HELENSBURGH’S mountain bike community have spoken of their delight after agreeing terms with local landowners over the use of newly built bike trails in the area.

The close-knit group of cyclists who frequently use the hills near to the Highlandman’s Road, just outside Helensburgh and Rhu, were worried that landowner objections to them building pathways would put a halt to their mountain biking days there, as reported in the Advertiser last month.

However after talks with Scottish Woodlands – who manage the forest on behalf of the owners – terms were agreed for the use of the area, and the bikers can continue to enjoy the hills.

Jacqueline Hood of Helensburgh Mountain Bike Meet-up told the Advertiser: “Scottish Woodlands are happy for mountain bikers to continue to use and enjoy the forest.

READ MORE: Helensburgh's mountain bikers share passion for getting out on the trails

“They were initially concerned about the jumps in case people injured themselves on them leading to potential liability issues for them.

“However, they’ve checked their insurance and have been told that they’re covered.

“This means that the trails that are in place can remain as they are with no changes to the jumps or bridges that have already been built, which is fantastic news.

“They have asked that we don’t build any more new trails in the areas that have been felled recently and replanted, as they want to allow the small trees to establish themselves and grow a bit.

“But that seems like a small price to pay for being allowed to keep the trails that we have already.”

Mountain bikers from across Helensburgh and the surrounding area are satisfied with the news, even as the summer begins to fade and colder weather begins to return.

“It’s absolutely fantastic given the hours and hours of hard graft and tonnes of earth shifted that went into building them during lockdown.” Jacqueline continued.

READ MORE: Rhu campaigners' petition calls for ancient woodlands protection

“Planning and then executing a rideable trail is a real challenge, but immensely satisfying once it is finished and you can ride it and the obstacles run as you planned.

“The new trails have big gap jumps with chicken runs being added as necessary, along with drop offs, berms, hips, bridges and kickers.

“Everyone does their bit to improve them each time they ride.

“The Scottish Woodlands representative could not have been more helpful or approachable and we look forward to working with them in the future to secure and improve mountain biking access in the area.

“It’s such a relief and I am really pleased for all the teenagers who put so much hard work into creating all the new trails and features.

“They are great ambassadors for their age group and the town.”

Details of the new trails are available on the Trailforks app for Apple and Android phones.

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