Start of the Sandstone Way at Berwick on Tweed on a very wet Good Friday April 2015
You can improve mountain biking in our region by being a member of Tyne Valley MTB!
1. Introduction and Welcome
Hello to all members of Tyne Valley MTB and other interested people. This is the spring 2015 edition of the Tyne Valley MTB club newsletter. In mid-April we were all riding in shorts and T-shirts on lovely dry tracks but winter has since returned and the extra layers have come out of the cupboard again. Nevertheless, the rides are picking up momentum again and things are really looking up on the admin side – see item 3. Please read on and find out what Tyne Valley MTB has been, and is doing for mountain biking in the North East of England and a lot further beyond. Do please make contact if you need to know more about anything that follows or you wish to make any comments.
2. Tyne Valley MTB Membership 2015
Your membership provides the club with the credibility to do the things it does on YOUR behalf.
The rates for club membership in 2015 remain the same as in 2014:-
- Adults: £10
- Under 16s in education & unemployed: £5
- 2 adults in the same household: £12 in total
Please send your cheque made out to Tyne Valley MTB to:-
Or make a bank transfer to Lloyds Bank Hexham:- Sort code – 30-94-19 Account number – 18207260.
New members are welcome and it’s HUGELY important that existing members renew their membership to sustain the route development work the club is undertaking on YOUR behalf.
NOTE: The club’s website has been fairly static for some time but serves us well in regard to funding applications and for first time enquirers. We are planning to improve this shortly and make use of our recently created Facebook presence www.facebook.com/tvmtb
Would all members kindly become friends and keep in touch with it.
3. Profile And Achievements
Tyne Valley MTB Profile as of May 2015
Tyne Valley MTB is a mountain bike club based in the Tyne Valley Northumberland formed in 2009.
36 members most living locally and some in Newcastle but also widely spread e.g. Richmond (2), Bingley (1) and near Preston (1); levels of involvement vary but that’s fine.
- For like-minded people to ride together and to encourage more people to mountain bike.
- To campaign for better MTB routes and facilities.
- To raise / apply for funding to achieve 1) and 2).
Programme and Achievements:
- Midweek evening rides
- Day / part-day rides
- 2-3 day rides
- 1 or 2 Alpine Tours yearly
- Route clearing
- £9K raised since 2009
- Already grant applications for over £9K are in train for 2015
- Active and consistent engagement with all access-related bodies including Local Access Forums, regional LAFs, Natural England, FC, National Park, 2 AONBs, National Trust & ROW staff in 3 large LAs + contact with 2 others
- Landowner engagement & access negotiation
- Engagement with relevant industries (wind farmers, quarries, forestry)
- New 120 mile Sandstone Way by MTB route from concept to launch with others in the pipeline
- Fund raising events
- Funded a galvanised gateway cycle grid for the Sandstone Way
- Invited and funded a top German MTB Guidebook writer & Alpine MTB routes expert to visit the North East in October 2015 to ride and write up the Sandstone Way for German MTB magazines and make three regional presentations to raise funds for MTB route development
- Write and distribute 3 newsletters per year
- Provide route info and access advice to all who ask
- Known for providing sound positive advocacy for MTB-ing.
4. Route Projects
Tyne Valley MTB Route Projects in 2015
The Sandstone Way by MTB route took 5 years to prepare and launch and is now open and being ridden. The club’s voluntary input into the Sandstone Way by MTB route has been pivotal to its implementation. Over 1,000 maps have been sold to date, bike taxis are being booked, accommodation is filling up and in short supply on some dates, new businesses are being established, jobs are being created and existing businesses are being strengthened. It is anticipated there could be as many as 3,000 cyclist riding the Sandstone Way in 2015 the majority of whom will be thrilled to discover Northumberland is a wonderful place in which to mountain bike.
