"This course, built without permission by mountain bikers, is causing severe problems."


Mike Vandeman

Yes! Of course! What ELSE is new?



Mountain bikers 'are risking lives'
Published on 30/04/2007
By Ross Brewster

EXTREME mountain bikers in Keswick are putting life and limb at risk
an unofficial course in woods on Latrigg fell.

Now a group of local people want to open dialogue with the bikers to
provide a safer, better regulated course for them to practice their
speed jumps and turns.

Landowner Jack Spedding says he would be willing to listen to any
proposals for a properly constructed course which could help young
riders turn into national stars of the sport.

However they need somebody to champion the cause, who can work with
youngsters and the landowner so an agreement can be reached.

Keswick town councillor John Walker, himself a mountain bike
said they could find funds and the expertise to build the course
locally, but need to identify the right person to co-ordinate a

He said: "I have seen the course and the youngsters must be very
talented to ride it.

"There are people in the town who want to help. They have the
expertise in mountain biking and building to make a course which is
safer for the kids, but which also meets with the approval of the
landowner and would meet insurance risks."

Mr Walker said: "This could be a real opportunity. We have money and
skills available, but nobody who has the ear of the youngsters who can
work with them to foster the talent which is so obviously there."

The land involved is owned by the Mirehouse estate which recently put
a galvanised gate to try and stop the use of the area by riders.

This was torn down and damaged last week.

Mr Spedding said he was concerned for the safety of other people using
the woods, disabled riders from the nearby Calvert Trust stables and
mountain bikers themselves.

He said: "We allow free and open access to a large area of woodland on
Latrigg and have a large system of paths through the wood.We encourage
the use by walkers and riders from the Calvert Trust.

"However this course, built without permission by mountain bikers, is
causing severe problems."

An application put in almost two years ago to create a mountain bike
centre and world class trails at Whinlatter Forest Park was withdrawn
after running into difficulties with planners and local people
that a scheme of the scale planned would cause problems on the roads
the surrounding villages.

Recreation manager Adrian Jones has not ruled out a further
for a scaled down version of the scheme in the future.
I am working on creating wildlife habitat that is off-limits to
humans ("pure habitat"). Want to help? (I spent the previous 8
years fighting auto dependence and road construction.)

Please don't put a cell phone next to any part of your body that you are fond of!


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