From engineering to mountain biking on a volcano: Interview with komoot ambassador Scotty Laughland

This week we shine the spotlight on our MTB ambassador, Scotty Laughland. He is a stalwart of our UK ambassador gang – waving the komoot flag since 2019. How did he get here, you ask?

Scotty graduated from university with a mechanical engineering degree, before putting his head down and following his childhood dream: becoming a professional athlete, racing bicycles around the world. After years of self-support, he joined one of the biggest off-road mountain bike teams in 2014. Riding with the CUBE Action Team gave him the support to race at the highest level, and after successful seasons racing as a pro on the Enduro World Series circuit, he was approached by the Global Mountain Bike Network (GMBN) to present daily videos on all things “bike”. Using his GMBN experience, he now uses his influence to share stories documenting his travels to the best mountain bike destinations in the world.

We’re stoked to have him on the komoot Ambassador program, where he shares his insider knowledge with the community and encourages more people to get out and explore. 

To get to the heart of what makes Scotty Laughland tick, we asked him some questions about what mountain biking and adventure means to him.

Describe yourself in three words

Optimistic, ambitious, and funny.

Flat pedals or clips?

50/50. Mood, weather, and trail-dependant but it’s likely to be clips!

How did you get into mountain biking?

It started with motorcycle trials, then after watching the Fort William MTB World Cup, I was hooked…

29 or 27,5 (that’s tire size, in case you’re wondering)?

Probably 29.

After ride beer or protein shake?

Now, a chilled crisp pale ale please. Five years ago it would have been a chocolate fudge protein shake – you become wiser with age.

What motivates you to get outside and explore?

My sense of adventure and the sights you see when you’re outside. I love the excitement of exploring a new destination or a fresh trail, and discovering new surroundings.

What’s been your most epic ride yet?

One of the most memorable days I’ve had on a bike was probably in Ecuador, riding Cotopaxi [volcano]. The terrain was so different, it was almost like powder skiing. The bike sank into the dirt and you broke through so effortlessly. It felt as though I was just floating whilst turning…

Looking forward, what plans do you have for the year?

Explore more of the northwest of Scotland. I feel very fortunate that Scotland is such a vast playground for mountain biking. You don’t have to go far to discover somewhere new.

Gloves or no gloves?

60/40 – depends on the weather!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of MTB?

Probably ridden Cotopaxi, or racing the Fort William World Cup finals day. Everyone shouting your name makes you want to ride faster and faster.

Why do you recommend komoot?

It’s easy to use – you can plan Tours or record Tours, add in Highlights or view others’ so you know where the best parts of a ride are, or where the scenic parts might be. One feature I really like is knowing what terrain you’ll be tackling. That really helps with planning how long your ride will take.

In the current climate with limitations on getting outside, how are you using komoot to keep your adventure-fire stoked?

We’ll have to see how things develop but with travel restrictions in place, I’ll be using it to plan out some all-day epics in the wilderness of the Scottish Highlands.