The 6 elements for creating the route are mapping / waymarking / route infrastructure / website / business support & training / monitoring. The two key factors which will ensure its success are a) turning the route into a product and b) providing consistent route management – something that has never been put in place for other cycle routes. It is intended that the Sandstone Way by MTB becomes an exemplar product in every respect.
The website is www.sandstoneway.co.uk and is still a work in progress. Tyne Valley MTB continues to play an active part in managing the Sandstone Way by amongst other things, allowing its Cycling Projects Account to host the Sandstone Way user payback scheme without which ongoing route management won’t be possible. The use of this account for this purpose is independently verified.
Tyne Valley MTB is coordinating the Start/ End marker sandstones at Tyne Green kindly donated by Ladycross Quarry near Slaley. There will also be a distinctive sign post and a cycle route panel hopefully all to be installed at the same location by the end of May.
The Sandstone Way route launch event was attended by Tyne Valley MTB members on the 20th March 2015; transport up to Hadrian’s Wall was kindly sponsored by Hexham’s own Eco Bike Taxis.
A dozen fantastic pupils from Morpeth Road Primary School, Blyth also cycled to the launch event and quite rightly stole the show. Their teachers and support team guys deserve a BIG well done.
Sadly, a very few Sandstone Way waymarks in rural locations are being vandalised or simply removed and this can only be being done by local people who don’t understand that the Sandstone Way is bringing much needed financial benefits to rural businesses along the route. Funding to replace removed waymarks - including travel costs - has to be found. Lost cyclists are unhappy cyclists and it adversely affects their spending.
Legally placed waymarks at Bellingham and near Chatton Park Farm have been removed – value £48
From Left to Right:
- Temporarily replaced waymark at Trewhitt Moor (mile 60.5) – awaiting a new post for re-attachment.
- Vandalised waymark near Alwinton – replaced once.
- Waymarks at mile 90.4; Red S = red grade route option south; Blue = blue grade option south.
The Sandstone Way by MTB has been supported by key bodies from the outset including NCC, Northumberland Tourism, Northumberland National Park Authority, Northumberland Coastal AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the Forestry Commission and Cycle PaD, www.cyclepad.org.uk, as well as numerous commercial interests.
Tyne Valley MTB has funded the installation of a cycle cattle grid on the Sandstone Way adjacent to the bridleway on the boundary of Shiellow Wood at mile 18.2. It has recently been installed by Graymare Farm and the reason two adjoining landowners requested it is to reduce the number of times the existing full size gate could be left open by mistake which would mean stock grazing on the open pasture could wander into what is extensive woodland and be very difficult and time taking to find and return. The total sum involved is likely to be in the region of £650. We only have this money because it is the club’s policy to raise money to improve mountain biking facilities and relationships in our region.
The Sandstone Way by MTB is the biggest project Tyne Valley MTB has undertaken to support and why it is has taken so much focus in this newsletter. Valuable lessons have been learned and our next big project will be to assist with the re-launch process of the Reivers Cycle Route by MTB which in due course will provide a second high quality MTB route to attract further visits from MTB-ers to Northumberland. To re-launch this dormant MTB route in 2016 will require funding and other preparation works in 2015.
The same 6 elements essential for route creation will be factored in and to ensure its success, turning the route into a product and providing consistent route management will again be the two key considerations following the exemplar provided by the Sandstone Way by MTB.
Tyne Valley MTB is also very supportive of the Brace of Dozen Dales cycle routes between Kirk Yetholm just over the Scottish Border and Skipton in Yorkshire. The road route will follow as many existing signed cycle routes as possible and the MTB route will parallel this alignment using existing ROW tracks, Byways, Bridleways, Unclassified County Roads (UCRs) and BOATs.
After crossing the Border, the MTB route will join the Sandstone Way at Alwinton to Hexham then take on its own identity again as it crosses 10 more dales on its way to Skipton. All being well, both the roads and MTB routes will be waymarked / signed for use by spring 2016.
