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Scottish Mountain Bike Awards 2023 - The Shortlists!

The Scottish Mountain Bike Awards are a celebration of Scottish mountain biking and are a huge opportunity to showcase all that is awesome about our industry, the people and the sport. Every year we are blown away by the nominations we receive across all categories and this year is no different. These are your 2023 shortlists!

All the winners

Without trails, there is no mountain biking. The incredible, varied and world famous trail network that exists across Scotland is pretty awesome, but so are the people, projects and communities that support them. With these awards we hope to celebrate our trail network and those people who work so hard behind the scenes. These are the 2023 shortlist for our Trails Awards.

Trail Association of the Year

Aberdeenshire Trail Association - Promoting, achieving and maintaining sustainable mountain bike trail networks in the North East of Scotland. Formed in 2018, with significant support from the organisation Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, the Aberdeenshire Trail Association has a long term vision to increase the quality and sustainability of the region’s mountain bike trail network by deploying proactive maintenance measures, through landowner liaison.

Tweed Valley Trails Association - The Tweed Valley Trails Association is a registered Scottish Charity set up by local mountain biking enthusiasts to help sustain and manage the trail network across the whole of the Tweed Valley Forest Park. From the original idea born out of a pub meeting in 2015, to reaching official charity status in late 2017, a core of keen locals have come together with the intention to build upon and improve what is already a nationally if not world renowned MTB venue.

Tayside Trail Association - The Tayside Trail Association (TTA) is a non-profit organisation run fully by volunteers and funded by donations and fundraising. The TTA was originally established by a core collective of riders from the mountain bike community, but the fundamental interest is to improve the safety and condition of trails; which also includes multi-use core paths used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders! The association incorporates four ‘Trail Crews’ to cover the large geographic region of Tayside: Pitmedden Trail Crew, Kinnoull & Deuchny Trail Crew, Dunkeld and Birnam Trail Crew and Ballo Trail Association.

Trail Advocate of the Year

Brian Mackie, Aberdeenshire Trails Association - Brian is a huge part of the ATA. He never misses a dig and despite being semi-retired from his farming career, he hand builds the finest trail tools specifically for the association and keeps the stock up to date which is no mean feat for the six dig crews across Aberdeenshire, and leads passionately on trail maintenance at Pitfichie. He’s a steady and diplomatic hand at the wheel, always bringing people together and making great things happen. If there’s a voluntary effort to be made, rest assured he is there with bells on and he is one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet.

Ray Will, Glassie Bike Park - Ray manages to do a full time job and yet somehow spends full time hours up at Glassie Bike Park building, improving and enhancing some of the most interesting, exciting and fun trails in Scotland. When he isn't building he's most likely repairing features, improving drainage or offering his time to guide visitors or even give free uplift. People like Ray are few and far between in that they have a passion and unselfish nature that brings benefit to everyone around them. Ray puts his heart & sole in to everything he does. He has time for everyone whatever their background, age or ability. Not only has he dug tracks by hand for years, he bridges the gap with respect for the land & land owners whilst managing to engage & inspire young people to do this incredible sport with his personal riding ability & passion for MTB. He really is inspiring.

Aaron Gray - Tayside Trails Association - Aaron helped set up Tayside Trails Association from the outset, bringing multiple forests and trail builders together. Leading this process over a wide area was not an easy process but Aaron though his sense of humour, leadership and all round good chat has helped the TTA become the success it is today.

Trail Project of The Year

Tarland Trails - The first trail centre in the North East of Scotland. The first trail project to be designed with ecological constraints as a core objective. The Tarland Trails Pittenderich project supports region’s ambition to be a leading adventure tourism destination and is being heralded as arguably one of the best places to ride in the country.

Kieran's Line, Glenlivet - Kieran's Line was built as a legacy to young rider Keiran McKandie. Pro Rider Jamie Edmondson advised on features and vision, while the build was carried out by CRC Trails working with trail building legend, Greg Jolliffe. Super positive response from the riding community. It has added to Glenlivet it making the destination more desirable for advanced riders, but the orange jump line and Bazzas Berms give a great progression up to Kieran's Line. Its location right by the café also makes it a spectacle for all visitors.

NYNY Golfie - The last 300m of NYNY was tired and more challenging than the rest of the trail due to erosion making its "Entry Level" status a stretch, especially at the end of the trail when riders are tired. To date approximately 1000 hours of labour, across 20 dig sessions, involving 90 unique individuals to create 600+ meters of new trail. Further plans to reroute, should create a low maintenance (sustainable) 1 mile trail.

