It’s been so hectic that I’ve struggled to squeeze a Muckin’ Blog out for ages and, although it’s always painful when you’ve not managed one for a while it always feels better once it’s out, so here goes…….
SMBC & ACF
A good proportion of my last few weeks has been spent watching people riding their bikes with a clipboard in my hand, or having meetings with fellow members of The SMBC talking to Local Authorities, Event Organisers, Emergency Services, Landowners and Bike Clubs in readiness for The SMBC’s inaugural Angus Cycling Festival (ACF) in September.
ACF will celebrate everything from Fat Bikes to Vintage Road Bikes and BMX’s to Mountain Bikes with various satellite events from mid August to the end of September. These will include races and group rides at various spots in Angus before culminating in a massive two-day, family- friendly cycling event at Reid Park, Forfar on 13th/14th September. Activities will include; Airbag, Face-Painting, Craft Tent, Pump Track, Skills Course, Youth XC Racing, Clown/Kid’s Entertainment, Forfar Funduro, Mountain Bike Test Track, Demo Bikes, bike displays, Retro Bikes and more.
We want to encourage people to try something new during ACF, so we’ll be opening the festival on August 10th with a Duathlon/Triathlon and finishing on 14th September with the multi-stage Enduro! In between times we’ll invite people to “Get Fat In Angus” with a guided Fat-Bike ride, enjoy some civilised Vintage/Retro Bike Rides and family rides and explore some of the county’s most sublime natural trails in an “Epic Angus” guided ride in the Angus Glens.
For those of a more skinny-tyred persuasion we’re working with Eventfull, Angus Bike Chain and Angus Cycling Club with a view to organising an Angus Sportive either on Aug 24th or 31st and an Audax in early September. Whatever the final dates are you can be sure there will be some superb events and rides to take part in no matter what kind of riding you’re after.
Moving on to all things “Mucky” we are very excited to be organising the closing event of Angus Cycling Festival, but what could we do to close the festival with a bang? What are riders loving right now?
Of course it has to be an Enduro, but the most important part of any MTB race is the course and as I have never ridden in this part of Scotland before I was sceptical that would work. Surely there can’t be enough quality riding and elevation around Forfar for an Enduro….it’s not exactly Whistler is it?
Step-in Angus Bike Chain and the benefit of local knowledge. ABC have organised the Forfar round of SXC over the last few years and their XC courses always get rave reviews from the riders thanks to their inventive use of swoopy quarry trails and snaking Singletrack. If anyone could find a good Enduro course around Forfar it’s ABC.
Thankfully after riding some local gems and some top-secret trails with ABC it’s clear there is massive potential for a really fun Enduro here. The descents are not the longest you’ll find, but are just so much fun to ride, so we have now highlighted a potential 9 stages worthy of an Enduro! We won’t include them all, but no matter what trails we decide to use, the final course is going to be a scream.
And I haven’t even mentioned Reid Park yet.
If you haven’t been Reid Park, the site of the event village for ACF, it is an enormous parkland in Forfar which sits on a big, steep hill. So steep in fact, that locals use it for sledging in winter, but they usually only do half of it as they’d be doing 8oomph by the time they reach the bottom.
A big open, grassy hillside on a steep hill, that sounds familiar……
So Reid Park has the makings of a spectacular DUAL Spectator Stage and we have permission from Angus Council to use it for that purpose!
The priority over the next two weeks is getting permission from Landowners to use some of the trails for the event, followed by finalising the course. As soon as we know what the craic is we will let you know, but you can safely book the 13th and 14th September in your Muckin’ Diaries as one for the “definitely” list!
Fai City Enduro
Thankfully, the only two real criticisms from Fair City Enduro last year were the fact that you wanted more stages with less queues, so we have two brand, new additional forest stages this year and they are simply brilliant! Both are between 1.30mins and 3 mins of descent are very fast, slippy and a total blast. You will love them both and we are changing the starting format to ensure queues are as short as possible.
There are still a couple of potentially huge FCE revelations waiting in the wings but that’s all I can tell you… for now.
In Other Muckin’ News:
The uplift road at Parkhill Farm is well under construction now and the digger and dumper are currently grading the road and cutting in a huge switchback. This will enable safe and quick transportation of riders to the top of The Bear and combined with the changes we have planned mean The Eliminator Mountain Bike Festival 2015 will be well worth the wait.
Remember Muckmedden @Pitmedden Forest in 2012? It seems like so long ago doesn’t it? I think it would be great to do it again in Spring 2015 and I’ve asked Forestry Commission Scotland who don’t foresee any problems with that, so I’ll get the application form in and keep you posted on dates. I think April 2015 sounds about right.
Oh, is that an extremely angry and heavy looking rain cloud forming overhead? Sorry about that.