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Light Up The Trails 2024

On the 1st of March 2024, in collaboration Edinburgh Napier University's School of Arts and Creative Industries Department, we brought an unique event to Glentress Forest. This very special night riding event welcomed families from the local area and beyond to discover the magic after dark!

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We worked in collaboration Edinburgh Napier University's School of Arts and Creative Industries Department to bring something unique and special to the Valley over the winter months and hoped that the event would be enjoyed by all who attended.

Light Up The Trails was a special family friendly event organised to encourage families to experience the magical mindfulness of night riding and enjoy this special time of the year as we head towards Spring.

Right from the off there was so much excitement about the event with tickets selling out in less than 24 hours! The buzz and anticipation was incredible.

Imagery by Innes Graham Photography

Professor Zack Moir, Professor of Learning and Teaching in Music Edinburgh Napier University

We were really excited to have worked on this unique cycling event with DMBinS. The site at Glentress is a very special place for many people in the local community and beyond. To have the opportunity to turn it into a multimedia installation for the night was incredible and, as far as we know, it had never been done before!

We were delighted to be able to add some special artistic elements to add even more wonder to the magical setting of the dark forest which made this family night ride even more special and dramatic.

Napier Uni Staff

Edinburgh Napier University Staff and creative minds.

On the night itself, the weather behaved (until the very end) and excited families started arriving. Wrapped up and raring to go, little ones excitedly heading out, for a fair number, their first ever night ride! We were also delighted to find out that some of the folks who were taking part and had not long started riding!

The excellent Peel Cafe were on hand with stovies, hot chocolates and a bumper portion of churros and chocolate sauce to fuel folks up pre and post ride. And Alpine Bikes Glentress were open for that last minute repair or inner tube!

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Jay and daughter
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We were delighted to have Peebles based teen band, Eight Days Scotland, along to provide the tunes as folks waited to have lights fitted and add to the ambiance of the evening. They were super talented and we certainly appreciated their time and amazing tunes on the night - we know we'll be seeing a lot more of these young, talented individuals!

We had the opportunity to join families on the ride and were witness to some pretty special moments as wee ones wondered at the lights and sounds as they rode around the course.

Half way round, we found a few families stopping to refuel their little adventurers with a sugar boost and we asked how it was going and if they were enjoying the event. So many little faces lit up and smiling, jumping up and down and asked when we could do this again!

It really was quite something to see the pure enjoyment of just being out on an adventure in the dark as a family. The light and sound installations only serving to enhance what was already a magical experience for all.

To deliver this this event as a very small team, we needed the help of volunteers. We were super grateful to everyone who came along and gave up their time to support this event. We had 13 marshals on course and additional folks to help us attach lights to people and bikes! Every single person who came along to volunteer was awesome. Special shout out to four of the Borders Academy of Sporting Excellence (BASE) students on the MTB course who came along.

We were pleased to be able to offer our volunteers complimentary food and drinks thanks to funding from 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, visit

We invited our friends from Cycling Without Age Peebles and Innerleithen along for the event as we wanted to provide the opportunity for folks that perhaps were not as mobile or could not ride a bike to be able to join in with family members - and what a success it was!

They were able to give people such a joyous experience and it really served as a reminder of how special getting outside in nature, either on or off a bike really is.

The group are part of ‘Cycling Without Age Scotland’, a global initiative, founded in Copenhagen in 2012. Their guiding principles are of generosity, slowness, storytelling, relationships and without age. Volunteer 'pilots' take people out on ‘trishaw cycle rides to feel the wind in their hair’.

They help older people, those with mobility difficulties or maybe social isolation. They enable people to experience their local areas and nature close-up from the bicycle, bringing generations closer together using special trishaws. They help people regain social connection and offer a chance for people to tell their story in the environment where they have lived their lives. Their work builds bridges between generations and reinforces trust, respect and community. The volunteer cycle pilots and passengers alike enjoy the physical and emotional well-being benefits of these journeys.

If you'd like to find out more about Cycling Without Age Peebles or perhaps volunteer to help them as a pilot, please email

We would like to thank our main funders for this event, Scottish Borders Council. The funding was made available through the Community Cycling Fund. This fund was set up to celebrate the UCI Cycling Word Championships and The Power Of The Bike, by creating events that would encourage and inspire new and existing cyclists with a focus on engaging under-represented groups including children. (Full list of application criteria in link)

We would also like to thank our friends at Forestry and Land Scotland. We worked closely with them to deliver a safe event.

Thanks to to EnviroCentre Scotland who prepared the Ecological Constraints Report for us for us to be able to run the event being mindful of our ecological responsibilities.

Many thanks as always to our Graphic Designer, Paul Mullen, from Bough Studios for creating a brand for this event that will have longevity and really hit the mark!

Lastly thanks to everyone who came along, rode bikes, took selfies, drank hot chocolate and had a ball with us.

Please if you can - complete our post event survey.

Please give us feedback on 'Light Up The Trails' and complete our survey
Complete Survey
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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.


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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.