After 5 years of planning and 4 weeks of building Alyth Bike Park was finally officially opened by John Swinney MSP on Saturday 16th August by the traditional cutting of a ribbon. This was a small but significant part of the days celebrations which saw around 250 mountain bike enthusiasts of all ages descend on Alyth from the surrounding district as well as far flung places like Aberdeen and Aviemore.
The day’s events kicked off with a mountain bike cross country stage race on the hill culminating in a timed stage down the new Trodlem Trail which drew a healthy 32 entries. Winners on the day were Mike Milne from Kirriemuir for the men and Fiona Lothian ex. of Alyth, now of St. Andrews for the women. Feedback on the course and organisation from the competitors was excellent proving Alyth base the potential as a cross country race venue.
Other events on-going throughout the day were a timed pump track competition which was hotly contested if the roar that went up in the middle of John Swinney’s speech when the current best time was broken is anything to go by. There was a stunt airbag for doing tricks and jumps without consequences that proved very popular, I think it would have still been in use on Wednesday if the youth had their way!
Amanda and the Losset provided an excellent barbecue at the event, as they have done since the first Making Tracks event and kindly provided us with a donation from the takings. There were Strider Bike and cycle courses for the small ones.
In the afternoon there were kids age-group races in which 35 kids took part, again this was a good mix of locals and members of clubs like the Tay Titans in Dunkeld. Whilst the races were hotly contested it was clear that all the kids had a ball. Alan Stewart our First Aider, and a man in the know when it comes to mountain bike racing, commented to me that our bike club coaches will have to up our game, not because our local riders weren’t as good as the competition, on the contrary, because we have so many local talented riders that we need to bring through to their full potential! Message received and understood Alan.
Finally there was a raffle that I thought was going to end up with everyone winning a prize, the only reason I know that they didn’t is that I left empty handed!
So all that remains is for me to thank: everyone who came along to race, support, or just enjoy themselves; the marshals who freely gave of their time; the AHUG team who put the event together; Alan Stewart who provided first aid cover; Alpine Bikes who provided prizes and Dr. Bike cover; the Losset; Norrie’s at Longleys for the berries and honey for the smoothies; prize donors Wigwam. com, Sweet Protection clothing, Handlebar Hero’s; Spokes Dundee, Fox clothing, Like2bike, Cyclewild Scotland, Sealskinz, Scottoiler, Morrocco Media, Muckmedden events and Breeze Adventure.