Trail training is a huge hit for Tweedlovers

MOUNTAIN biking enthusiasts are undertaking training to be better guides at an annual cycling festival, writes Sally Gillespie.

Previous Tweedlove volunteers who have led visitors on trails in the region are being put through their training by organisers.

Tweedlove director Neil Dalgleish said: “We received public funding and sponsorship from local businesses for the festival so it’s great being able to give a thank you to some of the volunteers in this way.

“They all do an amazing job and the festival wouldn’t happen without them.”

The mountain bikers will be coached by local bike skills business Ridelines Ltd for their Trail Cycle Leaders qualification.

Aspiring guides Campbell Johnstone, who has volunteered at TweedLove every year, said: “We’ve all been riding these trails for years, but it’s great to get the proper tuition – it gives us all added confidence in dealing properly with groups of riders.

“There’s a lot to learn but it’s a lot of fun too.”

Guided rides on and off-road are a popular feature of the annual event which organisers say brings in visitors from all over the UK and has an estimated economic impact of £500,000 for the region.

Mr Dalgleish said: “One of the best things about TweedLove is our programme of free guided mountain bike rides.

“Anyone can come and join us for a ride-out – it’s free to take part and great fun. They’ve been so popular that we’re now running these rides throughout the year – visitors really enjoy the rides and it’s a great social opportunity too.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer for the May festival should email volunteers@tweedlove.com For further information about Tweedlove visit www.tweedlove.com