Friday, April 3, 2009


I am off to Scotland again in May. I never really expected that I would be returning to Europe so soon after getting back from Spain (and  few days in Scotland). I am going to the World Mountain Bike Conference in Dumfries, Scotland. 
A couple of things happened for me do decide. One I have a friend who just got a job in Dumfries and the Recreation Manager for The Forestry Commission there. This would include Mountain biking. Ros, my friend, has been living in Peebles but the new job required her to move. So a free place to stay for me. Two, another good friend , Andy is also going to the conference for all three days and he suggested I come along. Andy and Ros happen to be a couple. So a friend to go with. Three, Bend was just named the number 1 mountain bike location in the US by Mountain Bike Action. This is a cool distinction but in my opinion we have been this for quite a long time. We have some of the best trails in the world, and lately they have become more diverse. I can't ride some of the new stuff, but it sure looks like fun. Ramps, jumps, big drops... Rumor has it Mt Bachelor may even get into the mountain bike game. 
This being said not much if any money is spent by our local government, and different Tourist Organizations promoting mountain biking in Bend. We have two National Cycling Championships coming to Bend this year, which is great, we have lots of road events in Bend, Tour Deschutes, Cascade Cycling Classic to name  a couple, but Mountain Biking is just not on the map the way I think it could be.
We have the trails, but we haven't had the recognition. In Europe Mountain Biking is thought of as a "Green" recreation possibility. Mountain Biking is used as part of Economic Development in poor areas. Here we have Bend, Oregon one of the top 20 hardest hit areas in the US in this economic downturn, and we have been named one of the top mountain bike areas in the US, but we haven't put the two together. I am going to this conference to find out some ways our community can do this. 
It doesn't hurt that I love Scotland and I am going to get an opportunity to ride some of the trails that have made Mountain Biking in Scotland the second mostpopular reason to visit Scotland. First is something to do with looking at old Castles. Which is something you can do on Mountain Bike.
Check out the web page for the Conference and you will see it is quite impressive. I will let you all know how it goes.


B3 said...

Will the fact that may is Whiskey Month in Scotland ifluence any of your activities?

martysavalas said...

but real men drink gin. :)

will be good to see you Don. hopefully the Borderers will let you come to the Fife Riviera this time. It's a long way though. Must be at least 45 miles from Pebbles to here... ;)