A bright future for biking in Lochaber

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We’re sure you’ve noticed that cycling has become increasingly popular during the Covid pandemic. You won’t be surprised that to hear that Lochaber, already a world-renowned cycling destination, is gearing up for a bright future.

During the summer and autumn of 2019,  our friends at Sustrans developed a comprehensive study into the levels of awareness and usage of the Caledonia Way. This route is one of Scotland’s classic scenic cycle routes that takes in stunning Lochaber landscapes along the way. Also known as Scottish National Cycle Route 78, the Caledonia Way links Campbelltown to Inverness on a mixture of road, forest track, cycle paths and canal towpaths and is suitable for all levels of bikers.

More than 400 cyclists were interviewed between July and October, giving an invaluable insight into the user experience on the route. In addition, a representative mix of 23 businesses from along the route contributed their experiences, views, and perceptions of the Caledonian Way.

The findings have provided a clear picture of the vast economic potential of the route and identified new opportunities for promoting local economic vibrancy along the Caledonia Way.

In November we will be hosting an event to share their findings and explore how Lochaber businesses can make the most of this wonderful resource in 2021 and beyond.

There’s more good news coming up in the biking world, with the announcement of the Scottish MTB Gathering 2020 as a virtual event on 25th November 2020.  Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland are pleased to present this virtual gathering of the mountain bike industry and community which will include a range of sessions exploring opportunities to develop the sector, examining case studies of good practice and planning for a new future after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Topics being discussed will include trails, destinations, innovations and health and sport. There will also be a session on the UCI World Cycling Championships 2023, investigating trail development models and highlighting good practice in making the most of our trails.

The new UCI World Cycling Championships will come to Scotland in 2023 and it will offer a huge boost for biking and mountain biking in Lochaber when Nevis Range hosts the world-renowned downhill racing event as part of the Championships.

This is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of mountain bike racing events and it’s fantastic that its coming back to Lochaber in this new even-bigger cycling event.

Taking place over several weeks, the host city and/or region will become the true cycling capital of the world. The UCI currently stages annual World Championships in each of its disciplines in different host cities around the world. The new UCI Cycling World Championships will bring 13 UCI World Championships together in one place every four years starting from 2023.

We’re delighted that Scotland will host the 2023 inaugural Cycling World Championships, with races at Nevis Range as well as in Glasgow and Tweed Valley.

Find cycle route ideas and blogs at www.outdoorcapital.co.uk and more about how your business could benefit from the biking boom at www.lochaberchamber.co.uk