The Voice of Mountain Biking in Northern Ireland

News

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  • 09 Mar 2012 9:00 AM | Rick McKee (Administrator)
    Building upon the strong support shown by many individual mountain bikers since launch in January, some of the country's best-known cycling clubs have also pledged their support by signing up as members of the NI Mountain Biking Alliance. 

    This takes membership now to well over 600 riders in less than 6 weeks.  The bigger the membership, the stronger the voice of mountain bikers, so please continue to show your support.  Become a Member

    Clubs, if we haven't come your way yet, you're on the list, but please do contact us or sign up directly.
     
  • 29 Feb 2012 9:00 AM | Rick McKee (Administrator)



    The NI Mountain Biking Alliance has submitted a response on behalf of its members to the Sport NI "Consultation on the issues for the development of the new 10 year Outdoor Recreation Action Plan", which closed on 29 February.  http://www.sportni.net/about/Consultations.  This consultation has been running for some time, and has been supported by a number of excellent evening workshops across Northern Ireland in recent weeks, to allow anyone interested to review the proposals and have an input into the process.

    The detailed 7 page response, from a mountain biking perspective, of course, focuses on:
    • Creating a bold and ambitious vision for Northern Ireland's recreation provision
    • Increased responsibility and accountability amongst government recreation providers
    • Clarity of process and communication amongst stakeholders for the development of opportunities
    • The impasse between landowners and recreation providers around access and liability
    • A central cross-departmental driver of opportunities
    • Innovative funding arrangements, including volunteer input, commercial input and benefit in kind 
    • A study of best practice from other regions of the world that we aspire to emulate or better
    When all the feedback is brought together, the Action Plan will be redrafted, and we hope to see the themes above dealt with where relevant.  Contact us on chairman@nimba.org.uk for more information, and we will release more information as it comes our way.
  • 19 Feb 2012 9:00 AM | Rick McKee (Administrator)
    The Northern Ireland Mountain Biking Alliance was out in force on 18 February at the first Volunteer Ranger day at Blessingbourne Estate in Fivemiletown. 

    The full squad, satisfied after a day of great progress at Blessingbourne

    The session was organised by CAAN with Dungannon Borough Council, who manage the trail network.  11 new members of the Alliance made up the volunteer squad, under the watchful eye of Architrail’s Phil Saxena, designer of world-renowned trails around the globe, including Olympic and World Cup race trails and of course those at Blessingbourne.

    Many hands make light work, and the volunteer team got stuck in following some fantastic schooling and advice from Phil.  The team from the council were unstoppable with their enthusiasm and industry, and by the time we had returned from our lessons in a walk round the trails with Phil, they had made tremendous progress in the pump-track.  With everyone then focusing on the pump-track, it was quickly returned to its former glory, and loads of general repairs were undertaken around the trails.  More to do, but great progress made. 

    A huge thanks to Phil Saxena, Diane Patterson from CAAN, all the volunteers, and the Dungannon Council staff – a great piece of team-work made it all a great success.

    World-class trail designer Phil Saxena joins the Northern Ireland Mountain Biking Alliance
  • 08 Feb 2012 9:00 AM | Rick McKee (Administrator)
    An ‘action shot’ from a very productive meeting on 7th February with Ian Irwin, Director of Forest Management at Forest Service NI and some representatives from the local mountain biking community.



    The objective of the meeting was to confirm the precise process for planning, developing and maintaining sustainable trails in Northern Ireland’s forests, focusing on a ‘bottom up’ model utilising local knowledge, resources and support.

    This was also the first opportunity to introduce the Northern Ireland Mountain Biking Alliance, an effort to unify and magnify the voice of mountain biking in Northern Ireland – bringing together bikers (of every type), clubs (cycling, MTB, adventure racing, etc), IMBA, businesses, voluntary organisations; anyone who is interested in seeing the further development of mountain biking trails and facilities in our part of the world.

    If you’d like to add your voice (or the voice of your club) to the effort, or would simply like to know more, then get in touch with Rick on chairman@nimba.org.uk, or browse around this site.

    We are making progress – add your voice, and together we'll see more trails in our local forests.
  • 11 Jan 2012 9:00 AM | Rick McKee (Administrator)
    A very positive meeting on 11 January at Parliament Buildings, Stormont Estate, is another step promising a bright future for mountain biking in Northern Ireland.

    The Minister for Agriculture & Rural Development, Michelle O’Neill, hosted the meeting, with senior Forest Service executives and mountain biking representatives there to discuss plans for the development of trails in the Northern Ireland forest estate.

    Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle O'Neill, flanked by Rick McKee and David Creighton of NIMBA 
    Flagship projects in the Mourne Mountains in County Down and at Davagh Forest near Cookstown in County Tyrone are already underway, but there is an acknowledged need to continue to explore opportunities for more facilities across the country that meet the demand for more progressive riding, for our already popular and still rapidly growing sport.

    A number of models for trail provision are being discussed with Forest Service, based on those that have already been hugely successful in other parts of the world; a sound process, the right stakeholders, local engagement and community support will be vital elements in the growth of trails, so we will be working hard along with various partners to get all the pieces of the jigsaw in place, to allow projects to proceed.

    We are genuinely excited about the future of trails in Northern Ireland’s forests, and we look forward to helping the local mountain biking community reach its goals. Knowing how other successful projects work across the world, we are also hugely encouraged to see a more cohesive and organised approach being adopted by the Northern Ireland mountain biking community in general, particularly in the last 12 months.

    Strength of voice at a local level and good organisation are key elements, and if you think we might be able to assist in any way, please do get in touch; we’re here to help.

    Further meetings with Forest Service are already in the diary, with the Minister remaining very interested in progress.  Keep an eye on the site for updates.

    Rick McKee              
    chairman@nimba.org.uk       
    Phone: 07740 180836
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