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Creating an accessible destination for Adaptive Mountain Bikers

How can a destination provide the opportunities to those with disabilities to experience the benefits and freedom of nature through off road adaptive cycling? It can be challenging but not impossible. When a destination works together with the goal to be accessible, mountain biking truly can be for all.

Health and Inclusion pages 36 39 adaptive bikes

We want folks from all walks of life to be able to access mountain biking if they want to and creating those pathways and opportunities can have challenges but that does not mean that it can't be done.

To this end we are running a pilot week of activities in the Tweed Valley, funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, to bring together good people who want to do good things.

We are privileged to have the support and mentorship of Craig Grimes, Director at Experience Community in this endeavour. Craig will be on hand all week to advise, enthuse and offer words of wisdom from a place of lived experience. Craig (who supported us to ensure that the FunMBL is accessible), is a qualified FunMBL Leader and is qualified to deliver led rides.

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We hope to make as much of the time we have with Craig as possible and provide opportunities for leaders and guides, clubs and trail builders, landowners and trails associations, hospitality and accommodation providers to come along, ride the accessible bikes, understand the needs and challenges of adaptive mountain bikers and help us in the initial stages of a plan to create an accessible mountain bike destination.

Monday 24th

DMBinS Team intro to Adaptive Bikes and start of Tweed Valley trail recce and audit. Identifying potential adaptive bike friendly routes while creating a log of issues to enable changes to be made to allow the creation and promotion of adaptive mountain bike routes in the Tweed Valley.

Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th June - 09:30-15:30

MTB Leaders and Guides.

At DMBinS we strongly believe in the power of leaders, both within their field, such as Craig, and in our communities, such as the thousands of mountain bike leaders across Scotland.

We know that by empowering them to understand and be more comfortable leading adapted rides will help inspire them to create more opportunities to get more disabled riders to enjoy the thrill of mountain biking and all the benefits that brings to physical and mental health.

We'd like to invite leaders and guides to come along and join in for any of the two days that they can to learn more about adaptive mountain biking; disability etiquette, matching adaptive bike to rider, trailside repairs and of course learning to ride a variety of adaptive bikes.

Interested? Please get in touch with our Marc.

We led a similar opportunity in the Cairngorms last year and documented the experience in this short film by Scotty Laughland. We hope it demonstrates the pure joy and possibilities that are out there for disabled people who are supported to take up adaptive mountain biking.

Thursday 27th June - 09:30-12:00

Trails, Trails, Trails.

A day where representatives from Forestry and Land Scotland and the Tweed Valley Trails Association will work with Craig to look at the capabilities and limitations of adaptive bikes, what can be done to allow more access to more trails and create the beginnings of a plan to realise the potential of the Tweed Valley as an accessible mountain bike destination.

This day is open to members from other Scottish Trails Associations and landowners interested in creating accessible routes and trails in their areas.

Interested and want to book at slot please get in touch with our Marc.

Friday 28th June - 09:30-01200

The Community Sessions

We'd like this day to be open to all. Anyone in the community who is interested in finding out how they can be part of creating an accessible mountain bike destination, or would like to find out more about accessible mountain bikes. If you are a bike shop, bike mechanic, hospitality business an accommodation provider or a rider just wanting to find out more, please get in touch and book your space.

NB: If you are unable to make any of the days set aside for leaders, guides or trails association members, please feel free to register for this session.

Contact our Ed to find our more and book your slot.

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This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information.

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If you can, please consider donating to the Scottish MTB Heath Fund and help us with our work in this space. Thank you.


Further reading

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If you can, please consider donating to the Scottish MTB Heath Fund and help us with our work in this space. Thank you.