You’ve got the wheels, here’s where
to take them. Words: Richard Moore Photos: Andy McCandlish
Forestry Commission backs cycle routes
The Scottislt Borders have been called a paradise for off-road cycling. particularly the hills and forests on either side of the Tweed Valley.
And it just got even better. with the opening of an extension to the existing ctrstontised mountain-bike trails in (ilentress forest. The latest 14km loop includes single track as well as what are described in the route guide as ‘small surprises.‘ including drop offs. water splashes and chicanes.
The man behind the latest development is local cyclist l’ete I.aing. a projects engineer with a reputation as one of the l'K's leading mountain-bike course designers. But equally significant has been the lead taken by the Forestry (‘ornmission in various initiatives designed to improve facilities for mountain biking.
"I‘here’s a new attitude to mountain biking in the forests and it‘s a good example of industry. conservation and tourism working together" says I.aing. 'But also it's greatly helped by the fact that so many Forestry (‘ommission managers ride bikes.‘
Incltrded in their number is I’addy IIarrop. national recreation oflicer to the l"(‘. ‘I‘m stuck in an office in Iidinburgh most of the week. but when I have a day offI can be down to (ilentress in about 45 minutes~ he says. ‘In a couple of hours you can do a really good loop in the forest. This is not just pedalling along the road: it‘s a real adrenaline bu/x. Mountain biking is also a great stress reliever: that‘s the way I‘ve used it.‘
‘I5ifteen years ago we started to open forests up for cycling.~ he continues. 'I-‘irst it wasjust forest roads. btrt in the last live years we've been building purpose-built routes. We work closely with local cyclists and they tell Us what they want.‘
Pete Laing describes the new trail as 'a bit challenging. btrt not impossible‘. and he's keen to stress that no one should be put off by the idea that off-road riding might be beyond their capabilities.
‘It is all ride-able. and there are 'chicken routes' bypassing the steepest gradients and shortcuts back to the car park. There‘s nothing too dangerous or difficult. The riders all go in one direction. so you're not going to meet someone head-on.~
Scotland to host global conference
VeIo-city. the world‘s most important cycle planning event. is coming to Iidinburgh and Glasgow from l7 — 2] September.
VeIo—city is no ordinary conference: the attendees. typically. are no ordinary delegates. and it's set to make an impact on the two cities. Already. pro-cycling initiatives are underway. as a direct result of the conference coming to town. For both cities. the conference represents an opportunity to showcase their cycling facilities to the world. and it‘s one they seem keen to grasp.
In this instance VeIo-city has also been called a unique collaboration between the two cities. and few would disagree. For two days the delegates — professionals. politicians and cycle activists - will he holed-up in Iidinhurgh‘s International (‘onference Centre. before taking to their bikes. on Wednesday I‘) September. to cycle the 70er to (ilasgow. Iin route they‘ll visit various cycle projects.
North Sea Cycle Route
Seven countries and 6000km
()ne of the more intriguing new cycle routes is a cycling network linking seven countries. the Netherlands. Germany. Denmark. Sweden. Norway. Scotland and Iingland.
‘This is not just pedalling; it’s a real adrenaline buzz!
F Edinburgh EH9 1DU, 01312281368. Mldlothlan Race Team Neal Doggett. 47 Limekilns. Pencaitland. East Lothian EH34 5NF. 01875 341162. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Scotia Allsorts Steven
26 THE LIST I“ Ma.
Gilroy. 36 Hermitage Park Grove. Edinburgh EH6 BDU. 0131 553 5309.
Team Caledonia AII- female cycling club. K. Bayerlein-Pow. 23c New Street. Musselburgh EH21 6JH.
0131 665 7470. Glasgow
Glasgow Caledonia West of Scotland all-female cycling club. c/o Women in Sport. Dept of Parks and Recreation, 37 High Street. Glasgow G1
Glasgow Couriers Colin Dickson. 5 Hawthorn Way. Erskine. Renfrewshire PA8 78X. 0141 812 3563. Glasgow Road Club T. McAdam. 85 Bowman Street. Glasgow G42 8LF. 0141 8231981.
Glasgow United Cycling Club A. Quinn, 1 Martin Gannon Court. John
Street. Renton G82 4LS.
01389 720798. Glenmamocit Wheelers I. Jardine, 17 Tynwald Avenue. Rutherglen. Glasgow G73 4RN.
ivy Cycling Club G. McLafterty, 75 Allander Road. Bearsden. Glasgow G61 1LX. E- mail ivytarbtinternetcom VC Astar A. Ogg. Newmains. Holehouse Road. Eaglesham G76 0JF. 01355 303455.