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An epic Scottish gravel ride with komoot & Scotty Laughland | Finding the UK's best routes

Komoot set us the challenge of finding the best routes in the UK and our search for some of the best gravel riding lead us to Scotland to team up with pro mountain bike athlete, Scotty Laughland who took us out on one of his favourite routes.

Komoot has set us a challenge to ride and film some of the best routes that the UK has to offer. 

For the first in this series, we didn't want to do any old road ride on roads that are familiar to us. We wanted to push ourselves and use Komoot's routing tools to the best of their abilities. That meant going somewhere that we didn't really know, so Dave ventured to Scotland, armed with his gravel bike and a can-do attitude.

Now, we could have just allowed Dave to get creative when designing this route, but the problem is that, as a keen Audaxer, Dave would have made the route something like 400km and there would have been a fair bit of sleeping in a hedge. So to rein him in, professional mountain biker Scotty Laughland was in charge of the map and he had some trails that he wanted to show to Dave.

> First ride review - Scott Addict Gravel

The route that they rode features 50kms of mostly off-road riding, starting with a flat ride out along the edge of Loch Venachar before the climbing began.

The gravel tracks that head up into the mountains are pretty impressive and there was no walking required, though the technical climbing of a pro mountain biker do come in handy at some points.

> Check out the route here

This is easily one of the best gravel routes that we've seen in the UK and the bikes that we chose didn't need to be too extreme. Dave went for his trusty Fairlight Fahran with 650b wheels. This steel green machine is a highly capable bike that can be loaded up if you're looking to go long. 

Ever the racer, Scotty picked his carbon Scott Addict gravel bike. This has the electronic Shimano GRX groupset and also uses the Schwalbe G-One Ultrabite tyres with lovely tan sidewalls that work on any bike.

Where do you want to see us go next? Leave your suggestions down in the comments below.

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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