Updated: Jan 10, 2022
IN THE BEGINNING
More times than I can remember, we had spoken about creating a space for the adventure cycling community who love Scotland. Steering clear of the traditional cycling club approach focussed on speed, performance, competition and development - but dedicated to adventuring our national landscape and supporting local businesses along the way with like-minded people. Scotland has always been a great place to explore with its amazing landscapes and fantastic network on small businesses supporting local communities which offer something you cant get anywhere else in the world. Although, when planning adventures it has always been a bit tricky to know which routes to take, where to stay, where to eat, which visitor attractions to build into your trip...
... this is why Scottish Adventure was born - to bring everything you need to explore Scotland on yer bike together in one place.
With a new shiny badge and basic website set up we took to social media to get our brand out there in December 2020 - to try to let folk know there was a place for the community who enjoys exploring Scotland on a bike. Instagram in particular received a lot of interest almost immediately and this has developed into being our main channel for engaging with our members and followers.
Our MO was simple - provide everything you need to explore Scotland on yer bike. Routes, information, experiences, photos, and an ability to connect with like-minded people who share a passion for the Scotland landscape from behind a set of handlebars. We tried to capture this in our original logo incorporating the forests of our beautiful glens, the epic sun sets and sun rises and of course the Scotland flag had to be in there somewhere.
We sketched out so many ideas on how we should operate trying to understand exactly what people wanted and what the right thing to do was. Should we register as a club? Should we be a charity? How can we help get people on bikes, help the people who already love riding AND Give something back to the community? Is all of that even possible? We just weren't sure.
We held an overnight bike packing ride for our first members - nothing to high tech but long enough to challenge the average rider. We headed along the famous Deeside Way to Loch Muick stopping in Banchory, Aboyne and Ballater along the way. A shared common appreciation for good quality, local food and beers were quickly apparent and due to some pretty horrendous rain, we took shelter in 'The Barrel' just off the square in Ballater. COVID restrictions had not long been lifted so I think everyone appreciate a beer garden and banter despite the weather. Long story short, we had a great time and the (slightly slurred) conversation in the pub was like an unfiltered protest about what people want / need from us.
I am forever indebted to the people who were so honest and blunt with me on this trip, you know who you are.
After six months we have taken stock on our successes and lessons of the first period of operation. Countless hours spent on ideas which just weren't quite right for us but it has been a necessary stepping stone to where we are today and where we are going next - Scottish Adventure: The Next Chapter.
So here we are; six months later and we've got new branding in the form of an upgraded logo, improved website and a mission we're dedicated to perusing.
SO WHERE ARE WE NOW?
Scottish Adventure is a global community of adventure cyclists who are passionate about exploring Scotland from behind the handlebars.
CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY
You can become part of our community of like-minded, passionate cyclists who are connected through their love of exploring Scotland from behind a set of handlebars. Connect to members through our easy-to-use Member's Forum, with plenty of rides, routes and group chats to get involved with and stay in the conversation on our members-only forum. Meet your fellow members at one of our community-focused Member Rides before rolling out on a group ride led by our dedicated Ride Leaders who keep you safe and supported. During rides, members can grab a drink at one of our Business Member Cafes, supporting local businesses.
RIDES AND ADVENTURES
Its now possible to keep your riding calendar well-stocked by joining one of our local rides which are organised across Scotland by our friendly members. Looking to push yourself? Get priority access when signing up to ride our iconic events, from grinding the Bennachie Brevet gravel challenge or riding smooth tarmac from one side of Scotland to the other during our Coast2Coast event; to member adventures like bike packing the Deeside Way, away days at Glentress and many more. Members can even participate from home, with countless virtual rides available to join on Zwift. Go further with one of our international events taking in some local adventures in different country.
We have dedicated ourselves to continuously perusing our mission with grit and determination:
Connect the Community
Support the Locals
Look After Each Other
You can read more about our Mission on our website.
There are a number of initiatives which we can directly relate to which are important to us and as a result, we've made a promise to support and promote these:
Scottish Adventure Ambassadors
Leave No Trace
Buy Social Scotland
Bike Is Best
Again, you can find more info about our Programmes on our website.
You can access new information about routes, experiences and rides via our improved website. We knew we had to simply the design so users could easily navigate to what they want easier than before. We have also added the capability of accessing most areas of the website via our dedicated app. Members can also use the app to access the member-only parts of the website.
Our rebrand is a powerful message about exploring Scotland on your bike; about doing the right thing when out on the trail and about connecting with people who have the same passion as you. But the important part in all of these, and the entire reason for Scottish Adventure is to get out there and explore. It doesn't matter how far, or how fast; it matters that you're out there - in Scotland enjoying all that it has to offer.
Until the next time,