THE Hawick Teviotdale MTB Offroaders are scaling great heights – and they are inviting anyone interested in joining them to come along.
What started with just a few friends heading off on cross-country mountain bike trails a few years ago has developed into a fully-fledged club.
Initially it involved Derek Campbell, Roger Hart and Kenny McAllan; but they were soon joined by Mick Brown, Billy Hodgins and Ged Smith.
And when Stuart Cuthbert moved to the area and went along with them around a year ago, his drive to start a local club – he used to run a successful MTB club in Yorkshire – saw the creation of Hawick Teviotdale MTB Offroaders.
Derek explained: “We started the club to try to get together individual Hawick cyclists who enjoyed offroad cross-country cycling. Although we are in the centre of a fantastic array of mountain bike courses, like the 7Stanes, at Kielder and the Lake District, lots of our routes can be reached by cycling using Hawick as a base.
“Craik Forest can be reached and the Red Route single track forms a loop of 30 miles.
“We have a few regular cross-country routes out towards Penchrise and The Maidens Paps or Skelfhill that form loops from Hawick of approximately 30 miles. Ruberslaw and the Minto Hills have also been tackled.”
Julian Cram, who owns Borders Cycles, has also been on a couple of runs and organised a route at Glentress, near Innerleithen, recently, where they were joined by youngsters Ben Wilson and Cameron Taylor.
Members are also venturing into official events and Derek, Mick and Kenny recently tackled an official contest at Keilder, joining 500 other mountain bikers in 6,000-feet of climbing over 54 miles, all offroad.
And they are now hoping to enter a team in the Whinlatter Altura Trail in the Lake District in March.
Derek added: “Looking to the future, there are loads of mountain bike events in Newcastleton and Kielder spread over the year and we hope to enter either a team or enter individually over the next year.
“Also, if we can increase numbers, we may think about designing and ordering an official club jersey.
“We always try and cycle as a complete group just in case someone has a mechanical problem with their bike for example.
“Whenever someone new comes along, we would always wait as everyone has different fitness levels.”
The hardy group can normally be found leaving from the gates of Wilton Lodge Park on a Sunday at 8am, regardless of the conditions. “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!” joked Derek.
For more information on the club, contact Julian at Borders Cycles on 375976.