ukmountainbiker.com is a brand new website that has been designed to be a genuine one-stop resource exclusively for mountainbikers and all things mountainbiking in the UK.
One of the two brains behind the project, Mike Storey told BikeBiz: "Myself and Adrian Daniels came to mountain biking about two years back, following stints in other sports. We gradually became frustrated at the lack of real documentation of routes and stops along the way. Our idea was born from this frustration and we said: ‘why don’t we do it ourselves.’ Following some market research we found that the demand was there for downloadable maps."
One of the main differences between ukmountainbiker’s new site and similar sites is that all the routes are UK-wide and are all linked to a comprehensive database containing the details of bike shops, refreshments stops and accommodation, (including youth hostels), that are incorporated into the individual details of each ride.
Users can download routes that can be saved as PDFs (that can be printed and taken on the ride) or have the file downloaded for use with portable satellite navigation devices; all rides are based on official OS 1:50,000 mapping and and the routes are all colour-coded according to IMBA trail grading recommendations – green, blue, red and black.
Storey added: "The Forestry Commission maps on our site are free of charge, however we have obtained a license from Ordinance Survey to distribute their detailed maps to a cycle specific crowd."
Although the cost of downloading routes is usually £15 for 24 routes (saved either in PDF or GPX formats; additional routes charged at £3.50 per route), until the end of June anyone that registers on the site will be credited with five free downloads.
As well as routes the site encourages user-generated content to include reviews, an area where members can comment on routes and submit their own, as well as reviews generated by the team at ukmountainbiker.com on bike shops, bikes and kit.
Storey said: "At the end of June we will publish our first newsletter, complete with member survey. The site will be heavily user-orientated and we will take feedback to improve usability and content."