The Tweedlove International Enduro, held over four days last week, filled a large hole left by the Enduro World Series which dropped into the Tweed Valley in 2014 and 2015 but not this year. Half of the NETCO committee were racing and a great time was had by all, with excellent organisation by the Tweedlove folks.
The event, and the EWS rounds before it, leave a number of lasting impressions when you take part. For me the strongest is seeing mountain biking at the heart of the Tweed Valley community with its value widely recognised and promoted. Actually, what probably tops even that is high-fiving the kids that line the finish on Peebles Green, seeing them riding bikes at every opportunity and the look of wonder on their faces as they get the autographs of the pro riders.
I think it’s fair to assume that the excellent mountain bike trail facilities built in the Tweed Valley played a significant part in creating and nurturing the biking scene in the area. Glentress and the wider 7 Stanes network have their origin in the foot and mouth crisis of 2001 which highlighted the value of outdoor recreation in rural areas. That, coupled with a desire to diversify the Scottish Borders economy, meant a green light for significant trail development. The result is world renowned facilities, 300,000 visitors a year to Glentress alone, a significant number of world class mountain bikers and kids cycling clubs full to the gunnels.
Well, at NETCO we want a slice of that! While we realise we won’t replicate all that the Tweed Valley is (at least in the short term!!), a new, high quality trail centre is a great opportunity for the existing cycling community of the North East, but also for the area as a whole. Few would argue against the need to diversify our economy and the opportunity a facility would provide for younger riders is undeniable.
Speaking of lasting impressions, we are utterly bowled over by the response to our crowd funding. 77% of the way there in just over a week….!! That level of support is astonishing and the various bodies and organisations we talk to will certainly take notice of it. It’s a huge boost for the project. As was the publicity last week on Pinkbike, Singletrack, Wideopenmag and others.
The crown funding will stay open until 9th July so please donate – https://mydonate.bt.com/events/netcomtb/302853.
Keep an eye out for some other NETCO activities in the near future 🙂