Cyclists can put themselves to the test through a new initiative showcasing some of the north-east’s top ascents.
While many cyclists know Cairn O Mount, the Lecht and Queen’s View, efforts are being made to highlight some of the region’s other stunning – and challenging – rides.
Aberdeenshire Ascents is a cycle tourism project involving VisitAberdeenshire, Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Cycling, North East Adventure Tourism (Neat) and local groups.
A list of 10 road ascents have now been identified for their combination of challenge, length and gradient – with each also highlighting the region’s breathtaking scenery.
Colin Allanach, chairman of Scottish Cycling Grampian, said: “This is a great initiative to promote cycle tourism in the north-east.
“This will bring in many people, from all over, to sample some of the fantastic climbs local cyclists know and love.”
Project builds on Tour of Britain success
Last year, the Tour of Britain showcased some of the north-east’s stunning scenery as elite cyclists made their way through the final stage to Aberdeen.
This year’s tour will set off from the Granite City on September 4 and follow a different route, finishing the first stage at Glenshee – which includes the Cairnwell summit.
Chris Foy, chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire, said he was confident the initiative would be a “major boost” for the economy.
He added: “This exciting project further underlines the north-east as a go-to destination for the keen cyclist and highlights that we are home to some of the country’s most challenging and rewarding cycle routes.”
Jim Savege, chief executive of Aberdeenshire Council and a keen cyclist himself, said: “Aberdeenshire Ascents will provide both local riders and those from further afield with a tremendous opportunity to experience for themselves these superb climbs which are at the same time beautifully scenic yet hugely challenging.
“As was clearly demonstrated when we hosted the final stage of last year’s Tour of Britain, there is massive local support for cycling here in the north-east of Scotland and I am convinced the 10 routes will become a ‘must-do’ activity for many riders in the months ahead.”
Ten official Aberdeenshire Ascents cycling jerseys are up for grabs just for sharing your best photos of the routes using the hashtag #rideabdn