2018 MountainBikeNI Awards

Posted on January 30, 2019 @ 6:23 PM in Mountainbiking

The MountainBikeNI Awards, sponsored by Chain Reaction Cycles, are a great time of year where we can celebrate the very best of mountain-biking in Northern Ireland. Drum-roll please…here’s your 2018 Winners! 


Upcoming Trail Centre Winner: Gortin Forest Mountain Bike Trail Centre

Runner-up: Garvagh Forest Mountain Bike Trails

We’re as excited as everyone else at the prospect of the construction of new MTB Trails in Northern Ireland, so both these nominees are winners in our book. The people’s vote however landed behind the upcoming mountain bike trails in Gortin, Co. Tyrone. We’ll hopefully have plenty more news on both these trail centres soon! In the meantime, check out the other MTB trails across Northern Ireland: www.mountainbikeni.com/



Favourite Mountain Bike Trail Centre: Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails

Taking in 42% of the vote, Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails came out clear favourite here. Just look at that view – it’s not named Kodak Corner for nothing! 27km of red trail and 19km of black plus purpose-built two downhill trails make this consistently one of the top mountain bike centres in Ireland.


Favourite Mountain Bike Trail Section: Stream Trail, Davagh Forest  

A fast, flowy, and extremely fun section of trail, with plenty of berms and a few rock gardens thrown in, it’s not hard to see why the Stream Trail picked up its first ever MountainBikeNI Award – this trail section is definitely worth checking out. Big props to Davagh Forest!

Two sections of Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails fought it out for second-place, with Home Run receiving 127 votes and Batt out of Hell 126 votes. Trail sections at Castlewellan, Davagh and Rostrevor all received more than 25% of the vote each, showing just how much variety there is for mountain-biking in Northern Ireland.


Squad Leader of the Year: Andy Coburn   


Andy is a familiar face to mountain bikers all over Northern Ireland. A personal trainer at Positive-Attitude by Andy Coburn, he is a firm believer in the mental health benefits of mountain biking as well as the physical ones. Andy wanted to thank everyone that voted for him, earning him a nice little £50 voucher from sponsors Chain Reaction Cycles. He also asked us to remind everyone that he’s 40, so it’s not just a sport for the young ones!


Favourite Trailhead Provider: East Coast Adventure, Rostrevor

Taking first place in the ‘Favourite Trailhead Provider’ category is East Coast Adventure Centre, the official trailhead providers at Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails. They provide an uplift service (with free banter on the road up!)  as well as providing mountain bike lessons to people of all ages; it’s great to see them receive the recognition they deserve! Shoutout to Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan and Outdoor Concepts, Davagh Forest who received 35% and 21% of the vote respectively.



Favourite MTB-Friendly Café Winner: Urban Café, Castlewellan

Runner-up: Synge & Byrne, Rostrevor

Only two votes separated the top two spots here: in second-place we have Synge and Byrne at Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails , and our winner for ‘Favourite MTB-Friendly Café’ is…Urban Café in Castlewellan. No wonder Urban Café kept on to its top spot – this spot is a haven for mountain-bikers visiting Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails to rest up and grab a cuppa after a manic day out on the trails. I think we can agree on something – these are two top-class cafes for mountain-bikers in Northern Ireland.


Favourite Spot for an Apres-Ride Pint: Kilbroney Bar and Restaurant

Some call this the most important category in the MountainBikeNI Awards – while we don’t know about that, we do know Kilbroney Bar and Restaurant truly deserve this award. Well done to all the team there (congratulate them next time you’re in)!


Best MTB Event of 2018: Red Bull Foxhunt, Rostrevor

The chaos and craziness of the Red Bull Foxhunt, held at Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails, ensured it took top spot again as the ‘Best MTB Event of the year’. The Foxhunt was among a number of top-class mountain biking events held in Northern Ireland in 2018, with other events like the Davagh Enduro and the Psycle 24 Hour Endurance Event, Castlewellan also having massive turnouts. It’s fantastic that Northern Ireland is able to host such a great range of events for every level of mountain biker and that they continue to be so popular.


Favourite MTB-Friendly Accommodation: Kilbroney Caravan Park, Rostrevor

Coming in at top spot in the ‘Favourite MTB-Friendly Accommodation’, we have a new winner this year: Kilbroney Caravan Park, Rostrevor. The Park is situated in a stunning location, where mountain, sea and valley meet to create some scenic wonderland. Overlooking Carlingford Lough, the Park boasts 97 acres of beautiful parkland nestled within the shadow of Slieve Martin and the Mourne Mountains.


