Cycling is growing in popularity in Scotland - and while many riders enjoy the region’s range of mountain bike routes, some cyclists prefer to take their bike out on the open road. Thanks to a range of on and off-road routes and the National Cycle Network, Cairngorms National Park has a whole host of adventure trails - so you can enjoy road biking through the Cairngorms in safety. If you’re looking to explore some of Scotland’s best cycling routes, Cairngorms National Park is the perfect place to get started.
The National Cycle Network, Cairngorms National Park
Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, the National Cycle Network has been offering bikers safe cycling routes throughout the UK for two decades. Providing a series of routes through towns and cities across the UK, the National Cycle Network is committed to making roads safer for cyclists. So if you want to explore Scotland by road, the national Cycle Network runs through Aviemore, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park - giving you easy access to everything this lush landscape has to offer.
When it comes to selecting your bike routes, Cairngorms National Park is full of exciting options - so whether you want to take in the scenery or get up close and personal with nature, there’s a route for you.
If you want to explore the Kincraig Loop route, exertion is minimal and you can cover this trail in under an hour. This route starts from the Inverdruie Visitor Centre and follows the B970 towards Feshiebridge. Once you’re over the River Feshie, turn towards Loch Insh and into Kincraig village where you can enjoy a well-earned rest. Or for cyclists after a challenging hill climb, take the Cairngorm Mountain ski road up to the top for exhilarating views.
Thanks to its impressive stretch, the Lecht road links the western and eastern sides of the Cairngorms National Park together. If you’re looking for a long distance ride, you can follow the national Cycle Network Route 7 along the Aviemore to Inverness trail. With a climb over the Garbole followed by the great descent down into Farr, you’re guaranteed a great workout before you finally arrive in Inverness. With an array of routes to stimulate your senses, the toughest decision will be which road to take first!
If you’re interested in competitive riding and cycling events, Cairngorms National Park is bringing more excitement to its roads this year with the Etape Royale. This is a closed-road cycle event which is new to the region and will take place on 27th September 2015. The event comprises of two routes: either a 100 mile circular route starting in Ballatar or a 65 mile linear route - and cyclists can choose to join the event as solo riders or as a team. So if you’re looking for some competitive riding action, sign up for Scotland’s most exciting cycling event.
There are also annual sportive events in the Cairngorms, which cover some of the region's most challenging climbs. The Cairngorm Classics is a non-competitive riding event which starts high in Cairngorm and weaves through the Spey Valley. The region also hosts BikeFest Scotland. This exciting event covers everything from children’s bike races to stunt shows - guaranteed to provide a fun-filled day out for the whole family. This year’s event will take place on Saturday 13th June and entry is completely free.
Whether you’re looking to cycle competitively or take a relaxing ride along the Cairngorms’ roads, the region’s great range of exciting and easy-to-navigate routes means you’ll love exploring Scotland by bike.