My name is Neil and I'm the shy, reluctant co-chair and Deputy Manger of Alpine bikes Glentress.
A committed mountain biker, I've ridden in the area since I took up the sport ten years ago and fell in love with the Tweed Valley so much I moved to Innerleithen four years back to have the riding on my doorstep. When not at work in the bike shop, I spend much of my free time either riding and falling off the local wild trails or up in the woods doing things we can't write about here for the time being (use your imagination;).
My goal for the TVTA is to create a vehicle to sustain and improve the amazing network of trails we have here now, grow it in future and to one day be able to walk up into the woods with a group of riders and mattocks in broad daylight.
I'll see you out on the trail, in the shop or at one of our meetings. Look out for the grubby one covered in dirt or grease.
Living in Glasgow in the late 90s, I was coming down to ride bikes in the Tweed Valley every weekend. I loved it so much I moved to Innerleithen in 2005 and haven’t looked back.
Since then I have explored every hill/trail across the Tweed Valley. I have made my passion my job, and as a professional mountain bike guide, I take groups all over Scotland. On top of that I have 20 years of experience working in the public sector with my current role as a manager in the Scottish Parliament’s Human Resources Office.
My fellow board members tell me I am good at operations, organisation and management. That's probably why I am the TVTA ‘s Secretary!
My first memories of Glentress go back to a fully rigid steel Saracen that I raced around fireroads in the early 90’s. From then on, it’s been amazing to watch mountain biking grow on every level in both the Tweed Valley and around the country and the world. But with the amazing amount of new trails has come more riders and now’s the time to make sure we install something that allows us to look after what exists and make sure the young riders of the valley enjoy the freedom to ride we’ve had up to now.
Getting our teeth into helping make sure this amazing place remains amazing, while helping to develop a culture of custodianship, and responsibility among local riders and visitors towards the growing wild trail network is really exciting. As co-chair, myself and Neil hope that together we can work with the brilliant TVTA board and local land managers to represent as much as possible the needs and wants of the riding community, while helping to create a platform for trail management that will long outlive my increasingly arthritic joints.
Having recently made the decision to give up the corporate life and leave my job in the banking industry I thought this was a great time to not only ride my bike more but try to give something back to the mountain biking community in the valley. Being part of the TVTA has provided a great opportunity to do this. I’ve lived in Peebles for nearly 12 years, having moved down here from Edinburgh to be closer to the trails the valley has to offer but have been riding bikes since before then….although its only in the last 3 or 4 years that I ditched the skinny tyres for the nobbly variety!!
As a Chartered Accountant by trade, and because nobody else wanted the job, I’m chief bean counter, but hopefully I’ll be allowed out to get dirty on the dig days too.
I live with my husband, Craig, and 2 young sons, Alfie & Danny, who luckily, are more than happy on two wheels as well.
Biking makes me happy! – I enjoy riding anything from long remote loops, taking my two kids around trail centres or tackling the steep, technical trails in and around the Tweed Valley. I’ve been known to race occasionally, anything from GT7 and 10UTB, through Mountain Bike Orienteering and the odd Enduro including the Day/Night format.
More recently I’ve played a more active role in cycling events; organising and running SMBO events and taking time off work to be a Hill Manager for the Tweedlove Enduros. I aim to bring my Engineering, Programme and Information Management skills and experience into the TVTA to ensure the organisation moves forward with clearly defined solutions to the challenge of ensuring our trail network is both maintained and grown in a sustainable manner to meet the needs of the varying and numerous Parties interested.
I've been riding bikes properly for about 8 years now and moved to Peebles 3 years ago. Having visited a few times to race and ride we fell in love with the trail network and riding community here and thats my main reason for getting involved. I really hope that by being part of the TVTA I can give something back to the great community here in the Tweed Valley who have welcomed us with open arms and made it such a great place to live and ride bikes. I'd love to see the TVTA create a sustainable and growing trail network that exists side by side with all the other forest users.
My background in Intelligence and liaison work will hopefully be well used by the TVTA as well as more recently acquired skills in photography. I'm also really hoping to get some tools dirty and learn about trail building and land management.
I live in Peebles, am married to Paul and have an up and coming young ripper called Rowan. Please say hello if you pass any of us on the trails and chat about anything Tweed Valley and bikes.
Local rider (for the second time, having grown up in Peebles, moved away, then came back!), 20 years working and playing in various outdoor settings, currently Outdoor Education Officer for Scottish Borders Council.
I'm keen to see TVTA move forward and bring together the motivation and positivity of the local biking community, and make the trails and trail network even bigger and better. Doesn't like digging, loves a bit of brashing and puddle clearing.