Entries for the Capital Trail Event on 3 June are now open. You can register here.
Watch the video in English:
And here’s the German version of the video (die deutsche Version):
‘I loved the varied terrain; great distance; huge ascent; ease of re-supply; simple-no fuss, friendly small numbers and I needed to navigate!’
‘It’s an absolutely superb route’
‘Comprehensive and varied terrain. Great mix. Need some good legs!’
‘Besides the pure constant stimulation of the very varied trails selected, was the constant anxious feeling that you might miss your next turn down the next tasty trail! I liked this, it really kept you on your toes!’
Voted by Bikepacking.com as ‘Best New Trail‘ in 2015, the Capital Trail is the perfect challenge for advanced and expert mountain bikers wanting to explore the amazing trails around Edinburgh. It can be ridden as individual time trial or as part of the annual group start.
The inaugural ride of the Capital Trail took place on 13/14 June 2015 as part of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, in 2016 the event took place on 1/2 October. The 2017 event will be held on 3/4 June, for more information on entries etc. please have a look at the Facebook event here. You can enter here. You can also join the free Bikepacking Scotland newsletter and join the Capital Trail Facebook Group.
Here are a few more useful links for the Capital Trail:
Here’s the route as GPX file for your GPS:
2016 version (different approach into Edinburgh)
2015 version (original route)
With ca. 6000m of climbing the Capital Trail is a real challenge, but offers you an amazing variety of singletrack, Land Rover tracks, forest roads and quite country lanes. In short, it is the very best Scotland’s South has got to offer, with most of the trails ridable in dry conditions. The route starts and finishes at The Tide Cafe on Portobello Beach and features the beautiful Firth of Forth coastline, the River Esk, Carberry Hill, the Winton Estate and the Pencaitland Railway Path, Saltoun Big Woods, the quiet and scenic country lanes of East Lothian, Lammer Law, the Southern Upland Way, Thirlestane Castle, Melrose Abbey, the River Tweed, the Borders and Abbey Way, the Three Brethren, the 7Stanes trails at Innerleithen and Peebles, Kirkhope Law, the Cross Borders Drove Road, the Meldons and Pentland Hills. And to finish, the Capital Trail will offer you some views on Edinburgh you might have not experienced before. Surprise yourself!
Although the route doesn’t venture far from the city, the Capital Trail takes you through some very remote, but beautiful places. The route is designed to be ridden clockwise in two days with an overnight stop. There are plenty of good opportunities to sleep under the stars, in a bothy and/or in bunkhouses, B&Bs and hotels. And the odd pub. Please make sure you respect the landowner’s properties, shut all gates, don’t leave any rubbish and leave all livestock and wildlife undisturbed.
Be aware, the weather here can change on a whim, and you are likely find yourself besieged by cold lashing rain and high winds even in Summer. Don’t attempt this ride unprepared, approach this ride as an independent expedition, fully prepared for your own limitations and whatever nature may have in store for you. The rewards for that will be plenty.
RULES (for the event)
- Complete the entire route, under your own power – no drafting.
- Be completely self-supported throughout the ride – absolutely no support crews, absolutely no gear sharing. You can, however, ride as part of a small group of friends, as long as you are equipped to ride the entire route on your own (but no friends and family following the ride, effectively acting as a sag-wagon).
- Only use commercial services that are available to all challengers – no private resupply, no private lodging.
- If you have to leave the route, you must rejoin it at the exactly same spot.
- No caches of any kind.
- No pre-arranged support, which means before you begin your ride – e.g. booking a B&B, arranging to meet a vehicle.
- No travel by any motorised means during your ride – by all means do so if necessary, but understand if you do your attempt is over.
- Gear – nothing required, nothing prohibited.