There are so many good people, projects, organisations and groups working tirelessly across many aspects of Scottish mountain biking. We want to celebrate that with these awards.

Local Hero of the Year

Chris Farquhar - Chris is a local mountain biker and trail advocate from Cambusbarron, Scotland, and a co-lead in the Trash Free Cambu community group. Aside from his work with the latter, Chris is responsible for creating, maintaining, and advocating for the local trail system at Cambusbarron, and is almost solely responsible for the creation of this popular central belt trail destination. On an almost daily basis Chris works to maintain his local trails, and collaborates with the local Community Development Trust to ensure that all trails are constructed in a way that secures their longevity, sustainability, and integration with other woodland users. He does this entirely for free and without obligation, and often shies away from recognition of what he has created. He is not a social media influencer, nor part of a larger trail association, nor a nationally known figure in the MTB community - he is however a true local hero for Cambu and the central belt. Indeed, what makes Chris stand out in his local community is the way he advocates for his trails and wildplaces in an entirely altruistic and selfless manner. Chris is a dedicated member and co-creator of the Trash Free Cambu community group (winner of the 2022 DMBinS Community Project of the year award), which he also undertakes on a voluntary basis. He assists with arranging trail cleans and wider community work, and is a significant player in promoting environmental stewardship in our woodland and local wild places. Beyond formalised trail cleans he also promotes stewardship through his own actions, undertaking litter picks at popular MTB hotspots weekly in order to demonstrate how powerful an ally the Stirling MTB scene can be in community development.

Emma Guy - Emma (and her partner Tracy) were instrumental in making the Tweed Valley a great MTB destination from the start with their amazing Hub café, sharing routes etc. Things have changed now, but Emma has gone on to project manage the UCI Cycling World Champs XC MTB events this year which were incredible and brought so much attention and positive feedback for the area.

Gregor Muir - Every community needs its do-ers. The enthusiasts, the people that get stuck in, and keep pushing to make good stuff happen. These people exist in communities all over the World, but in the context of Lochaber that do-er is one of the main people behind the West Highland Wheelers kids club and the Fort William Bike Park, Gregor Muir. Gregor is ingrained in the community, and with a range of interests that make him one of those well-connected people that are so full of energy they somehow manage to do more than they should be able to in the time available. In winter he helps keep the local kids ski club going, through the rest of the year he organises the weekly kids ski club. On top of that he helps run canoe sessions, and was vital to the success of the new bike park project in Fort William.

Robert McNeice - Robert founded the Arran High School Mountain Bike Club. He and the club members have created the local trails on the Isle of Arran in the Dyemill section of the forestry local to the village of Lamlash. Since then Robert has had a parcel of land gifted to the club and raised money to have CRC build a number of new trails and for the construction of an all weather pump track. This effort will result in the Isle of Arran becoming a more attractive option for people to visit the island to ride. I mean who doesn’t like riding CRC trails! Without Robert, mountain biking would not be a reasonable option for a hobby on the Isle of Arran. He has implemented and supported the sport for decades. Robert has been committed to mountain biking for the majority of his life with himself and his brother being the only few mountain bikers on the island through the 90’s and 00’s. The sport now has a number of participants due to Robert’s early work.

Volunteer of the Year

Fred Terris - Anyone who has entered a race anywhere in Scotland will probably have met Fred. He volunteers to marshal at many events including Tweedlove, SDA, Enduros and recently at marshalling at CWC2023. He is an active member of the TVTA and a qualified dig leader who often runs sessions - and does everything with a radiant smile.

Rosie Baxendine - Rosie give so much of her time to the Adaptive Riders Collective to support people with disabilities to enjoy all that off-road adaptive cycling has to offer. She always comes with bags full of energy and positivity and is never one to see and barriers/hurdles to participation as something that can't be overcome. Her knowledge and experience are invaluable and always shared with the ARC team and riders in a way that is supportive and encouraging, never superior or condescending. Rosie gets genuine joy from helping others to get outdoors and embrace all the Scottish countryside has to offer.

The Pitfichie Dream Team - This small crew have worked HARD all year and given up most weekends and every Wednesday evening to complete trail maintenance at Pitfichie. They give up their time to marshal at the race events in the forest and have really accepted the notion of trail Advocacy and Activism. They encourage other to join their digs, teach people about the forest and trail maintenance and do it all with a smile and a laugh.

