A new national strategy for the sustainable development of mountain biking in Scotland was launched today by downhill world champion Steve Peat.
Created by the Scottish Mountain Bike Development Consortium (SMBDC), the framework aims to increase visitors to the country's trails, encourage more Scots to get on their bikes, and help Scottish riders win medals in national and international competitions.
The main targets are:
- Increase mountain biking visitor numbers by a further 50 percent over the next five years
- Increase domestic participation in mountain biking by 25 percent over the same period
- Assist Scots to win at least five medals in world or Commonwealth competitions
To help achieve this, 'development clusters' will be created throughout Scotland. These will involve local authorities, representatives of the national agencies involved in the SMBDC, clubs and local businesses. Initially, five clusters will be established to cover South Scotland, West Central Scotland, Perthshire/Angus/Fife, The Highlands and The North East and Deeside.
The framework was launched today by Peat – who said he was excited that mountain biking was going to be established as a sport for all – and Scottish Minister for Public Health and Sport Shona Robison. They met pupils at
A number of potential issues were identified during the creation of the framework, including concerns about liability and litigation, gaps in the geographical distribution of trail centres, the need to avoid environmental damage and the portrayal of mountain biking as an "extreme, macho activity".
The top priorities identified were:
- Improve access, particularly for those without cars.
- Manage trails better.
- Engage local communities.
Robison said: “Mountain biking already contributes a vast amount to
Over the past 20 years, mountain biking has become established as a major sport in
SMBDC members SNH, sportscotland, Scottish Enterprise, FCS and CTC are funding a three-year programme to take the strategy forward.
You can download a copy of Sustainable Development of Mountain Biking – a National Strategic Framework at www.scottishmountainbikeframework.org.