Mountain bike trails put sport on right track

Kelso Cycle Trials.
Kelso Cycle Trials.
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Borders cycling is receiving a further boost with new trails created in an area of woodland on the Roxburghe Estates outside Kelso.

The trails are the brainchild of Kelso Wheelers which has become a very successful cycling club since its inception in 2002. The club had identified a need for off-road mountain bike trails to develop its youth section and to provide improved local training facilities, encouraging more people to take up the sport.

Ian McKenzie, club coach,said: “We are delighted to have been able to get the help of the Roxburghe Estates and so many partners to help realise our dream for a new local cycle trail. We already have a large programme of activities and this will help us grow our club and grow participation in cycling. We’re sure this will help us realise our ambition to host cycling events.”

The Wheelers secured funding from Fallago Environment Fund, Scottish Borders Council, Awards for All, BSLT, Charity Begins At Home and local businesses.

Selkirk trail builder Pete Laing and ground worker Owen Gillard worked for a year to design and build over 2,500m of new tracks, with a skills loop and a pump track in the Angraflats plantation.

The plantation is owned by the Duke of Roxburghe who agreed to lease the land to the Wheelers initially for ten years. All the materials used in the constructions were sourced locally with Bowmont Forest sawmill providing all the wood for bridges and fencing.

The Duke of Roxburghe said: “The Scottish Borders is Scotland’s leading cycling destination, but cycling is about local and visitor use and we were keen to support the Kelso Wheelers in realising their aim of an off road cycle course in Kelso.”