Community Project of the Year

Adaptive Riders Collective - Providing off road adaptive cycling opportunities in Scotland - encouraging those with physical disabilities to venture off road.

Fort William Bike Park - promoting recreational wheeled sports where we inspire the local community by providing accessible, inclusive and inspiring facilities that enable and encourage people to engage in wheeled sports in all its forms regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or ability.

MissAdventures - a new cycling group based in the Scottish Borders, with the aim of increasing participation in cycling and the outdoors among 12-18 year old girls.

We are blessed in Scotland with so many exceptional mountain bike destinations. Superb hospitality, welcoming accommodation and of course, an incredible trail network that is appreciated by visitors from across the world. These awards celebrate this and highlight the best of the best around the country.

Accommodation Provider of the Year

Comrie Croft - Winner of Inaugural Responsible Tourism award at this years Visit Scotland Scottish Thistle Awards! Comrie Croft is one of Scotland's best trail centres and captures the spirit of mountain biking in all its glory. The trail centre combines a feeling of free-living, unique accommodation options including nordic kata's, wild camping, eco-lodges and hostels, a range of activities, a fantastic café, a quality bike shop, and (of course) an amazing range of trails. Comrie Croft, owned by 50 employees and local people, has a vision for rural regeneration with a rich natural environment that includes people, homes, farming, recreation and businesses as an integral part. Specifically they are rewilding over 50 ha of land; planning to build affordable natural housing; providing opportunities for ten (and counting) nature-based enterprises; growing food; outdoor recreation and other land uses as part of an interdependent ecosystem.

Tweed Valley Pods - Tweed Valley Pods is a small, family owned 4 glamping pods business located with Glenormistion estate on the outskirts of Innerleithen. Tweed Valley pods was created with a vision to combine a strong ecological and environmentally focused accommodation offering, and to date have planted over 300 trees in conjunction with Borders Forest Trust, created improved woodland habitats for declining native species such as hedgehogs, as well as mounting several bat & bird nesting boxes within our woodland. They also have beehives on site in an effort to increase pollinators. Our belief that it is our moral obligation to give back to the environment that provides us with so much fun and relaxation. Our location in the valley provides excellent access to the River Tweed multi-use path, we actively encourage guests to 'leave the car behind' inline with Go Tweed Valley's visitor charter, our ride in, ride out accommodation allows guests to reduce the carbon footprint during their stay. We have created a secure bike store and bike wash next to the parking area with financial assistance from DMBinS.

Coaching and Guiding Provider of the Year

Alba Mountain Bike - A mountain bike adventure and tuition provider based in Fort William, Lochaber, the heart and soul of Scottish mountain biking.

Comrie Croft Ltd Flow School - More Skills, more fun. Offering coaching for kids and adults of all levels.

Rosie Baxendine Bikepacking Guide - Encouraging a more diverse range of people and bikes into off road riding in Scotland

Scotland is a fantastic location for researching and developing new products. It has testing terrain and changeable weather conditions. If a product can withstand Scotland, it will last anywhere in the world. This award celebrates those companies and products that are leading the way for innovation in the industry.

The "GD8" by Intra Drive Ltd. Revolutionary technology combines a powerful motor with 8 speed gearbox in a single compact unit.

BMAC tool. Custom trail digging tools made by Brian Mackie of the ATA. These tools are custom made for the terrain of Aberdeenshire. They come in multiple forms and are dual purpose with mattock heads combined with rake heads to enable volunteers to carry less tools for HSE purposes.

With Scottish riders performing outstandingly on the world stage, Scottish mountain bike events going from strength to strength and mountain bike clubs continuing their awesome work in cementing the joy of riding in all ages and stages, this is a tough category.

Male Rider of the Year

Shortlist being considered and will be announced next week.

Female Rider of the Year

Shortlist being considered and will be announced next week.

5-6th October 2023 - Comrie Croft

Scottish Mountain Bike Gathering and Awards Evening 2023

Buy tickets now for both days, or either day and the Awards!

Trail Association of the Year 2022 - Aberdeenshire Trail Association. Image Pete Scullion

Locall Hero and Community Project

Local Hero, Leanne Whitehead and Community Project of the Year, Trash Free Cambu for 2022. Image Pete Scullion.

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5-6th October 2023 - Comrie Croft

Scottish Mountain Bike Gathering and Awards Evening 2023

Buy tickets now for both days, or either day and the Awards!