5. High Profile Fund Raising Events 2015
Tyne Valley MTB organised a presentation evening in the Queens Hall Theatre in Hexham on the 17th March. Nearly 200 people attended a highly entertaining illustrated talk by Vyv WoodGee entitled Skye to Smithfield by Drove Road. Vyv is an adventurer, writer, historic routes expert, long distance equestrian, walker and cyclist. We raised £250 for Cancer Research and £1,100 for preserving ancient tracks for bridleway users. The evening was sponsored by Tyne Valley MTB, Mapyx / Quo Digital Mapping Solutions, Paramo technical clothing and Ladycross Stone Quarry.
NB. Tyne Valley MTB recognises that Cancer Research is far more important than preserving ancient tracks for bridleway users but we believe we must also spend time and money to do things that benefit the wider community in terms of quality of life, healthy activity, access to the countryside and nature and safeguarding historical access routes for future generations.
Tyne Valley MTB is organising a fund-raising event below to manage the Sandstone Way by MTB.
|Ride the Sandstone Way on the Longest Day weekendSaturday 20th & Sunday 21st June 2015A brand new not-for-profit event for mountain bikers with all monies raised allocated to route development & management (after costs). Choose from:Ride the Sandstone Way in a Day (Saturday 20th June 2015)Ride the Sandstone Way in Two Days (Saturday 20th / Sunday 21st June 2015)|
Please go to www.tynevalleymtbcycling.co.uk and / or www.sandstoneway.co.uk for more information.
- Spread the word,
- Volunteer to assist with the organisation or,
- Register to ride it.
6. Route Clearance, Rides and Tours in 2015
Route clearing took place one Sunday in February to clear back overgrowth on an old Holloway ‘road’ south of the Rat pub near Oakwood. It’s the white road down to Bank Foot Farm shown above left.
Left: North End Track, Right: Central Section
Left: Section of flooded Holloway, Right: Cause of the flooded Holloway
FP 540/006 the extension of Clarty Lane into Hexham
We also cut back nearby footpath 540 / 006 which archival evidence suggests is the continuation to Hexham of Clarty Lane.
Bridleway 540 / 012 shown on the map section below is itself an anomaly as one short section of it has been recorded as footpath and has become the subject of a claim by users for bridleway status for all its length. User evidence forms have been collected.
Clarty Lane is shown on an image later in this newsletter. We will keep these ROW usable even in mid-Summer when nettles and brambles usually take over.
Evening, Day and Weekend Rides
Wednesday evening rides started on the 8th April led by Graham, Dave and Ted – offers to lead routes from other members are welcomed. Ride details are usually sent out by email.
Weekly evening rides will continue on Thursday evenings co-ordinated by Ali Tye all starting at 7pm. Please contact us if you want to receive ride info by email from Ali.
Day rides & Half day Sunday rides take place according to demand and are regularly advertised.
Weekend trips will be held according to demand – see below for two options.
Future rides generally - please contact Tyne Valley MTB organiser (Ted) if you fancy a particular route or if you would like to lead a ride.
Why do we ride our bikes?
I have been a member of TVMTB for a couple of years but didn’t join club rides until 2014. Having been to two AGM’s I had heard of the yearly trips to the Alps via Ted’s presentations. My real involvement began when Ted mentioned that there was a place available on the 2014 trip. After putting my name down to join the trip I thought that I had better do something about my fitness and joined TVMTB on one of the Wednesday evening rides early in the year. To my surprise I was not hanging off the back of the group on the climbs and found that I really enjoyed riding with a group of like-minded people.
Thus the scene was set, Wednesday evenings were for riding...
As the spring turned into summer the rides got longer and faster, covering tracks old and new, mostly in Northumberland. I had not realised you could fit so much into an evening ride.
By the time we were due to leave for the Alps my fitness levels had improved greatly, but no amount of riding in the “Shire” can really prepare you for the Alps. Other people have said how challenging the Alps trip is, how fantastic the trails are and how tiring a full weeks riding is. They are all correct, but the overriding memory is of just how much fun the riding and the camaraderie is.
