Team Wideopenmag’s Hutch and Christo embark on a three day road trip taking in the best riding along one of Scotland’s most famous roads, the A9.

The A9 is well trodden for those heading North to the now famous North Coast 500 or the stunning hills and coasts of Torridon… but few know that there’s actually a load of riding that’s easily accessed along it’s route.

Team Wideopenmag’s Chris Hutchens and Christo Gallagher headed out for a three-day A9 road trip.

Photos by Euan Camlin, words by Chris Hutchens.

A journey down the A9 with Christo and Hutch. Three amazing days, the legs are tired but one last epic awaits.

What a few days already. The A9 is littered with riding spots and with only three days it’s been hard to pick where to ride. We’ve mixed things up while getting a few classics in. We thought however we’d finish up on something a little different.

North Third in Stirling is a pretty spectacular loop. It’s definitely in stark contrast to the trails in Inverness but in terms of a mountain bike ride is up there with one of the best. Definitely one of the best you can do from a city in the UK.

The loop is a little tricky to follow in places. Thankfully I called upon my mate Doug to help with directions and to keep things moving. Euan tried his best, once again, to slow things down preferring his body to be on terra firma rather than his bike.

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The trail features real singletrack and no man made features to be found. This sort of riding really makes you think. No smooth berms, rollers, sign posts. Just unpredictable, narrow trails.

After travelling the 150 miles from Inverness to Stirling it was refreshing to get back to real old school mountain biking routes. This was also a spot where I used to ride a lot while visiting family in the area. Back in the late 2000s the jump scene in the nearby quarry was one of the best in the country.

Days digging and listening to music on someone’s oversized battery-powered boombox sent nostalgia right through me. These were always interspersed with the occasional flurry around the high cliffs of North Third.

These provide a vantage point across a lot of Stirlingshire. Stirling Castle sits prominently on the horizon if you find the right spot. William Wallace positioned his gillies on what is now known as Gillies Hill, high above the Bannockburn battlefield that was the site of a most famous Scottish victory.

I hope this gives a little inspiration for an alternative road trip. We had a blast and will be off on another adventure soon.

A huge thanks goes to the riders and trail builders who put in all the fantastic trails we were able to experience. See you on the next adventure.

Missed Part 1 of the A9 Road Trip? You can catch up here.


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