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Northern Ireland Gears up for Mountain Biking

Jan 23

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23 January 2013  RssIcon


2013 is set to be an exciting year for mountain biking in Northern Ireland with four purpose-built trail centres launching in Rostrevor, Castlewellan, Davagh Forest and Barnett Demesne in Belfast.
Each of these official trail centres will combine to total approx 80km of sustainable trails across the country and will make Northern Ireland the next 'must visit' mountain biking destination in the UK and Ireland.

According to Chris Scott, activity tourism manager for Outdoor Recreation NI, Northern Ireland has the perfect landscape for mountain biking.
“Kilbroney alone gives you incredible views over Carlingford Lough and takes you through the foothills of the Mournes. I’ve been speaking to some world-class mountain bikers and they say it has some of the most fantastic views they have ever seen in mountain biking courses,” he said.
The routes are designed to merge in seamlessly with the forest, Chris added.
More than 250 businesses attended a series of Northern Ireland Tourist Board Industry Development Seminars to find out how they can benefit from the new flagship trails.
Rosemary Lightbody of NITB said: “We want to complement these world-class trails by empowering local communities and private sector tourism businesses to work together to provide high quality visitor facilities.”
Delegates heard from industry experts on how cafes, pubs and accommodation providers can best cater for visiting mountain bikers.
NITB also distributed pocket-sized toolkits aimed to stimulate ideas.
Key elements include providing good laundry and drying facilities, bike wash facilities and secure places.

Factfile
• Trails are graded green, blue, red and black with green the easiest and black the most technically challenging.
• Rostrevor is more technically challenging, with more red and black elements.
• Castlewellan has red and black elements, but is aimed at a wider range of users.
• Davagh also had red and black elements but is more suitable for beginners.
Visit www.outdoorrecreationni.com for more information.

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