Returning to the Wednesday rides my fitness and skills were greatly improved and I enjoyed the rides even more. I was able to lead some rides for TVMTB, taking other riders over some of my favourite routes and letting them share in my enjoyment of the countryside.
We were fortunate to have good dry weather until well into autumn and the tracks and trails remained in good condition. The turnout from TVMTB riders remained constant and we kept going well beyond the date we normally stop, the Wednesday rides continuing into December even though the tracks were no longer dry and firm and all the riding took place in the dark. However they were still great fun and a small nucleus of riders turned out for 2 or 3 hours riding most Wednesdays.
I must thanks Dave Walton for sharing the duty of leading the rides with me, his knowledge of routes around the area is enormous and he always manages to take us places I have not ridden before. We are slower than on summer evening rides but we have just as much fun slip sliding around the trails.
If you think you want to give a Wednesday evening ride a go drop Ted, Dave or me an email and we can put you on the notification list, we can even lend you a set of lights so you will be able to see where you are going. If you have an idea for a ride and would like to lead one of our night rides, again, please contact us. TVMTB is all about sharing routes and getting people riding.
MTB Tour of Cheviot - 23rd & 24th May 2015
Saturday: Park at Alwinton carpark at 0930 – ride Salter’s Road then circuitously northward to Wooler
Sunday: Ride via College Valley into Scotland then over the Border Ridge looping back to Alwinton
Advance booking necessary for accommodation reasons.
Contact Ted if you are interested in joining this ride
Some 2015 Tyne Valley MTB Rides
A few pictures from some 2015 rides undertaken thus far. Other rides have taken place but were not recorded as the only man with a camera wasn’t able to attend.
Sandstone Way Ride - 3rd April 2015
A most memorable undertaking took place on Good Friday in very poor weather when 8 club members rode the very wet and muddy northern section in a head wind to south of Wooler then unwisely test-rode a potential trans Cheviots route to isolated but excellent accommodation at Kidlandlee 3 miles above Alwinton. The group was never lost but one section of the test route was impossible to find and caused a lot of time to be lost. Adding in the awful conditions and the early season fitness level of some of the party plus a few other domino effect factors, the day turned into an adventure of epic proportions which ended well but only with timely support from a club associate who was asked to make key telephone calls to allay anxious parties alerted by the extended day. Lessons were learnt. 90% of the route data is shown above – the GPS shut down when its batteries ran out.
Fortunately the group arrived at its accommodation before human batteries ran out although all were definitely in need of re-charging – as you would expect after 3,000m of accumulated ascent burning 4,000 calories over 15 hours.
As was always the plan, on Easter Saturday a reduced number of riders rode a 9 hour day via Rothbury to West Woodburn to meet lifts for home. The original idea to complete the route on East Sunday morning was binned due to the state of the bikes and to a lesser extent, their owners. Just to say 24 hours of bike handling spanning 33 hours in two days isn’t the norm for Tyne Valley MTB but strange as it may seem, most if not all the group loved the challenge and met it uncomplainingly.
A selection of pics taken at different stages of the day will soon be available to see on the TVMTB website, keep checking!
Alps Tours - 2015
Due to demand, two Apls MTB Tours are plannes for 2015.
Great Alpine MTB Route - July 2015
8 Ride Days
Italian & Swiss Alps
Saturday 11/07 to Sunday 19/07
Great Alpine Chain Route - August 2015
8.5 Ride Days
Austria - Italy - Austria
Friday 21/08 to Sunday 30/08
This year the plan is to return to the Dolomites and take a different route to end our epic linear Great Alpine by MTB tour at Salzburg rather than Vienna. Return Manchester / Munich is again the fliers’ choice. The 2015 tour has two halves: 5 superb days MTB-ing with the first 2 days riding the tough Via Migra route + 3 days riding through the Dolomites followed by 3.5 days riding into and through Austria to Salzburg which is the northern finish to the Great Alpine Chain by MTB. Austria is gained by crossing a high pass that takes us into Pinzgautal from where we ride to and at Leogang. From there it’s a pleasant ride to Berchtesgaden close to Salzburg which we will ride into on the morning of our final day before the return drive to Munich airport for the flight back to Manchester.