A special shout out also to the winner of the Garmin VivoSmart Heart Rate and GPS Monitor from Chain Reaction Cycles, Siobhan McGrath and thanks again to everyone that voted in the 2018 MountainBikeNI Awards.

Latest comment posted by Steven Kyle on February 15, 2019 @ 10:29 AM

Excited about the two new upcoming trails at Gortin & Garvagh, anyone know when these will be open? Read more >

Dominic Lyttle
Dominic Lyttle  Assistant Marketing Officer

Dominic has recently joined the ORNI team following completion of a MSc in Marketing from Queen’s University Belfast.

In his spare time, Dominic enjoys trekking, travelling to new and exciting places, and playing basketball, alongside drinking far too much coffee!

5 Festive MTB Treats

Posted on December 18, 2018 @ 3:19 PM in Mountainbiking

1. Sign up for the Christmas Trail Quest at Castlewellan Forest Park

This fun yet challenging quest takes you around the Castlewellan MTB trails, alongside the stunning scenery of the surrounding Castlewellan Forest Park. The quest will give you the opportunity to test your MTB skills, as well as planning, navigation, and teamwork.

A 2-hour maximum event, the Quest is suitable for Novice and Experienced cyclists alike, and you can enter as a Solo rider or a Team of any number (including families).

Find out more about this event here, and you can book online by following this link: bit.ly/ChristmasTrailQuest

Essential details:

  • Friday 28th December 2018; 10:00-13.00
  • £10/£7 advanced booking online only - ***closing date extended to 5pm on the 27th December*** - PLEASE NOTE PRE-BOOKING IS REQUIRED THIS YEAR

For friends not questing (your team support), whilst not out and about spectating, the Life Adventure centre will be open with fire roaring and both fresh coffee and free Wifi flowing!

As a Quest participant you'll also get complimentary use of the trailside centre with changing/hot showers and access to the cosy coffee dock with free Wifi.


2. Visit a new trail centre this Winter

Why not visit a new MTB trail centre that you’ve never been to before this Winter in Northern Ireland? Whether it’s one of the national trail centres like Rostrevor, regional centres such as Blessingbourne, or a local MTB facility like Tollymore, there’s plenty of mountain-biking opportunities to explore in Northern Ireland.

There’s also two brand new trails in Gosford Forest Park that are officially opening to the public in January 2019. Start the New Year off by exploring two brand new trails. Discover the wider Gosford Forest by following the Green or Blue graded family mountain bike trails, including optional technical sections, a Skills Loop and a Pump track.

Check out the trails here!


3. Ride out with the squad to the local

Meet up with friends that are home for Christmas or maybe take a friend out to the trails that hasn’t mountain-biked before – then treat yourselves to a few après-ride pints and well well-deserved grub. Remember that the trails are 100% free to use, and you can check trail conditions before you go on MountainBikeNI.com

MountainBikeNI has a range of suggestions for food and drink options available here that are close to the three National MTB trail centres in Northern Ireland: Davagh, Rostrevor, and Castlewellan, alongside suggestions for accommodation if you want to stay over close to the trails.


4. Vote in the MountainBikeNI Awards

The MountainBikeNI Awards celebrate the very best of Mountain Biking in Northern Ireland.  This year, MountainBikeNI has teamed up with official sponsors Chain Reaction Cycles to showcase all things great about Mountain Biking in Northern Ireland. 

This year we have also included two brand new categories; “Best Squad Leader" which recognises the person in your group always hounding friends to get out on the bike; and “Trail Centre You’re Most Looking Forward to Riding”. 

Vote here for your favourite MTB trail sections, favourite MTB cafes and accommodation, best MTB event of 2018 and more to be in with a chance of winning a Garmin VivoSmart Heart Rate and GPS Activity Tracker.

Voting closes at 11.59pm on Sunday 6th January.

Good luck to everyone nominated!


5. Enter MountainBikeNI’s competition to win this amazing prize!

Win 3 Top Prizes from Chain Reaction Cycles! Fill in your details here to be in with a chance of winning a Muc-Off Premium 3 Step Valet Kit; a LifeLine Pavo 2000L Front Light, and a LifeLine Aero Beam 25 Lumen Rear Light.

The winner will be selected on Monday 14th January at 12pm and will be contacted via email.

