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Can’t see the wood for the trees

Posted on July 4, 2013 @ 12:37 PM in Mountainbiking

Guest Blog submitted by Andrea Harrower

For any MTBer disappointed by the partial closure of the new trails at Castlewellan, the phrase “you can’t see the wood for the trees” springs to mind! Stop focussing on the words larch disease, and instead see Castlewellan for what it is even with some trail closure – a spectacular place that still boasts a great percentage of open red route, the Dolly’s Chute black route and the entire green family cycling trail. 

Castlewellan MTB Trails

Yes, it’s a blow, because anybody that has ridden the trails has been blown away by how awesome they are from both a biking and scenery point of view. But for those red route seekers, plenty of the trails and fire roads can be combined with the fantastic section of red route that remains open. And just think, if you do repeats of the open sections, you’ll be an expert at them in time for the closed sections to open again. Or you’ll be covered in so many bruises from falls on Dolly’s Chute that the rest of the trails will feel like a doddle!

And if that isn’t enough, there’s the pump track to perfect your skills on, the maze to get lost for hours in!, vast green open areas and lake-side spots to picnic on, and endless possibilities of other outdoor activities with established activity provider Life, based in the courtyard.

Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails

The Belles and Young Guns continue to use Castlewellan regularly, with some of the rocky sections that remain open and the tight fire road climbs providing the Belles with good terrain and training for their recent race at Fortwilliam, where they won female pair at “10 under the Ben”. The open trails continue to be a huge draw for the wee ones too: “How can you not have fun there? I wish I could live there for a wee while,” commented Fraser, age 9.

Whether you want to blast an hour or two on MTBs, or spend a whole day at a stunning location doing as little or as much as you can, Castlewellan remains a top venue even with partial trail closure.

Next up for The Belles is HOPEFULLY the Race Across America! One the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world, the RAAM inlcudes 3000 miles of cycling across 12 states, 88 counties and 350 communities ascending over 170,000 vertical feet.

The Belles

The Belles are seeking financial and commercial support to actually have a chance of making the start line in June 2014. They have key leads with media contacts with a view to TV publicity and would love to hear from local companies interested in getting on board. Check out the Belles Facebook Page or on Twitter @BellesOutdoor

Andrea Harrower
Andrea Harrower  The Belles

Eternal adventure seeker.... A sports enthusiast, who competes at a high level but who has as much passion for encouraging other females and kids into the great outdoors. Along with 3 other like-minded girls she founded The Belles in 2009!

2 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by Russell Briggs on July 9, 2013 @ 8:39 PM

I had the pleasure to ride at Rostrevor and Davagh last Tuesday, and I just want to say: these trails are awesome! I live in Northern California and wish we had purpose built trails like this.

I'm so happy that Ireland has embraced the sport and done such a fantastic job at building such great trails for everyone to enjoy. I'm telling everyone I know about them and getting them anxious to come visit these fantastic bike parks in this fantastic country.

I can't wait to come back again and ride!

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