Thanks to Ralf Glaser for inspirational route guidance in the Dolomites and his comments re the Austrian section. NB: In 2016 we will ride the last 6 days of Ralf’s Via Migra route to the southern end of the Great Alpine Chain Route by MTB. This means we will have ridden to two different end points.
Sample route sections from our 2012 Alps tour
7. Tyne Valley MTB – Working for You in 2015
The following meetings and / or commitments are attended / undertaken on your behalf:
- Northumberland Joint Local Access Forum
- Northumberland Rights of Way Liaison Group
- Northumberland Joint Access Users Group
- North Pennines Access & Recreation Working Group
- Various relevant Parish Councils meetings
- Public Inquiries – new access
- Prudhoe Green Infrastructure Group
- Archival research at Woodhorn County Records office
Tyne Valley Area Issues
- Access prevention – there is an important link track in Tynedale that has been cycled and ridden by horse riders unhindered for years and access is now being called into question. Your involvement is being sought to preserve this access. More info soon.
- Parking at the west end of Slaley village – on occasions a lot of cars belonging to MTB-ers are being parked at the west end of Slaley village causing concern. Tyne Valley MTB isn’t being blamed for this but we have been asked to spread the word to MTB-ers to park elsewhere and in a safer fashion.
- Dukeshousewood, Hexham – user conflict resolution PLEASE DON’T RIDE THE PATHS WHEN IT’S MUDDY AND BE AWARE OF, AND CONSIDERATE TO, ALL OTHER USERS AT ALL TIMES!
Tyne Valley MTB is attempting to create a data base of how many clubs / people mountain bike in the region and establish contact with as many as possible – see next info for a wider context.
There are two national initiatives afoot to create a ‘voice’ to replace IMBA-UK (now in deep hibernation for a variety of reasons) to represent UK mountain bike interests at National and Local level. Its priorities would be to liaise with Government bodies at the highest level and major landowning organisations such as the FC and National Trust. Its aims are likely to be to defend current access provision and gain new access and facilities. Organisational issues are yet to be bottomed out and which of the two initiatives should lead. Ted Liddle, Tyne Valley MTB’s voluntary coordinator sits on the steering group of one of the national initiatives to represent MTB interest in the NE of England and is in close touch with the other initiatives. What is indisputable is not only the need for such a voice perhaps styled on the successful BMC model, but also how to change the locked-in mind set of many MTB-ers that is tuned only into ride ride ride. The former group has met once in Manchester and once in Preston and is in regular communication between times.
8. News, Views and Local Authority Updates
Update from Alex MacLennan, Forestry Commission Recreation & Public Affairs Manager (North East)
At Kielder, the Forestry Commission and Kielder Trail Reavers are resurfacing the All Along The Watch Tower section of Deadwater red grade trail at present and by end of June the teams are aiming to have this section rolling sweetly. Deadwater red trail is running really quickly at the moment and with some more minor maintenance it should be a blast from the top to the Castle.
If you have ever moaned about the short steep climb on All Along The Watch Tower section, then there are plans to change this as well. The plan is to move onto maintaining Lonesome Pine trail and also some work towards the end of the Osprey trail.
Time has flown by and some of the Kielder single-track trails are now coming up to 8/9 years old so important maintenance works supplemented by slight changes to the flow of the trails will make you want to ride these trails again often.
