Scotland is a cyclist’s paradise. There’s so much to explore; historic towns, idyllic villages, mile after mile of beautiful countryside and breath-taking coastline. And some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. And this rugged landscape is perfect for mountain biking too.

It was perhaps our scenery - the rolling hills of Dumfries and Galloway, to be precise -  that inspired local blacksmith, Kilpatrick MacMillan, to produce the world’s first bicycle back in 1839. Granted, its rather basic form was far from the sleek cycles of today, but his wooden pedal-operated construction, was nevertheless the birth of the bike.

And since Kilpatrick’s first ever ‘test-drive’ (the 68-mile journey to Glasgow), there’s been no stopping us. We’ve clocked up an outstanding record in track events and produced one of the sport’s most outstanding (and much-loved) sportsmen of all time, Sir Chris Hoy.

Sir Chris Hoy

Chris Hoy isn’t just Scotland’s most successful Olympian of all time, he’s the most successful Olympic cyclist ever. The eleven-time world champion became the first British Olympian in 100 years to win three Golds in Beijing, 2008. And in 2012 he went on to take a further two Golds in London and set a world-record in the process.

In recognition of his outstanding achievements, the velodrome in the new magnificent Emirates Arena built for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has been named the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in his honour. 

But let’s not forget two other great Scots: John Macadam and John Boyd Dunlop who pioneered smooth ‘tarmac’ roads and rubber wheels, respectively. Thanks to their pioneering endeavours we can all enjoy a smoother ride.

Find out more about cycling in Scotland

Mountain biking in Scotland