A MOUNTAIN bike jump track will be created in an area of woodland at the edge of Holyrood Park under ambitious community plans supported by the city council.
The Braidwood Bikepark Group (BBG) has drawn up plans to create the urban cycle park in the Braidwoods at the edge of Holyrood Park, near the Crags Community Centre.
Known as Skelf, the project would provide surrounding areas such as Dumbiedykes and Southside with easy access to trail cycling, mountain biking and a bike skills park.
Currently, anyone wishing to take part in such pursuits must drive 45 minutes south to Glentress or risk the ire of Historic Scotland staff by cycling on Arthur’s Seat.
Supporters hope that the project would help deter antisocial behaviour in an area frequented by drinkers and the homeless. Underage drinking is also a problem and bottles and cans are strewn through the woods.
BBG has won support for the bold vision from the city council – which owns the land – and numerous councillors.
A grant of £8500 will fund a feasibility study while a community survey is taking place online.
The project is estimated to cost in the region of £100,000 and is the brainchild of Angus Calder and Conrad Molleson, from East Crosscauseway.
Dad-of-two Angus, 38, said: “There really is nowhere for city kids to go and try out this kind of thing without driving all the way to Glentress.
“The council have been really supportive but we know that you have to be realistic given the way things are so we are trying to fund it all by ourselves.
“Everyone we have spoken to about it has been really positive so hopefully it will happen.” The park will feature a smooth and wide green trail for beginners and young children plus a more advanced red trail for more experienced riders.
A “pump” track will consist of a small but intense circuit of rolling bumps, table-top jumps and bermed – banked – corners designed to be ridden continuously without pedalling, but moving the bike thanks to the rider “pumping” energy to the wheels by shifting their body weight.
Green councillor Steve Burgess said: “I’ve been very supportive of this idea from the start, as are other ward councillors. There’s a huge amount of voluntary effort going into this and if they can get the funding it will be a fantastic resource.
“The Dumbiedykes housing estate is nearby and being able to offer local youngsters the chance to develop their bike skills on a purpose-built track would be of benefit to the whole community. Right now, this strip of woodland is just a magnet for rough sleepers.”
Former city transport vice-convenor Cllr Jim Orr has also lent his backing and said: “Skelf is a very exciting project. Anything to get kids out of the house and exercising must be a good thing.”
To support the plan and add your voice to the survey – deadline closes this Monday, March 10 – go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/DPNPNHM