Project Description

Greenrig Bike Park is located on Callendar Estate, on the outskirts of Falkirk, in central Scotland. It is the latest trail construction I’ve completed and a culmination of a lot of work over the last 18 months by Guy Wedderburn, the Estate Manager, Andy O’Neil, the manager of Bespoke Community Development Company who manage the Estate trails, and myself.  I’ve been helping Guy with planning requirements, and the tender process since completing the design in late 2014.

The project was initially conceived to complement the existing trail network, and help to create a new ‘Hub’ for the trails along with a bike shop and cafe, which have also been built there in the last 12 months. I have worked with Guy and Andy quite closely on different projects over the last 2-3 years, and it was a challenging design process to turn a small area of wind blown forest into a bike park that would meet the needs of the various stakeholders.  The trail design process is described in more detail in another post I wrote at the time.

Progressive mountain bike jump lines at Greenrig Bikepark

The design project, and subsequent successful funding application to the sportscotland Commonwealth Games Legacy Fund took place in late 2015, with some extra work required to satisfy planners, and find the remaining 50% funding required before going through a tender process to find a suitable contractor. This was completed in early summer this year and construction started mid August 2015.

The successful contractors were Arbuckle Contracts, whom I’ve worked with previously and was pleased to be working with again. They know what’s involved in building mountain bike trails, are prepared to be patient, and their machine operator Robbie, is incredibly skilled in an excavator. All of which makes my job a lot easier!

The construction process was fairly straightforward and we were lucky with the weather, only being rained off twice, in what has been a very wet summer. The clay subsoil that is prevalent across much of central Scotland gave us some challenges, but not insurmountable ones, and we were finished the build in around 6 weeks, with just signage and fencing to be installed by the Bespoke team before opening to the public at the end of October. As with any build there needs to be a consolidation period to let the trails settle and bed in before riding, so please be patient!

The Bike Park features a range of trails, with a pump trail, a technical rock trail, two jump lines, one featuring a mellow wall ride, and a beginners area with some basic features to try. The aim of the design was all about progression, from beginner to skilled rider, and providing features that will satisfy every level, as well as aid development to the next. This is all packed into a compact site and will look great once some vegetation has grown up and trees have been planted.

I’m really looking forward to seeing it in use and getting some feedback from riders. It will also be interesting to see what impact there is on visitor numbers to the Estate, and indeed the Canada Wood Cafe and Greenrig Bike Shop. My hunch is that it will really help bring people to the trails, and keep people there, especially families, who can reach it bike bike on the off-road John Muir Way from the centre of Falkirk.

Keep an eye on Bespoke CDC’s Facebook Page to find out when it’s open, go and have a ride and let me know what you think, either on social media, or drop me an email.  Also make sure you come along to the Falkirk Funduro on the 21/22 November 2015, at family friendly event promoting all the trails that Callendar Estate has to offer.  I’ll be there all weekend in my role as Safety Officer, so I look forward to seeing you there.