Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park plays host to a wide array of attractions. From the 18th Century Pollok House to one of the world’s great Egyptology collections in the Burrell Collection, it attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe every year. One of it’s less well known attractions however, is the Glasgow Mountain Bike Circuit, provided and maintained by Glasgow City Council.
There are three graded routes, the short green route is perfect for beginners or those returning to mountain biking (like me) who need somewhere realistic to practise their bike handling skills. It is flat and relatively wide, but provides enough of a test for unfamiliar riders. I spent 20 minutes here getting used to being on a mountain bike again, after spending much of the last ten years exclusively on tourers or road bikes.
After this I decided it was time to give the blue route a try. What a difference! It might not seem much to experienced mountain bikers, but even the sharp incline at the beginning of the blue route was a shock to the system. The trail is narrower, rougher and steeper. I had a chance to test my climbing ability and there are one or two opportunities to get airborne (but you don’t have to – it’s simple enough to go slowly over these parts) for the authentic feel of off road cycling. There is even a flight of muddy steps to descend towards the end, which was pretty scary! Overall, the blue route was really enjoyable, and after having ridden the green route I felt like I’d achieved something.
After three laps of the blue circuit I decided I’d had enough punishment for my first day offroad, but I will be back for more. And I’ll write up the red route when I’m brave enough to give it a try.
The trails are perfectly situated for public transport, being just minutes from Pollokshaws West, Shawlands, and Dumbreck railway stations. The trailhead sits on National Cycle Routes 7 and 75, making it easy to ride to the circuit on quiet roads. If you have a car, there are two parking places at the start of the trails, or you may be able to park at the Burrell Collection on the other side of the park.
If you’re visiting the city, you can hire bikes from RT Cycles in Glengarnock, who will even deliver the bikes to where you are staying.