Scottish Cycling are conducting a review of how best the governing body for the sport can support mini-DH and the downhill (DH) pathway in Scotland. They are looking to gather the views of parents and riders in order to develop our understanding of the current landscape and the possible future recommendations for the discipline through a survey.
In 2011, Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) suggested an improvement to the downhill (DH) pathway in Scotland to Scottish Cycling (SC). This led to a series of accessible entry level events that offer an opportunity for young riders to try DH racing and created the opportunity for the fastest to experience racing at the UCI DH World Cup at Fort William (WC).
A pilot series was delivered in 2012 by Bob MacFarlane (RDO Highland at the time). This was deemed a success which attracted Scottish Power funding and allowed successive series delivery in 2013, 2014 and 2015. During this time participation grew as did the demand for greater technical challenge of tracks.
In 2015 Borders MTB Racing was created to fulfil this demand and with the end of Scottish Power funding, the series was received as a volunteer driven successor to Scottish Cycling run events.
In 2016, the mini-DH qualifiers for Fort William were a combination of Borders MTB Racing events and, to give regional balance, events run by Bob MacFarlane (Off-Road Events Manager). In 2017, an SC North Regional Mini-dh series was created in partnership with three youth clubs and this ran until 2018, when it was superseded by the Highland Hardline.
The creation of the Highland Hardline was welcomed by SC as a continued move towards a volunteer driven series’. During 2018 the qualifiers for the WC were run by both Highland Hardline and Borders MTB Racing with the final at Fort William organised by Scottish Cycling.
Both the Borders MTB Racing and Highland Hardline series’ have continued the success of the mini-DH format and brand. This has been achieved by volunteer delivered quality events that are well attended by young riders and has driven an increase in the ability of young riders across the discipline.
Graeme McLean, Head of DMBinS, explains the need for the review:
We are passionate about getting people riding bikes and the growth of mini-DH has been fantastic to see. However, we do know that in 2019 there were challenges with the relationship between mini-DH event organisers and Scottish Cycling. We have set up this review which will help us understand how the whole organisation can best support mini-DH event organisers, the DH pathway and provide a range of recommendations for future support which it is hoped all parties can get behind.”
The survey will take around 20-25 mins to complete, if time is short you are able to submit part returns (please ensure that you click submit, to do this). We appreciate your time and value your contributions.