The TweedLove bike week got underway in the Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders today. The action kicked off with the Glentress Seven seven-hour marathon mountain bike race, and the festival will conclude next Sunday, June 19.
TweedLove is again being organised by the local community - everyone from Scottish Borders Council and Lothian and Borders Police to local businesses, cycling clubs and organisations and biking enthusiasts. Their enthusiasm, generous support and community spirit makes TweedLove a unique event.
The many informal ride outs and guided rides on both fat tyres and skinny wheels, hosted by passionate local riders throughout the week, encapsulate the true spirit and ethos of the festival - a special week of bike riding and good times on and off the bike in the Tweed Valley.
TweedLove has a packed programme of free and paid events being staged across the valley. Following funding awards from EventScotland and Scottish Borders Council, some major new events have been added to last year's busy roster of popular open races, big guided rides (both on and off road), a film night (including a film-making competition), a dual slalom and barbecue and a series of informal ride-outs, where local riders host visitors on some of their favourite (and lesser known) trails.
The 2011 festival includes the following events:
The Glentress Seven on June 11: An endurance mountain bike event combining the best of the man-made and natural trails with loads of normally off-limits tracks and some specially built sections.
Skinny Tweed at The Hub in Glentress on June 12: A free guide-supported road ride round a beautiful circuit of quiet country roads, with a stop for food and a sociable demeanour. 44 mile route.
Local Ride-Outs in Peebles (women only) on June 12; Innerleithen on June 13; Selkirk on June 14; and Peebles on June 15 & 16: Local riders share some of their favourite (and lesser known) trails on these friendly, informal rides. Some fantastic mountain bike rides around the Tweed Valley. Routes vary, lasting about two hours.
The Peebles Sprint & family ride on June 14: - a Belgian style "kermesse" town centre road race. 40 riders battle it out over a short, fast and furious course. There will be an opportunity for kids and families to ride a lap of the course before the start.
Hawaii Tweed & Dual Slalom in Glentress on June 15: Head to head racing down a parallel course; push up, switch courses and go again. BBQ, late night Hub cafe opening, Hub bikes demo night and ride-out.
Celluloid Tweed & TweedLove Film Competition at Eastgate Theatre Peebles on June 16: The multi-award winning headline film, Life Cycles, has been recognized as one of the most beautiful and original bike films ever made. It will be screened alongside a selection of the best entries to the amateur short film competition.
Dirt Crit at Glentress on June 16: Peebles Cycling Club are holding a round of their Dirt Crit cross country series open to all children under 16.
Crosslove & Pump It Up at St Ronan's Primary School, Innerleithen on June 17: Crosslove is a summer cyclo-cross race for all on a short, challenging off road course. Pump It Up, the unofficial Scottish Pump Track Championships, will see riders race each other over 10 laps of one track and in a velodrome style pursuit on the other.
Natural Tweed at Innerleithen trailhead car park on June 18 & 19: Two epic free self-guided mountain bike rides with some big climbs, some ripping descents and awesome scenery, taking riders on a big trip of discovery on some great trails around the Tweed Valley. Limited places. Both routes approximately 55km.
Crank It Up, a TweedLove closing concert at Peebles Burgh Hall on June 18: Scottish indie band success story Frightened Rabbit headline. Having just signed with Atlantic Records, Frightened Rabbit, who hail from Selkirk, return to the Tweed Valley for a very special one-off gig. Support from The Filthy Tongues.
For more information, visit http://tweedlove.com.