing to the flanks of Glencoe Mountain Resort. The format is tried and tested, 2 long open mountain stages down the mighty flanks of Glencoe, then a bonkers mass start race in the snow, all the way to the base of the mountain!”
The Uplift enduro format has been around in Europe for many years, No Fuss Events introduced this event way back in 2011, this was the only year so far that we used Helicopter uplift to get riders to the top of the mountain. Since then the race has been polished and refined (as much as you can polish and refine what is possibly one of Scotland’s harshest environments). In 2017 the race was opened for 300 entries and sold out quickly. The multi stage format including the mass start stage produced a fastest time of a little over 17mins of racing, with the snow, the mass start race, and the uplift facilities provided by Glencoe Mountain Resort to access some of the rawest racing and riding experiences in the UK its can surely go unchallenged to call this an iconic event to showcase Scotland.
Having opened with a quote from Enduro Mag it seems fair they should get the last word.
“As riders arrived one by one it was clear that all were stoked, more like the finish of the mega or an epic alpine stage, we had never seen such excitement, fist bumps and high fives were everywhere! In a year where enduro has raised its game, the No Fuss team have brought us something uniquely Scottish, and long may it continue.”
At Muckmedden they take fun very seriously indeed and only the best will do when it comes to their family-friendly Mountain Bike Events and Festivals. Whether it’s ordering Tesco’s finest biscuits for poncy business meetings, or using Vanish Oxy-Action to keep their Muckmarshal vests looking really orangey, they believe quality counts and no stone is left unturned in their quest for perfection. Here are a few other reasons their events are just so “Muckin’ Good”…..
• Family-friendly policy creates a very friendly atmosphere and everyone is made to feel welcome.
• Offer kid’s racing at most events.
• Always add fun touches such as extreme balance bike racing, live music, licensed bar and non-biking activities from giant water slides to fairy hunts.
• Only ever choose trails that make racers feel like a Hero, not a Zero.
• Muckmaiden Coaching and Ride Days offer female shredders a chance to pre-ride Enduro stages to build confidence, meet new female riding buddies and get professional coaching in a female-specific environment.
• The male/female ratio is almost 50/50 at some of their events and they always run the same number of male and female race categories.
• Add other touches such as Dual Slalom stages, fancy-dress themes and night racing to make their Enduros a bit more fun and unique.
Here's what Durty Events had to say about the marathon:
The most popular (and challenging) mountain bike marathon course in the UK? Yep, we think so. New for 2017 will be a challenging 75km course based on the amazing trails near Selkirk - only 500m is on tarmac!. This is an epic ride through the best trails the Scottish Borders has to offer.
- Choice of 3 single-loop courses (approx. 25km, 50km and 75km)
- Superb mix of flowy natural singletrack, ancient drove roads, mahoosive climbs and grin-inducing descents.
The Raid is the sweet spot between old-skool Marathon and super-gnar Enduro. All the fun, all the adventure, all the challenge. Everything that's good about MTB in one hit Timed special stages?. Yep. Good ones as well - singletrack that's technical enough, fun and challenging, but not a crazy steep gnaar-fest. Whether you're Enduro-curious or Rad to the Power of Sik, this is the race for you.
Based on the same course as the 50km Marathon, you'll have a great 'out there' experience.
Test yourself on a fantastic mix of natural singletrack, twin-track forest roads, ancient drove roads, hand-made singletrack, and trail centre. You'll visit the valleys of the Rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick, and of course, the high points in between. So, expect lung and thigh busting climbs that are rewarded with epic grin-inducing descents.
And here's what SES said about their series:
The POC Scottish Enduro Series, has now delivered a wonderfully successful fourth year and the series continues to go from strength to strength.
In terms of topography and environment, Scotland has a lot to offer and immediately gives the POC Scottish Series a competitive edge against any other would be competitor series outside Scotland.
The POC Scottish Enduro Series success has been built on successful positive partnerships across the industry, destinations, land owners and managers as well as the enthusiasts and clubs associated with the venues.
Throughout 2017 we have continued to work with destinations to ensure that the visiting participants get the best possible and informed experience of the area, whilst ensuring that local businesses are afforded the opportunity to maximize the economic impact of the series.
