Great British Gravel Rides - New Book from Markus Stitz captures the variety of Britain’s Gravel Community and Trails

We are very pleased to announce the publication of this fantastic new book and are very proud of our contribution and support and the fantastic efforts of Markus in putting the amazing guide together. The incredible Great British Gravel Rides by Markus Stitz is now available to pre-order direct from Vertebrate Publishing ( https://bit.ly/3Pd866n ) ahead of its official publication in July and all preorders will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of Schwalbe G-One Bite tyres! If you sign up to the VP newsletter you will also receive a 25% discount code to use on this and future purchases. This book is published by Vertebrate Publishing with support from Schwalbe Tyres and Kinesis Bikes. Markus has produced a short video trailer to introduce the book and the full press release is below: PRESS RELEASE: Markus Stitz, founder of bikepackingscotland.com and singlespeed round-the-world cyclist, has curated a collection of 26 routes across all of Britain – each a favourite route of g

Explore Your Boundaries - a new documentary by Mark Beaumont and Markus Stitz about gravel routes following the council boundaries of Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Falkirk and Glasgow

Markus Stitz and Mark Beaumont continue their series of 'Explore Your Boundaries' adventures in Scotland with their latest video exploring routes around Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Falkirk and Glasgow. With inspiring footage from Markus and thought provoking words from Mark, this is a great film to immerse yourself in at your leisure with, perhaps, a wee glass of something warming!

The video 🎬 is embedded below along with the full press release or watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/hwDEAg9s1xo


Press Release

‘Explore Your Boundaries’ was inspired by the desire to create adventures close to home, a way of seeing the familiar in unfamiliar ways. Mark Beaumont, Guinness World Record holder for the fastest circumnavigation by bike, and Markus Stitz, singlespeed round the world cyclist and filmmaker, mapped 24 Scottish council boundary routes to encourage people to stay active, whether cycling or walking, and to inspire adventures that started and finished at their front door. To create the routes, they uploaded the council boundaries GPX files onto the mapping platform Komoot and matched them with the closest existing pathways. This ‘Explore Your Boundaries’ documentary captures their four adventures in Clackmannanshire, East Lothian and Falkirk, undertaken from June to September 2021, and Glasgow, undertaken during COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, in November 2021.
Mark Beaumont comments: ‘The thing I love about the ‘Explore your Boundaries’ concept is that it forced us to find routes which we never would have looked for. Often it felt like you were in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and yet if I stopped and thought about it, I was only 25 miles from home. It's really interesting when you have a project, a journey, which is defined by a route which is not necessarily a trail. Straightlining expeditions have always fascinated me, and in a weird way ‘Explore Your Boundaries’ is like a straightlining expedition, albeit most of them are big circle routes. Because you're following this predefined line.’

Filmmaker Markus Stitz comments: ‘The idea of ‘Explore Your Boundaries’ was born in the second lockdown of 2020, when we jointly turned a limitation, having to start any exercise within or close to the boundary of our local council area Edinburgh, into an opportunity. We used the council boundaries to map 24 different gravel routes throughout Scotland. From the feedback on social media those routes inspired people to ride their bikes. And they motivated us to get this film project off the ground. It was great to get the support from Clackmannanshire Council, Visit East Lothian, Visit Falkirk, Schwalbe Tyres UK and Vango to produce this documentary. For me the film also highlights regions in Scotland which are not normally in the tourist spotlight. Responsible and sustainable tourism by bike can bring new income streams and visitors to those communities, and I hope the film will inspire more people to visit in 2022 and beyond.’

The routes along the boundaries of Clackmannanshire (79km/49mi), East Lothian (169km/105mi), Falkirk (133km/83mi) and Glasgow (119km/74mi) allowed both cyclists not only to experience the varied landscapes, but also offered them an insight into the historic places they experienced along the way.
Beaumont comments further: ‘I can think of so many examples, even from the ‘Explore Your Boundaries’ we've done so far, where I've learned different parts of Scotland's history, which would have passed me by if I was just going out to do a training ride.’

‘Explore Your Boundaries’ is available to watch for free on YouTube here, with subtitles available in English and German. More information about ‘Explore Your Boundaries’ can be found on Bikepacking Scotland’s website, while the routes are also available to download on Mark Beaumont’s Komoot profile and Markus Stitz’s Komoot profile.


About Mark Beaumont: Over the past two decades Mark has pushed the limits of endurance, spoken at thousands of events and worked in over 100 countries. Amongst other Guinness World Records he remains the fastest person to have cycled around the planet, completing his 18,000-mile route on 18 September 2017, having taken less than 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes. For more information visit: www.markbeaumontonline.com
 
About Markus Stitz: Markus develops bikepacking and gravel routes and has a proven track record in bikepacking races. He cycled around the world on a singlespeed bike and specialises in documenting races and his own adventures by bike. He is the co-author of ‘Big Rides: Great Britain & Ireland’ by Vertebrate Publishing. For more information visit: www.markusstitz.com/



Words: Tim Ward and Markus Stitz | Video and images: Markus Stitz