This November we were due to host the biennial Scottish Mountain Bike Conference – clearly this is not an option in the current circumstances.
We know that whilst it has been a challenging year, there are opportunities for the mountain bike industry across Scotland that can be realised by bringing the sector, and the community together, to discuss, learn and share.
SO - we bring you the Scottish Mountain Bike Gathering 2020 and we want you all to be a part of it.
Read our full press release here.
The Scottish MTB Gathering is an exciting virtual gathering of the mountain bike industry and community to be held on 25th November 2020. The Gathering will include a range of sessions exploring opportunities to develop the sector, examining case studies of good practice and planning for a new future after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing will open the gathering, demonstrating the Scottish Government’s continued support for the industry.
Speaking ahead of the forum, Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“The increase in sales and folk riding bikes around Scotland has been very encouraging this summer.
“As lockdown restrictions began to lift, it became apparent that key cycling destinations such as the Tweed Valley, Fort William and Cairngorms were going to see benefits from the growth in this easy to physical distance activity.
“There is a need to capture this enthusiasm for cycling and ensure that we maximise the opportunities whilst exploring how we mitigate against any negative impact such as conflict with other land and road users in addition to any environmental impact.
“I’m pleased to have the opportunity to open The Scottish MTB Gathering – a vital forum for discussing the key opportunities and issues affecting this sector.”
Now, more than ever, the strength of the mountain bike community and industry working with Scottish Government, national agencies and Local Authorities is needed to secure Scotland’s position as a global leader. The MTB Gathering will discuss how the sector can maximise the opportunities which mountain biking brings including rural regeneration and development, community engagement, sustainably growing participation leading to improved health outcomes for Scots and supporting athletes to achieve on the world stage.
Head of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, Graeme McLean said,
‘There is no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone on a personal and professional level. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen mountain biking, and cycling generally, grow beyond what anyone could have predicted.
The MTB industry has seen a mix of fortunes with product developers and bike shops seeing demand outstripping supply. On the counter side, our mountain bike tourism industry has faced very challenging times although there are early and fragile signs of recovery with numbers of riders at key destinations being very high.
The opportunities and challenges that face our industry and community will fundamentally change the mountain bike scene. Indeed, now is arguably the time to accelerate many of the plans and actions within the Scottish MTB Strategy 2019 – 2025.
We believe the Scottish MTB Gathering will help us to do this, give us a platform to pull together, aim high and collectively build our community and voice.’
The Scottish MTB Gathering 2020 will virtually bring together individuals from across the industry. With ‘delegates’ being able to choose from a variety of presentations, interactive workshops and screenings. Topics being discussed will include trails, destinations and innovations and health and sport. There will be a session on the UCI World Cycling Championships 2023, investigating trail development models and highlighting good practice in making the most of our trails.
There will also be sessions shining a spotlight on our premier destinations, announcing new trails and destination developments, demonstrating trail building good practice with Forestry and Land Scotland, Trails Associations and social media influencers, examining the state of our sport and conducting interviews with pro riders.
The sessions will be delivered through an innovative interactive platform and app developed by Highland company, XPONORTH.