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The Scottish Mountain Bike Conference 2022 - What a week!

Every two years we bring the whole of the mountain bike sector together to engage, discuss, connect, inform, and drive forward mountain biking both in Scotland and globally. This year was our first in person Conference since 2018 and the vibe was pretty awesome. Such a positive atmosphere and a real air of excitement about the future of MTB in Scotland.

Conference Image Ella

Media Trip 31/10/22 - 02/11/22

We have some of the best riding, best scenery, best adventures, most progressive outdoor access legislation in the world and we want people to know about it. Add in some awesome Scottish built bikes, clothing and other products designed and made in Scotland - the Conference is an awesome opportunity to showcase this to the world's media, promoting Scotland across the globe.

That is why, we invite specially selected members of the cycling and mountain biking media, and influencers, both from the UK & Internationally, to interactively sample the very best that Scottish mountain biking has to offer. We expect the media coverage and fallout articles and promotion, based on our 2018 Conference, to reach circa 3 million people.

This year we invited professional athletes and influencers, Scotty Laughland and Joe Barnes, Antony de Heveningham- Singletrack World, Pete Scullion - Wide Open Mag, Dr. Sissi Parsch - BIKE Germany, Robert Johnston - The Loam Wolf, Jessie May Morgan - BikeRumor, and Gary Vernon - Oz Trails/Walton Family Foundation, Bentonville, Arkansas.

The group were treated to a few days riding with our friends Mark Clark H+I Adventures and Chris Roper, Ride In Peace Adventures, soaking up some of Aberdeenshire's sweet trails. A visit to see the Tarland Trails 2 development and met the legend that is Chris Redmond and the good folks from CRC Scot who are creating the incredible new trail centre.

Presentations from the Cairngorms National Park Authority Capercaille Project to highlight the amazing conservation work being carried out, working with the mountain bike community. An in depth look at Scottish companies FreeFlow Technologies and Bearing Pro Tools, some riding the new Deviate Claymore and other unique Scottish goodness.

They also took part in the full conference and Saturday's dig day, with the Aberdeenshire Trail Association.

We are looking forward to seeing the content generated throughout the week and will share across our platforms.

Conference Day One - 03/11/22

The first day of Conference focused on Trails, Destinations and Innovation. Opening with a keynote speech from Maree Todd, MSP, Minister for Public Health, Womens Health, & Sport.

The day was full of inspirational presentations. Jennifer Craw, CEO Opportunity North East (ONE) explained the link between mountain biking and the wider adventure offer in Aberdeenshire and highlighted the success of the DMBinS Regional coordinator role and how this led to financial backing from ONE to take forward the North East Adventure Tourism Project.

Trudy Lindblade CEO 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships shared an exciting presentation showcasing the 2023 event and highlighting the legacy that is already being realised with the £8 million Cycling Facilities Fund.

The conference heard from Gary Vernon, Walton Foundation, Bentonville Arkansas and Olve Norderhaugh Trysil Bike Arena, Norway, two inspiring presentations that showed us not to be complacent with the great progress we are making in Scotland, but to raise the bar much higher and convince decision makers about the wider impact mountain biking can make on transforming communities and social change.

An informative panel of academics from Edinburgh Napier University and South of Scotland Enterprise detailed the innovative work that is ongoing to re-introduce a bike industry to Scotland.

Closing the day with a superb presentation from Stu Thomson, Cut Media. Providing a unique perspective of both the global cycling market and how community driven projects can make a huge difference to local communities.


Conference Day Two - 04/11/22

Trails, Health and Sport on the menu today as Day 2 of the Scottish Mountain Bike Conference kicked off.

Opening with Scottish and British Cycling's vision for the development of mountain biking in Scotland and across the UK and led into Ebike chat as new research looking at participants habits and and trends in the industry was launched.

After spending the last two years talking trails and travelling around the country to inform a new documentary - Trails on Trial, Manon Carpenter shared her thoughts and findings around the challenges and benefits of unauthorised trails.

The delegates heard from two academics from Edinburgh Napier University. Dr Jamie Marshall, who has been exploring how surfing has been used to support health and well/being and what lessons we can learn for similar MTB approaches. An emotive presentation showcasing the results of an academic appraisal of our Trail Therapy programme was delivered by Dr. Hollie Fountain followed and certainly gave the audience food for thought.

The next step in the journey of the European wide accreditation for trail builders and the progress of the DIRTT Project (Developing Intereuropean Resources for Trailbuilding Training), which has brought together partners from Scotland and across Europe to improve the knowledge transfer within mountain biking trail building. Lars Wraae Jensen, the DIRTT Project manager, gave the lowdown.

The day closed with a panel session showcasing the drive and the passion of the Aberdeenshire's mountain bike community. Delegates heard from some of the voices that have been integral to the success of the destination, Will Clarke, Fee Wallace and Chris Redmond.


Conference Day 3 - 05/11/22

The newly crowned Trail Association of the Year, Aberdeenshire Trails Association (ATA) hosted a dig day in Corrennie Forest, a site owned by Forestry and Land Scotland on a Trail called Lynx Lynx. This is a forest where ATA have recently been given permission to maintain the trails. The conference dig was the first official session in the forest with more planned in 2023. Good times and a great, productive day was had by all as various levels of hangovers were shaken off after the awesome Scottish Mountain Bike Awards, held the night before.

Want to hear Singletrack World's Antony de Heveningham's thoughts on the Conference and whats happening in Scotland??

Singletrack World Podcast
Have a listen.


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