This is a great and challenging cross-country route with an amazing 12km long descent through Gypsy Glen at its end! However, I should probably give you a heads up that there’s a 1km long unridable bit where you’ll end up carrying your bike. It’s totally worth it though! The whole ride is 40km long.
The MTB route starts in Peebles and the first 10km can be done very fast as they’re on a flat cycle path. In Innerleithen you join the road and eventually, after about 5km and passing by a church on your right, you’ll fork right to take Southern Upland Way. From now on you won’t see any paved road until Peebles!
There’s mostly climbing for the next 6km but you’ll then get rewarded with a sweet descent that goes to a little valley by Dugles Burn. This is where you also leave Southern Upland Way to start your journey towards Dun Rig.
The next bit, a slight constant ascend, is quite easy but eventually the path disappears and this is where the ride temporarily turns into a hike. Just put your bike on your back and make your way up to Dun Rig (744m). If you’re lucky enough to do this route in August you can munch on wild blueberries on your way up. There are literally hundreds of bushes up there!
Once you reach Dun Rig the fun is about to begin. There’s still some pedalling ahead of you but you’ll be mainly smashing it down on amazing hiking tracks through Gypsy Glen all the way to Peebles. The peaks you’re going to reach on your ride down are Stake Law (680m), Birkscairn Hill (661m) and Kirkhope Law (535m) and they all offer some stunning views.
All in all, this is a great mountain bike route that ticks all the boxes – flat beginning for an efficient warm-up, long climbs to improve your fitness level and an amazing descend back to Peebles! Although the bit where you have to carry your bike is not ideal it’s not uncommon in Scotland so it’s better to get used to it…
You can download this MTB route in the .GPX format under the map by clicking on the download button.