‘BIKEPACKING’, which is growing in popularity worldwide, is one of the key focuses of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling this year.
The hybrid sport, which mixes mountain-biking with backpacking, will feature heavily in the festival, which will be held from 11 to 21 June.
At the heart of this year’s bikepacking events is the Capital Trail, the newest addition to the UK bikepacking event calendar.
On Saturday 13 June 100 mountain bikers will set off on Portobello Beach to tackle a 150-mile-course through East Lothian, the Lammermuir Hills, the Borders and the Pentlands.
The route, which includes more than 6000m of ascent, is designed for expert mountain bikers, with a top-class field of riders already confirmed for the inaugural ride, amongst them Team Scotland 2014 member Lee Craigie and UK singlespeed rider Charlie Hobbs.
The route was devised by Edinburgh local Markus Stitz, who has years of experience in long distance cycling and has recently turned his focus on bikepacking.
He said: ‘The idea of the Capital Trail, and bikepacking in general, is to combine all the amazing mountain biking locations we have readily available on our doorstep in the city into one challenging ride with an overnight stop, that will hopefully attract more mountain bikers to Edinburgh in the long term.
“I have ridden trails all over the world, what Edinburgh and the South of Scotland have to offer is worth shouting about. Having spent the last three months exploring trails and talking to local riders, I am confident to say that the Capital Trail is amongst the most scenic bikepacking routes on offer.’