On 16th / 18th October Kielder Water & Forest Park will host a national MTB conference. At this event, Kielder Trail Reavers will celebrate their 10th birthday. Watch this space for more info coming out by end of June which will feature top speakers and discussions on hot MTB-defining topics. It will also include social events and 2 social rides one of which will be in the evening.
NB: The Park held the first UK MTB conference in 2006 which this event will celebrate.
At Hamsterley Forest, work on the Odd Sox section of trail is now complete and the Hamsterley Trailblazers team are now moving onto another section of trail which we are aiming to open in the autumn. The Forestry Commission will be submitting a planning application for more blue grade single-track later this summer with the aim of some construction happening in 2016. Across the North East there are many mountain bike events taking place in the forests – more details at www.forestry.gov.uk
Update from David Brookes: Northumberland Infrastructure Records Manager
The Restricted Bridleway at Espershields linking to the road along the northern shore of Derwent Reservoir which was reported in the December newsletter isn’t available for use yet. He will advise when it is, following gate placement, depending on any diversion that the landowner may apply for relatively soon. Either way, some works will be required to make the route available and these will need to be scheduled.
Though not MTB related, it’s good to know two washed-away bridges in the upper South Tyne valley should be replaced by the end of June.
The budget for ROW is ever shrinking causing countryside management staff reductions
Update from Lorna Lazzari: Northumberland National Park Access Officer
Police Liaison – there has been a significant increase in off-road vehicle activity in recent months. The Police are prioritising action on this and had a number of specific weekend targeting sessions have taken place.
Auchope Shelter on the Border Ridge now has a new roof
The BBC spent extra days filming the Pennine Way Anniversary programme along the Border Ridge for the last in the series of 4 programmes. That and the filming featured in Robson Green’s Northumberland series showed the Border Ridge in an excellent light – literally.
Update from Mike Ogden: Durham County Council Team Leader Access and Rights of Way
Hexham Lane (above Tunstall Reservoir) will have a Traffic Restriction Order (TRO) placed on it from October onwards to prevent or at least reduce Motor Powered Vehicle (MPV) damage. It is known this won’t prevent damage from legitimate vehicular impact caused by tractors and estate 4 x 4s.
The Elephant Trees
The suite of claims to record access on several old roads between the Elephant Trees and Doctor’s Gate between Hamsterley Forest and Weardale is still ongoing.
Update from Geoff Fewkes: Cumbria County Council Access Officer for North Cumbria
The budget for 2,880 km of ROW is now reduced to £130,000. The washed out byway through Nenthead mines has been repaired. The new New Water Bridge is to have bridleway access re-aligned to the south of the bridge. New bridleway access in the vicinity of Tindale Tarn should be announced this summer.
Update from Northumberland County Council Highways
Tyne Valley MTB has campaigned for 3 years for safer cycling in Lower Hexham, amongst other places. In Tynedale we live in hope and Tyne Valley MTB has been sent a whisper from the horse’s mouth that our proposal to significantly improve the dangerous T-junction from Rotary Way onto Ferry Road which goes past Egger is scheduled to be done in the next year. We hope the Tour of Britain Cycle Race will bring forward our proposals to improve cycling in Corbridge and Prudhoe. Time will tell.
Dualling the A1 in Northumberland
We’ve no way of knowing if it will happen in our lifetime but just in case it does even partly as has been promised, Tyne Valley MTB will make it clear that gradeseparated crossing (bridges and tunnels) need to be built into the plans from the outset.
Rebuilding the collapsed B6344 east of Rothbury
Tyne Valley MTB’s proposal to take this unique opportunity to construct a parallel path in conjunction with the National Trust for safe shared use has not been followed up. Our proposal was to replicate the hugely successful path east of Coniston in Cumbria which keeps walkers, cyclists and horse riders off the narrow A-road. We think it made complete sense.
