For the past six years, the International Mountain Bicycling Association has been publishing an annual Report Card, grading MTB trail provision in US states and countries such as England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Canada, Israel and Australia. Scotland won IMBA's 'People's Choice' award for MTB route excellence.

Scotland is “one of the hottest places to ride in the world”, says IMBA

"The IMBA Report Card is a tool to let IMBA members and mountain bikers know where we’re doing well and where energy needs to be focused," said Dan Vardamis, IMBA’s advocacy manager.

Scotland received the People’s Choice award, determined by the highest grades in an online poll of IMBA members.

IMBA’s Report Card summarises the good and bad points of a region’s MTB friendliness with the terms ‘phat or flat’, with ‘phat’ being the good points.

Each state or country also gets a grade, from C-minus to A-plus.

This year, England got a C+ with IMBA listing "limited singletrack access", and oddly, "widespread bike bans." On the phat side, England does have "exceptional MTB centers."

The UK as a whole gets a B grade because of the higher grades given to Wales and Scotland.

Scotland gets an A- because it has "sustainable trails [that] withstand weather." It would have earned a full A had there been "more grassroots representation."

Scottish bike trails, such as the 7Stanes Project, gained Scotland IMBA’s People’s Choice Award because Scotland Scotland received the highest overall score based on a combination of total votes, overall grade and trends from an IMBA online poll.

"Simply put, Scotland is one of the hottest places to ride in the world," says the Report Card.

In IMBA’s section on ‘best trails in the world’, Scotland comes fifth behind Utah, Idaho, British Columbia and Colorado.

IBMA’s Report Card praises Scottish trail building: "The government-funded Seven Stanes Project has triggered the creation of seven cutting-edge trail centers in southern Scotland. These fast-developing riding hubs offer rental bikes, bike service, parts, clothing, accessories, food, drinks and accomodations. Scotland also features other burgening destinations including internationally acclaimed race host city Fort William, and countless other amazing places to explore throughout the Scottish Highlands."

Wales also scored an A-. On the phat side, IMBA rates Wales’ MTB tourism efforts but, on the flat side, IMBA says "Most trails closed to bikes outside MTB centers." The Report Card adds a question mark to that comment, reflecting a lack of knowledge of the true picture of MTB access in Wales.

Northern Ireland gets a straight C. "Recent agreement promises improved Belfast access," but "Nothing on the ground…yet?"…/itn_17_5_reportcard.html#best

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