Peak District MTB has hit two significant milestones just recently. It’s 10 years since the group was formed, and just this week our 10,000th Facebook follower has joined us as we continue champion mountain biking here in the national park.
Back in 2013 when we kicked things off, we had a modest ambition to be the voice of mountain bikers on the local access forum – we’d been invited to join by the Peak District National Park Authority. With that open door, founding Chair Paul Richardson gathered together a small group of likeminded riders and Peak District MTB was formed.
Fast forward ten years, and 10,000 followers later and we can look back with real pride at some real achievements in those ten years. From the initial galvanising campaign on Rushup Edge to opening up Elmin Pits permissive access, and countless small interventions along the way, day in day out we’ve pushed for better for you all.
Paul reflects back, “When we first set out we believed that it would be a relatively straightforward process of looking at routes capable of becoming cycleways, or even bridleways, after all the UK outside the Peak Park has ~20% of rights of way accessible to MTBs, whereas within the National Park we only have 11%. We were sure that the reasonableness of the argument for balancing out the situation would win out.
“Here we are 10 years from that starting point and it has been a long fight against intransigence, misinformation, vested interest and a network of people and organisations that do not view MTBs favourably. Progress has been hard won, we are making headway but it is, and remains, a cause needing support from MTB riders of all ages and locations who want to enjoy riding their bikes in the Peak District National Park.”
Dan Noble picked up the baton as Chair from Paul.
“It’s been quite humbling seeing how support for what we do at Peak District MTB has grown over the years,” he says. “Our Facebook group reaching 10,000 members is a perfect example and is very important for us. It’s not just another social media mountain bike group; it encourages debate and discussion, and allows us to share news and promote events aligned with our aims and objectives. Without it we’d have a much smaller voice.
“Getting to our 10,000th Facebook follower is amazing and makes me very proud of the huge amount of dedication and effort from our committee, our trail maintenance crew and our members, all of whom give up their time voluntarily.
“Can I ask anyone who is not a full signed-up Member of PMDTB to do so here:
It makes our voice even louder.”
Current Chair Chris Maloney echoes their comments, “What this group has been able to do in ten years is amazing.
“For a small group of volunteers to have such an influence – and be so well respected – is incredible. I look back over some of the big things we’ve done; tackling the local councils, all the great maintenance on trails, the way riders are taking responsibility; and I’m really proud of the community.
“There are some amazing highlights there too, but few can top the sight of helicopters lifting the slabs up on the Cut Gate. That was the result of a campaign started in this very group for mountain bikers. What an achievement.”
So now we look ahead. Work continues. Read our latest updates on activities in Hollinsclough, our latest meetings with Severn Trent Water, education work with the Cubs and Greville’s update on Doctor’s Gate. Let’s see where we can take this in the next ten years
And congratulations 10,000th follower Andy Morgan! There’s a t-shirt and mudguard waiting for you at the Bike Garage in Bamford.