For participants its all about the riding experience, as event organizers the challenge is to find a range and variety of challenges across the series but also across the each of the event venues. In 2017 we again used the Sportident Air System at all of the series events and continued to use a format style aligned with the EWS with practice on the Saturday and racing on the Sunday. By providing a balanced mixture of technical, physical and enjoyable stages and with the focus on fun and the enjoyment of riding bikes with like minded people whilst presenting a professionally run, competitive and safe races, its clear why many regard the series as the UKs premier enduro series.
The POC Scottish Enduro Series has enjoyed a huge media profile in 2017, highlights of series race videos are here
In conclusion 6 venues across Scotland, 32 timed race stages, over 1Hr 45mins of racing for the fastest riders, 634 Individual riders,1744 race race starters, the UKs premier enduro series? We think so.
DH is dead! Nah - let's get real - DH is still the most exciting discipline in mountain biking. Testing the best riders on the hardest courses - it is the pinnacle of the sport.
The scene in Scotland is still as vibrant and exciting as it has ever been. The Scottish series and National Championships are organised by the SDA, a voluntary group that has a deep passion for the sport and delivers high quality events.
2017 consisted of 5 rounds at a a variety of locations in established venues such as Ae Forest, Innerleithen, Glencoe and Fort William to the raw, rooty and wild feeling of Aberfeldy. All tracks were revered by riders and teams and the SDA series continues to live and prosper.
In addition to the Scottish Series, 2018 will see the SDA host a UCI National Downhill Event as a forerunner of the World Cup at Fort William and bringing the National Championships back to Scotland at Glencoe since its last appearance in 2014.
The Scottish Cross Country (SXC) Mountain Bike Series offers everything from taster events for novice mountain bikers to full on elite racing, and everything in between. The series consists of six events across Scotland. In 2017 events were held at Cathkin Braes, Dunoon, Lochore Meadows, Dalbeattie and Glentress. The last round of the series also doubled up as the Scottish XC Championships at Kingussie which are run by the SXC on behalf of Scottish Cycling.
In 2017, the SXC had a new committee who were able to build on the success of the previous voluntary committee. The series showed an increase numbers of entrants across the board, particularly exciting and well-received was an innovative change to the U12 age races who raced on a mini-version of the adults course rather than the smaller loop typically used for the children's races. This led to this category alone featuring over 85 riders at many of the rounds - the future is looking bright & fast!
The SXC offers the most fun and challenging mountain biking Scotland has to offer. Whether it's to give it a go for the first time, build up points for the national series overall title, or just to watch this exciting sport, everyone is welcome at the SXC.
TweedLove On The Green was the result of an ambitious plan by TweedLove - to compress several existing and new bike events and activities into one weekend, creating an inclusive ‘real festival’ experience – complete with live band, food stalls, bar, many free events and an unbelievable number of bikes and riders in attendance. The largest event of its kind in Britain, TweedLove on the Green featured 11 different events over the weekend, including the Shimano International Enduro, the innovative G-Form Enjoyro (an entry-level enduro), the biggest bike demo in the UK and a free-entry expo with over 70 vendors in the centre of Peebles.
Other highlights included Love Cross – a fun ‘urban’ cyclo-cross race in the evening with the course dipping into both the River Tweed and the event bar, while the Cycle Law Scotland Skinny Tweed road ride headed onto the quiet tarmac further up the valley. Kids skills sessions were sold out and town centre roads were closed for the SEStran Family Ride - a Saturday night ‘reclaim the streets’ ride with close to 1000 riders of all ages on all kinds of bikes.
It was billed as the ‘Big’ Weekend, and it proved to be just that - 26 of the world’s largest, most popular bike brands attended the TweedLove Mega Demo, with over 400 bikes of all kinds available to try. The Shimano International Enduro featured one of the biggest start lists of the year with 550 riders, and more pro athletes than any other UK enduro race. Over 10,000 bike fans attended the festival over the weekend, described as “one of the best mountainbiking weekends of the year” by Red Bull.
TweedLove Bike Festival – Event of the Year 2016