Health and Wellbeing
Mountain bikers and horse riders
I’m reliably told horse riders now fear MTB-ers far more than trail bikes because they can hear trail bikes just about all of which slow down and / or stop and switch off when meeting whereas lots of cyclists (road and MTB) ignorantly and selfishly shoot past at speed causing great alarm and, occasionally, nasty falls from startled / bolting horses. Another bad trend is some MTB-ers shouting / swearing at horse riders to keep off tracks horse riders have every right to be on and in some case have actually done the work to create perhaps through Paths for Communities. There are too many incidents being reported to dismiss this as bad horse-person-ship. There is no getting away from the fact all user groups should be considerate towards fellow users at all times and in all circumstances. The worry is I’m sure you will agree some cyclists have exempted themselves from its civilised behaviour and they do the activity we love no favours.
David Crompton is a long term member of Tyne Valley MTB who has been conspicuous by his absence for 2 years due ill health. We keep in touch with David and recently he wrote:-
I'm on my last week of treatment, radiotherapy right now, and it has gone well. However I'm a bit scorched and sore. I'm off to Spain for a month midMay to recuperate. I've been walking, cycling a bit and tennis so fitness is coming back but not up to a group ride yet.
We trust your recovery will continue and we hope you will be back riding with us again when you are ready.
So very sadly, Kaye Graham died recently after losing the fight against cancer. She was a stalwart member of Hamsterley Trail Blazers. Tyne Valley MTB sent this letter to HTB:-
It was with great sadness I learned that Kaye Graham finally lost her brave fight for life. I am unable to attend the commemoration occasion but I will be there in spirit. I got to know Kaye at the annual bike ride I’ve enjoyed leading for HTB for a number of years and was always struck by her gutsy determination and absolute enjoyment of the sport we love and the beautiful scenery we are so very lucky to pass through on two wheels. It became clear to me Kaye knew just how special our landscape is and it was always a great pleasure to share time, challenge and the joy of pedalling in open countryside with Kaye an other members of HTB.
I really will miss her the next time I ride with a group from HTB. On behalf of Tyne Valley MTB – we are deeply saddened at losing Kaye but humbled to know she was our sister. We share your loss.
Ted Liddle on behalf of Tyne Valley MTB
9. Other News
The proposed Acomb ‘Rails to Trails’ application is still ongoing but had stalled due to time pressure and alleged independent ideas from other well-meaning parties which communication should resolve.
Though not TVMTB’s core substance, the first of 3 heritage trails leaflets which is for the Acomb loop and coincides with one of the rides to be featured on a Hexhamcentred MTB cycle route map is also still in the frame. The two initiatives are strongly linked so it makes sense for Tyne Valley MTB to be pro-actively involved.
Access to footpaths
The CTC has gone quiet on its lobbying for suitable footpaths to be used legally with the same access rights as bridleways – for the back story see:
More info on access at: http://www.ctc.org.uk/campaign_policies/category/820
Other MTB interests are involved and cycling of FPs is now on the agenda for the National MTB conference to be held on 16th to 18th October at Kielder in Northumberland. Put the date in your diary and try to attend – more info soon.
Claiming old Rights of Way
Previous newsletters have featured this consideration and a further club member has shown interest in putting some time aside to learning how to do this. It’s a fascinating but complex process which is in all our interests – basically, there are many old rights of access buried in the archives which will be lost forever unless claimed by 2026. This would be a huge loss and it’s down to our generation to work for future generations.
If you can contribute any time to this thoroughly worthwhile project then please get in touch with Ted.
This brilliant link http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/ was sent to us by Sue Rogers our pro-active access colleague in the British Horse Society (BHS) and it is free! For anyone interested in maps, this will provide many happy hours of browsing before you even visit Woodhorn for the first time.
“Many, if not all of the routes which any of us have sent in applications for are shown on these maps and many more that are (marked on my maps as potential routes). This will help us see where there are historic routes but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will be able to find enough weighty evidence to produce a successful application but it should help.”
