The first stop of our Scottish tour is right there. One of the most famous downhill tracks in the world, the longest, in fact, of the UCI Downhill World cup. A place Helene is familiar with, having raced there countless times over the years, but a place I was about to discover.
Our original plan was to ride the Glen Coe Mountain Resort, 40 minutes south of Fort William, but as we arrived there, we realized that although the lift was running, there were no mountain bikers. A quick stop at the ticket office confirmed our fear, the biking season had not yet started for them, as they only just had their winter closing(!).
After a quick moment of disappointment, we headed North to the Big Brother of Scottish Bikparks. Now, with only 3 trails on the bikepark, it’s quite far from our Alpine standards, but the length of the trails makes up for it a little bit.
If you’re a downhill racer, you will be thrilled riding only the world cup track all day, trying to get faster and faster every run, but if you’re not? What if you Want to try other trails? And what if you’re a begginer? Well, Fort William has a few things in store for you.
Top Chief is the Black trail, rock slabs, rock rolls, rock gardens… you name it, you’ll find rocks in every size and shape on that tricky trail. Sometimes hard to find flow, but if you like creative lines and playing with the terrain, this trail is for you.
On the other side of the spectrum, is Blue Doon. A beginner friendly trail, with flow, berms, and a few jumps to keep you entertained, swivels down the mountain at a chilled pace, good for anyone to enjoy, at slower or faster speeds.
And if you’re more of a pedal type of guy, or you just want a bit of variety you’ll be happy to know that the valley is home to some nice natural trails as well, reachable from the bike park parking, or other parking in between the bike park and Fort William.