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MMBC Launch Island’s first purpose built Mountain Bike Trail 16 August 2007

Manx Mountain Bike Club (MMBC) will proudly launch the Island’s first ever purpose built trail at South Barrule on Monday August 20, 2007.

The 1KM trail was built by MMBC in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) in the plantation at the bottom of South Barrule. Although short in length, the new feature winds its way through the trees making a scenic and exciting course for all riders.

Gavin Callow, MMBC commented:

‘The club has been trying to promote the idea of having purpose built trails on the Island for some time now. Mountain biking has turned into one of the most popular leisure activities in the UK and trail centres have also proved popular around the UK and Ireland. The Isle of Man’s natural beauty and resources make it an ideal setting for such a scheme.
The trail is for competent riders and would suit anyone from the age of 8. A helmet must be worn at all times. Riders are asked to bear in mind that the trail is ridden at your own risk.’

The South Barrule trail is being described as a ‘demonstration’. It will help MMBC gauge public opinion on the project. If successful, bigger and better trails could be created at various locations around the Island.

Gavin said:

‘The club urges anyone interested in mountain biking to come up and give the trail a test drive. It is essential that we gain as much feedback as possible to determine if there is enough demand to warrant investment in a larger purpose-built circuit.’

A survey regarding the new facility has been developed by the Department of Tourism and Leisure (DTL) and questionnaires are available to pick up from the IOM Welcome Centre, Cycle shops and Forestry Division at St Johns.

Trail guides can be found on DTL’S website www.visitisleofman.com or www.manxmtb.org

Minister for DAFF, Phil Gawne, MHK said:

‘It has been a long road to get to this stage but the Department is delighted to finally open this marvellous project to the public. Being involved in creating the South Barrule mountain bike trail has been a very important learning experience for us.
I sincerely hope that the South Barrule mountain bike trail is a huge success that brings benefits to both residents and tourists alike. I look forward to working with MMBC in developing similar projects.’

Adrian Earnshaw, Minister for DTL added:

‘This project was a great opportunity for the Department to attract a different kind of tourist to our scenic countryside. The new trail is already generating interest from the UK and Ireland and we hope this will continue further afield.
We will continue to support this project and are optimistic that our survey will reveal there is plenty of demand for further trails, both from residents and visitors to the Island.’

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