IMBA Affiliates Cookstown Cycles are taking the lead in conjunction with Harps Cycling Club in an interesting low lands site based in Mid Ulster: A 10KM blue+ loop around the estate ground with a red 5 KM loop.
Phase one all fairly straight forward, the Estate trust is seeking around £200K funding to gain contractors to construct the blue loop.
Harps Cycling Club are developing a 10 Acre field leased from the Estate as a skills park, pump track, dirt jumps, a car park, and resource base.
The site is only a short 10-15 minute cycle from both Sleeve Gallion Mountain (a great natural open country XC and DH area) and Davagh Forest, long term favourite by many. Now after a decade of local rider lobbying gaining a £400K face lift by Cookstown Council using consultants Dyfadd Davies (2008) and Phil Saxanna (2011) has made it an excellent base for two day all-mountain episodes.
IMBA has assisted with all designs to date, for all trails: “basically milking as much as possible from the terrain with the five golden trail design rules in hand”.
It has a real interesting terrain “lots of Knoll Hills with a river snaking through the core of the Estate”. IMBA is on the ground coaching new trail builders, assisting lead builders with standards and procedures to meet real targets of work.
The volunteers project is a twelve month project with a 1km skills loop lapping the Club site. IMBA’s new insurance policy scheme will be in full effect here, protection for both the land owner and end user.
The Estate have big plans for cafes, accommodation blocks, a conference centre and craft shop units. Already spending £1 million on refurbishment with only 10% of the existing estate having been effected.
“So spending days in down-pour rain flagging out trails since Early October are paying off for the Mid Ulster Riders”.