Local mountain bike business Ridelines hails potential for Tweed Valley to become “genuine bucket list destination” for cyclists of all ages and abilities.
A Scottish Thistle Award-regional finalist and local mountain biking business, Ridelines, is urging Borderers of all ages and abilities to take up mountain biking and follow in their heroes’ wheel-tracks after the great success of the UCI Championships, which saw millions of people flock to Glentress Forest in the Tweed Valley to spectate.
Based in Innerleithen, Ridelines provides tuition to individuals who may lack confidence or skill in their riding abilities. They aim to empower children and adults to overcome fears and limitations, allowing them to progress in their mountain biking journey.
Following the success of the UCI mountain bike cross-country championships held at Glentress Forest this month, drawing in tens of thousands of spectators over the span of 11 days and saw homegrown competitors including Isla Short tussle it out for sporting glory, Ridelines’ Director Allan Doyle says the Tweed Valley has the potential to become a “genuine bucket list destination” for mountain biking.
Events like the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships not only showcase the talent and skill of the athletes but also contribute to the local economy and promote outdoor sports in the area.
With the world’s attention so recently focused on mountain biking in the Tweed Valley area, Ridelines is now gearing up to welcome beginners and improvers alike to discover their mountain bike skills courses, where their instructors cater to different skill levels and needs. They run kids’ courses throughout the year which is important to inspire the next generation of world champion cyclists, by showcasing the variety and fun of the sport.
Ridelines, which provides private mountain bike tuition, skills courses, kids sessions, guided bike rides and leadership awards, is playing a vital role in growing the sport of mountain biking in the local area and has recently been named as a finalist for the South of Scotland’s first Regional Thistle Awards.
The Scottish Thistle Awards celebrate the very best of the tourism and events industry, which is worth £11.5 billion to the Scottish economy.
Ridelines is one of 29 South of Scotland finalists who have been recognised for the quality product they provide and will be up against another two businesses in the “Best Outdoor or Adventure Experience” category at the first ever South of Scotland Thistle Awards ceremony, which will be held at the Cairndale Hotel in Dumfries on 5 October 2023.
Allan Doyle, Ridelines Director, said: “The UCI Cycling World Championships coming to the Tweed Valley represents a huge validation for what the community has built over the years. All World Championship disciplines took full advantage of the existing trails, conceived of, and built by, locals, showing them to the world. Up until now, the Tweed Valley’s passion for mountain biking has created a welcoming environment for all abilities of rider, from the beginner who needs a taster, to the hardened enthusiast.
“Our hope is that after the success of this event, the worldwide coverage, huge crowds, and phenomenal atmosphere of racing, it will all result in the Tweed Valley becoming a genuine bucket list destination. Not just for existing mountain bikers, but also people who simply watched it on TV and thought, I’d like to try that. We’ll be ready to welcome them all and show them our amazing trails. Mountain biking isn’t just for downhill champions, it’s for everyone!”
The South of Scotland is the ‘Home of the Bike’ and is increasingly being recognised as a world-class cycling destination, especially with the launch this year of the exciting new Kirkpatrick C2C (coast to coast) route, which sees cycling enthusiasts make the 250-mile journey from Stranraer on the West coast to Eyemouth on the East coast. A partnership initiative by South of Scotland Enterprise, the SSDA, VisitScotland, Scottish Borders Council and Dumfries and Galloway Council, the route takes its name from Dumfriesshire’s own Kirkpatrick Macmillan, who created the first pedal-driven velocipede in the 19th century.
The South of Scotland has also now joined a prestigious list of world-leading cycling destinations after being awarded a UCI Bike Region label. The label is held by 26 cities and regions across the globe and recognises a region’s commitment to both Elite cycling and cycling for all.
David Hope-Jones OBE, Chief Executive of the South of Scotland Destination Alliance, said: “Events like the UCI World Championships and the Tour of Britain being staged here really put our region on the map as a magnificent cycling destination and we know cycle tourism has the potential to bring a massive boost to the South of Scotland’s communities and visitor economy.
“It’s fantastic to see quality businesses like Ridelines, which is up for a Thistle Award for Best Outdoor or Adventure Experience at our first ever dedicated regional finals, making such a positive impact through their award-winning mountain bike skills courses. Not only was the bicycle born in the South of Scotland thanks to Kirkpatrick Macmillan, but you can also perfect your cycling skills here too – then put them to use discovering some of the most stunning landscapes anywhere on the planet!”