Mountain biking attracts a wide section of the population who are interested to activities that allow them to participate independently or as part of a social group in their own time and at their own level unlike some 'conventional' sporting activities such as team sports like football or hockey.
Unlike many team sports mountain biking can be offered to children from the ages of 6 upwards. The younger the participant the slower they may develop their mountain biking skills. However the stages of development will remain the same.
Mountain biking is an excellent activity to inspire people to be involved in lifelong activity. Mountain biking experiences provide an enjoyable way to appreciate the outdoors, stay fit and healthy and can also involve participating events, competitions and athletic performance.Back
There are many advantages to asking for help including:
We would recommend you contact the following people before setting up your club:
- Scottish Cycling Regional Development Officer - Nationwide
- Bike Club Officer (Glasgow, Lothians, Falkirk & Fife)
Feel free to also contact the DMBinS team and let us know how great your community club is!Back
Where will you be delivering your sessions? It is worth noting that local parks and playing fields are often excellent venues to start learning the initial skills of mountain biking.
This has the additional benefit of participants changing their outlook on what they can access near to where they live and encouraging informal participation.
For a full list of the promoted facilities in Scotland visit our 'Where to Ride' section of the website.
You may wish to develop your own mountain biking facilities within your local community. If you are considering this please see the section developing trails.Back
There are three likely options to consider when starting a club:
Participants bring their own bikes to the club.
This has the added benefit of participants cycling to the club however it would be recommended that any children or young people participating have gone to at least stage 2 in the bikeability programme.
Participants often have bikes that are not maintained to a high quality. It may be a good idea to work in partnership with a local bike shop and for participants to bring their bikes along to the club for a 'service' before your first session.
Your local bike shop may be willing to help to increase their profile in the local community. They may also be able to offer deals for children who have serious problems with their bikes. It is important that all bikes ridden at the club are in good working order and all children and young people wear helmets.
Obtain funding for bikes to be located near your club
This can be an attractive option as you can guarantee the quality of the bikes and ensure that the club is inclusive to everybody within the club. The bikes can also be used by other community groups.
A major barrier to having bikes at your club is the ongoing maintenance of the bikes. However this could also be an opportunity to offer your participants some practical life-long skills by teaching them how to maintain the bikes themselves. It is also advised to build a maintenance plan into your funding bid or to buy a quantity of spare parts and tools from your local bike store. Other considerations should be to ensure bikes can be cleaned at or near your venue.
There are a number of portable bike washes on the market that operate without needing to be near a power supply or outdoor water tap.
Work in Partnership with your local bike shop, facility provider or outdoor store you could organise a hire deal.
Although this is not an ideal long term solution it is an excellent option if you wish to pilot a mountain biking club without committing to buying and maintaining a fleet of bikes.
Funding may be available for this option.
If you have devised a creative solution breaking the barriers of obtaining bike equipment for your club - we would love to hear from you!
Drop us a mail and we will look to feature you in our case studies section!Back
You may see the purpose of your club as a way of leading riders into the outdoors or you may wish to bring a competitive element into the club.
Competition may just be team games to demonstrate improved skills or you may wish to aim towards regional or national competitions.
You may decide that your club will combine elements of leading and/or coaching in which case you should endeavour to have both a leader and a coach or skills instructor within your club. To see the different courses on offer see the Coaching and Leadership section.
Most courses to deliver mountain biking contain a cost. It is likely that funding will be available for deliverers.
Mountain biking is unlikely to be covered by your club's insurance so it is essential that everyone involved in delivering mountain biking gains the most relevant leadership or coaching award. Alternatively your club could become a member of Scottish Cycling or CTC which would provide your club with complete insurance and help join your club to a range of possibilities.
It is also essential for all deliverers to have a relevant first aid qualification.Back
A risk assessment is a pre-requirement of any activity. It balances the potential hazards that may be encountered and the likelihood of that hazard occurring.
We have a sample risk assessment available to download in the 'orange tab' located in the banner at the top of the page. (Please ensure that this risk assessment is adequate for your club's insurance)Back
Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, working in partnership with Mountain Biking UK (MBUK), has developed a series of adaptable posters which can be adapted to suit your own club.
By using these high quality materials, we believe, it should increase the appeal of mountain biking to all participants.
The posters can be downloaded in our marketing & promotion toolkit.
There are also images which can be downloaded and used in your marketing & promotion by clicking on the image on the grey scoller bar. For more help in downloading images visit 'Marketing Mountain Biking' section.Back