Mountain bike play park in the pipeline

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Cyclists from Aboyne are planning a mammoth sponsored cycling event to raise funds for a new mountain bike park planned for the Bellwood community woodland, Aboyne.

On Saturday, March 24, a team of cyclists are planning to cycle the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats, 847 miles in total.

This distance is usually done comfortably in 15 days, but the team plan to achieve this in a single day! The public will also get a chance to join in and watch the fun, as the whole event will take place in the Victory Hall, Aboyne, using several bikes on turbo trainers (static bikes). Spectators can get involved by cycling a few miles on the ‘public bike’, set up to count miles cycled by members of the public and sponsored by local companies.

And just in case all that activity makes them peckish, drinks and bacon rolls or burgers will be served throughout the day.

Aboyne Bike Park Association and Aboyne Nomads MTB Club, in association with Mid Deeside Limited, are aiming to raise funds for a mountain bike play park in the village. This will be for young people and big kids alike and will be free to use. It will consist of a pump park, skills course, dirt jump area and two downhill tracks. The group has already raised £28,000 of around £60,000 required for the project and is following up several other positive sources of grant funding.

The bike park is planned for the far eastern end of the Bellwood, about 2km from the end of the Bellwood housing development and will be designed so that it does not conflict with existing footpaths. Young people in the village have for years requested more facilities for teenage activities and this is highlighted as a key priority in the Aboyne Community Action Plan.

Biking provides an outlet for positive risk taking and encourages healthy lifestyles. It will be free at the point of use and accessible to all age groups and abilities.

Results of a survey for the 2011 Aboyne Community Action Plan showed support for the building of a mountain bike facility, not only from pupils at Aboyne Primary and academy, but also from the community at large.

Mountain biking is a fast-growing activity which is bringing tourists into Deeside and promises economic benefits to the community. The trail would link in with the Deeside Way and other initiatives by Aberdeenshire Council to encourage increased use of cycling.

Plans for the bike park will be on display at the Victory Hall at the fundraising event on March 24. All welcome to go along, meet the committee and discuss the plans, support the cyclists and contribute to this exciting new Aboyne project.