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

Northern Ireland's 5 Most Iconic MTB Spots

Posted on November 6, 2018 @ 12:57 PM in AdventureMountainbiking

We asked for your favourite bits of trail on Northern Ireland's MTB trail centres and you delivered! Below are 5 of the most popular sections of trails that were sent to us. If your favourite place to shred wasn't included, let us know so we can use it in future! Just email info@mountainbikeni.com


1. Boundary Rock, Davagh Forest Mountain Bike Trails


2. The Great Escarpe, Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails


3. Stream Trail, Davagh Forest Mountain Bike Trails


4. On the Pulse, Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails


5. Run Ragley Run, Davagh Forest Mountain Bike Trails


Visited these trails before? Have some epic footage or pictures of you on any of the mountain bike trails in Northern Ireland? We'd love to see them! Send them to us by emailing info@mountainbikeni.com. You can also check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The national MTB trails are sponsored by Chain Reaction Cycles. For more information on any of the mountain bike trails in Northern Ireland, please visit MountainBikeNI.com.

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

5 Tips to Help You at the Red Bull Foxhunt

Posted on October 2, 2018 @ 2:45 PM in Mountainbiking

This year's Red Bull Foxhunt will see 550 riders compete against each other and three of the biggest names in the world of mountain biking, who are assuming the mantle of the Foxes: Gee Atherton (Multiple World Cup and Championship wins), Loic Bruni (UCI World Champion) and Greg Callaghan (Ranked No.3 in the world at the 2017 Enduro World Series).

A daunting task for anyone - but MountainBikeNI have spoken to the one man who has won the Foxhunt an amazing 3 times; Colin "Rosco" Ross. Colin took us to Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails, where the Foxhunt takes place, and gave us his 5 tips on how to give yourself the best chance when taking part in the mass start event.

Tip 1: Look After your Suspension


Tip 2: Go for a Thicker Tire


Tip 3: Choose Different Lines During Practise


Tip 4: Practise Your Sprints


Tip 5: Make Sure You've Enough Energy for the Race


Good luck for the big day! If you'd like more advice on the wider Red Bull Foxhunt experience, you can check out MountainBikeNI for loads of helpful tips. We'll see you all in Rostrevor.

Colin Ross
Colin Ross  World DH Master's Champion

Colin is a 3 time winner of the Red Bull Foxhunt and current Master's World Downhill Champion.

Colin Ross Reflects on his trip to Blessingbourne Estate

Posted on August 31, 2018 @ 2:59 PM in Mountainbiking

We had the pleasure of chatting to Colin Ross after he returned from acheieving the small feat of becoming the World Master's Downhill Champion (no biggie, right?). After the madness of that, and another win at home Colin spoke to us about his connection to Blessingbourne Estate's Mountain Bike Trails.

It was great to make the trip down to Blessingbourne Estate again this year with the family, as we have been a few times in the past and the kids are always asking to go back! With having two boys (5&2yrs old) who are mad into bikes and a wife and daughter (7yrs old) who aren't, it's hard to get somewhere that works for everyone.

With Blessingbourne being one of the flatter trail centres in the country this means no big climbs and that whatever bikes the kids are on, (including my 2 year old's balance bike or my wife's touring bike, we can get around most of the trails as a family!

That being said, I do have a 5 year old (Rosco Junior) that loves to get his wheels off the ground and ride some good descents with great corners - and that's exactly what Blessingbourne has! They don't have a big hill but with a little thought in the design, they have came up with some great short 'downhill' sections that have great flow with some tabletops and well made berms that I really enjoy when knocking out a couple of laps of myself.

The pump track is always a winner with the kids and with the picnic area right beside it it is a great place for a lunch break as you can let the kids work away while you eat!

The other big attraction is that Blessingbourne is a child friendly farm and my lot love to walk around looking at the animals or maybe even getting to sit on a tractor! They also have a play park, games room and tennis court which are all very well looked after and good fun! There are extensive walks around the estate or you can even hire a boat and go for a paddle on the lake.

Owners Nick and Colleen make your visit, whether it be a day or longer, very welcoming and nothing is ever too much for them. They have created a fantastic place that is both fun and safe and I always look forward to going back.

For more information on Blessingbourne Estate, please visit MountainBikeNI.com

Latest comment posted by Scott on September 7, 2018 @ 6:26 AM

Nice place to visit with the family. Although for any bicycle accessories you will contact us :- http://www.foilwheels.com Read more >

Colin Ross
Colin Ross  World DH Master's Champion

Colin is a 3 time winner of the Red Bull Foxhunt and current Master's World Downhill Champion.

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