The environment we travel through when we mountain biked is extremely fragile and it is our responsibility to minimize the impact of our presence. "Take only photographs and leave nothing but happy memories” is the best maxim. Please therefore dispose of wrappers thoughtfully and toilet paper by burying or burning or placing in the proper receptacle.
England Coast Path
At a cost of over £5m, the England Coast Path will open up all 3,000 miles of our stunning coastline for everyone to enjoy. It will be a boost for coastal communities, health and wellbeing and economy. It has been estimated that the South West Coast Path brings over £300 million per year into the regional economy. Once the coastal path is open, England will be up there with the best countries in the world in which to go walking. Pity it doesn’t include the right to cycle (and horse ride).
It’s that time of year again – DON’T ignore this warning. Another plus for wearing knee height socks!
It’s worth at least brushing off bare legs after going through long grass or bracken. Have you ever noticed that fell runners wear "Skins" type long socks?
Heritage Lottery Fund
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £1.7m to the Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership to regenerate both valleys through heritage projects. TVMTB provided input into access issues particularly in regard to bridleways.
The cycling economy
Creating a National Strategy for Outdoor Recreation
The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) and the Sport and Recreation Alliance hosted an event to discuss the development of a strategy on outdoor recreation which:
- Is the UK’s favourite pastime: three in four adults in England regularly get active outdoors.
- Drives the visitor economy: people spending their day enjoying outdoor recreation spent £21 billion in 2012/13 - and when you factor in overnight visits this comes to £27 billion.
- Creates jobs and skills: walking tourism alone supports up to 245,500 fulltime equivalent jobs.
- Promotes a healthy nation: outdoor recreation can make a significant contribution to tackling the £10 billion cost of physical inactivity.
- Council sport and leisure budgets have been cut by an overall figure of £42.4m since 2010, according to a survey released recently.
650,000 cycling jobs in Europe including:
- 524,000 jobs in cycle tourism
- Cycling generates €217billion per year
- Cycling has the potential for reaching a million jobs by 2020
- Cycling employs more people than mining & quarrying.
MTB madness: Riding the White Line, see: http://www.imbikemag.com/mountain-bike-news/2015/03/riding-the-white-line/
This is probably madder: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=781284278576329
10. Stop Press!
Tour de France legacy
The study “Recreational Cycling and Cycle Tourism in Northumberland” (2013) commissioned by Northumberland Tourism has now been adopted by all main bodies with the power to implement its recommendations which Tyne Valley MTB had considerable input into. One of its recommendations is to produce a county-wide cycling map of Northumberland and again Tyne Valley MTB had considerable input into this. The Tour of Britain cycle race will pass through Northumberland on the 9th and 10th of September and a club representative has been invited to contribute to the arrangements for Hexham through which it pass.
Nothing will change the status quo for cycling unless local authorities start to do things differently in order to actually make it safer and easier for people to cycle for all types of reason – for utility, health and wellbeing and for recreational and tourism reasons.
“Despite the clear need for radical infrastructure improvements, local authority planners remain narrow and risk averse”
Graham Titchener: Tour de France legacy officer.
News coming in from Round 1 of the UK Gravity Enduro in Somerset - a very organised gang of bike thieves has stolen the entire demo fleet of MDE bikes from the UK importers stand and all the Whyte team bikes were also stolen. It is yet another warning for all MTB-ers to be extra vigilant in regard to their own bike security and be prepared to inform the Police by phoning 101 about any cheap offers for good quality bikes that don’t seem right.
PLEASE provide your support where it can make a difference – you can’t renovate a house if you stay on the outside just occasionally looking in through the windows (even if all you enjoy doing is just playing in the garden)!
Please contact Ted for more info about anything in this newsletter
Remember, if you ride – you need to support & build
Here’s wishing you all a healthy and active summer & lots of good peddlin’
Tyne Valley MTB – Voluntary Organiser
You will improve mountain biking by being a member of
Tyne Valley MTB
Without access there is no mountain biking!