Mountain bikers urged to stop ‘shooting themselves in the foot’

Forestry Commission Scotland has urged mountain bikers to speak to the local Commission team about trails and features – rather than run the risk of causing serious and potentially fatal accidents.

The call comes after Commission staff had to dismantle the unauthorised jumps that had been built in two of the woods they manage near Banchory.

Calum Murray, for the Commission’s Moray & Aberdeenshire team, said: “The woodlands we manage offer great opportunities for all sorts of recreation and across the north east as a whole we do have excellent mountain bike trails that are well-used by all ages and abilities.

“Our trails – and the features on them – are all carefully designed and maintained and are inspected regularly to ensure that they are safe and fit for purpose.

“We know its great fun to build bike jumps in the woods but we also know the risk of injury that these poorly designed, hazardous features create – both for the people using them and for other forest visitors.”

‘Self-built’ features are commonly neither robust nor safe enough to withstand use and the Commission wants to stop it from happening by making people aware of how dangerous it could be.

Calum added: “We have a responsibility to make sure that people visiting the forests are safe and are not put in harms way so we will always spend the time and the money to remove unauthorised features.

“We have to use resources that could be put to better use maintaining the authorised trails…so the guys that build these features are doing more harm than they realise.

“But we’re always happy to talk to any cycling groups who would like to explore opportunities to design, build and manage properly designed, constructed and risk assessed mountain bike facilities.”