Forget Faliraki, the UK has better riding to offer — and it’s cheaper, too...
Here are three options that allow you to pitch up within metres of the trails for a fraction of the cost of an Alpine chalet.
Why would you want to ride your bike abroad when the UK has so many great trails on offer? From the epic highlands of Scotland, to the grin-inducing bike parks of Wales and the mellow trail centres of England, Britain has it all. On top of this, there’s far fewer braking bumps, no funny money and everyone drives on the correct side of the road.
Trek into the wilderness with everything you need for the night and sleep for free in one of hundreds of shelters across the UK. Bothies are right in the thick of the mountains, so the riding is excellent.
Abide by the rules though: leave the bothy better than you find it, consider other occupants and always take whisky.
A good start would be the Cairngorms, where trails are fast, the scenery is stunning and the bothies are numerous, or there are a good few scattered throughout Wales, particularly Snowdonia.
For a full list of bothies, click here
If you fancy a roof over your head, but funds are limited, there’s nothing to beat the convivial atmosphere of a bunkhouse. In every outdoor hotspot there is the attractive option of sharing a large room with fellow adventurers and their draped underwear.
There are even mountain-bike specific lodges with bike maintenance rooms and locked storage. Top tip: bring ear plugs.
Campervans are all about freedom. You can pitch up right next to the trails, particularly in remote areas, and base yourself right in the heart of the best mountain biking: waking up with the trail right outside your window can’t be beaten.
The essentials are beer for the fridge, deckchairs to watch the sunset and plenty of deodorant (unless it is a swanky van equipped with a shower).
To fast track your way north, try flying to Inverness and hiring a campervan (there are a host of companies offering this).