Popular mountain bike challenge back in the saddle

A popular mountain bike challenge will return in May after being cancelled for the past two years.

Matthew Hornby, Eleanor Underhill and Paul Harding
Matthew Hornby, Eleanor Underhill and Paul Harding

The Borderland Mountainbike Challenge, will be held on May 7 starting at the Rhiwlas Village Hall.

After the Covid pandemic hit the event, organisers say it will be great to be back.

Formerly the Dairi-Pak Mountainbike Challenge, the event has grown and added sponsored.

Borderland Rotary, which first organised the challenge back in 1994, said the 2022 event will be sponsored, as usual by Dairi-Pak and Mule Cycles but with local company AICO welcomed into the fold as well.

The 22-mile challenge, takes the riders over green lanes and farm tracks, up and down the foothills of the Berwyn Mountains and is available to riders of all competence.

However, Jonathan Jones, who organises the event for Borderland said: "It’s not for the faint hearted as there is only about 300 mtrs of tarmac and probably no more than that on level ground. If the pandemic has done one positive thing, it is the explosion in cycling of all types and particularly, the growth in sales of electric mountain bikes so, in response, the challenge will welcome E-bikes from now on.

“I’ve really missed the event the last couple of years and so glad to be back as it’s an important charity fundraiser as well a great, exciting ride. Our main benefactor has always been the Air Ambulance and this year we hope we can top all previous years as the event grows and develops so, if you’ve taken up mountain biking during the pandemic or you’re a journeyman rider, please get involved. Details will be available soon.”

Tim Gray, who is chief executive of Dairi-Pak Packaging, has always been involved in one way or another as his late father, Brian, came up with the idea and launched the first ride in 1994. Tim said, “The lockdown gave me a little time to think about things other than family and business and it occurred to me that the ride could be bigger and better if we made some changes – not to the ride itself or the team at Borderland – but to the way it is supported, sponsored and promoted. I’m thrilled to say that AICO are now involved, and our plans are very exciting.”

AICO a market leader in home life safety products, said it was committed to community projects around Oswestry and beyond and pleased to be involved.

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