Wheels in motion for Ballater’s first Mountain Bike Festival3 September 2021 | By billy1979
Ballater is getting ready to host its first-ever Mountain Bike Festival as the event makes its debut next weekend.
The three-day event, which takes place on September 10th-12th, is organised by the Ballater Business Association (BBA) and Ballater (Royal Deeside) Limited SC026254, in conjunction with Ballater Films and the V&A Halls.
Held on the Church Greens, the event offers adapted bikes by Grampian Disability Sport, guided mountain bike rides from Ride in Peace Adventures and EGuide Scotland, as well as Live Life Aberdeenshire’s portable pump track that features its cambered corners, narrows, drop-offs, see-saw and log rolls (not forgetting the limbo!).
The action-packed programme also includes the UK premiere of The Big Bike Film Night, presented by Ride Treeline and supported by Deviate Cycles. To the cycle-centric audience, this one is for you – enjoy a collection of short and documentary films that includes action, drama, humour, and plenty of inspiration; the evening is unashamedly designed and devised for the two-wheel devotee!
To finish off the weekend, the Tour of Britain will be cycling its way through Ballater, marking the most westerly point of the stage.
Final preparations have been at full speed for the team behind the event as they put the finishing touches to what is hoped to become a mainstay of the Ballater events calendar.
BBA Member, Susan Stewart discusses how Ballater is looking to develop respectful tourism that will sustain both its community and economy, “Whilst we are working within the constraints of COVID, we are simultaneously looking for opportunities to meet the new tourist trends, which is why we are very excited to launch our first Ballater & Crathie Mountain Bike Festival. Although the event is of a smaller scale than we had originally intended, we were determined to start this year, so that 2022 can be bigger and better.
This is a major event for Ballater. We are showing that we are open and that we have plans to develop as a key destination for adventure tourism and, in particular, mountain biking. We have our struggles - like the rest of the UK, we are experiencing staff shortages which means that our hospitality has to impose early closures, changes to opening times; and as such we need our community and visitors to be patient, be kind, and be flexible. Out of difficulty though comes opportunity, and Ballater is a great destination for action and adventure and overall wellbeing.”
The debut event is supported by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBiS) and North East Adventure Tourism (NEAT) who are eager to make the region a world-class destination for adventure sports tourism.
Will Clarke, Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland and North East Adventure Tourism Aberdeenshire Development Manager said, ‘’We are delighted to be supporting BBA and BRD with their first Mountain Bike Festival. It is great to see the enthusiasm of the local community working alongside adventure sports operators, voluntary groups and local businesses to do something new and exciting for locals and visitors alike.
As part of our wider North East Adventure Tourism Project, we hope to capitalise on North East Scotland’s natural assets and make the region a world-class destination for adventure sports tourism. Before the coronavirus pandemic, adventure tourism was the fastest-growing sector of the visitor economy in the UK. Our goal is to secure a bigger share of this high-value market for Aberdeenshire. Our project is funded and supported by Opportunity North East (ONE), Scottish Enterprise, Aberdeenshire Council, VisitAberdeenshire and Scottish Cycling and we hope it can play a major part in the regions covid recovery, long-term economic prosperity and quality of living in the region.
Aberdeenshire is one of Scotland’s most exciting, emerging mountain biking destinations and Ballater Mountain Bike Festival is sure to be a great weekend showcasing a stunning mountain bike destination and linking in with the Tour of Britain road race. We look forward to more events in the future!’’
The full line-up and tickets are available from www.visitballater.com/ballater-crathie-mountain-bike-festival/.