THE Capital’s budding Chris Hoys could soon have somewhere else to practise their skills, with plans afoot to build new free-to-use bike trails in East Lothian.
Traprain Trails, set up by local man Alistair Clark, aims to construct a series of trails for beginners and more experienced bikers on farmland two miles south of East Linton, on the south side of Traprain Law.
Though still in the very early stages, the plans have been met with enthusiasm by locals, officials and biking organisations.
Alistair, 25, told the Evening News: “The ultimate aim is to create somewhere where young people, families and experienced bikers can come and enjoy biking and hone their skills.
“My father passed away and left the land to me and my brothers. We’re not farmers, so I thought it would be good to build jumps for friends and I called the council to see what process I would have to go through.
“They mentioned they had been looking for somewhere to build trails and that’s what led to us setting up Traprain Trails.
“We’re at the stage of trying to set up a committee and we had about 25 people at a recent meeting to discuss the project.”
Labour councillor John McMillian said: “I know our economic development committee have been in contact with Alistair and are very interested. It’s certainly in line with our economic development strategy.
“It’s an exciting development and we hope we’ll be able to work with him in future. It’s the kind of project that opens up the whole beauty in the county to different groups and something we hope will make East Lothian more attractive as a tourist destination.”
Conservative councillor Ludovic Broun-Lindsay added: “I wish them the very best of luck.”
Mr Clark is now looking for volunteers to get the ball rolling.
“It’s hard for a couple of people to try to organise all this. Plus the more people we have the more ideas we will have. It’s about what the people want and how best to give it to them.
“We need to make sure as much information about what we plan is circulated so people can discuss things with us and we can deal with any concerns. It’s a very popular area with walkers due to the scenic beauty and understandably people will perhaps be a bit resistant to change, though I haven’t actually had any objections yet.
“Everything hinges on what the community decides so there are no definite plans right now. We want to consult with locals – the trails would not just be for us. However, all being well the first thing I would like to do is build some basic trails, probably something like Berm Baby Berm at Glentress.”