Rule Britannia

2015 was a great year to be British – One of our own went into space, we enjoyed sporting success throughout the year and Downton Abbey is finally finished for good. It was also a great year for the British mountain biking community too, here’s why:

We supported Trails for Wales

Born to shred: the new Alpine 160RS at Bike Park Wales

Can you imagine how great it would be if we could legally ride every footpath in Wales? Well the mountain bike community took a massive step towards that this year as over 3,600 riders wrote letters to the Welsh Government as part of a consultation process on open access.

It is no guarantee that we will get greater access but it is a clear sign that the mountain biking community is willing to make its voice heard for better riding.

We hosted some great events

Some of the most fun you can have on a bike is pushing yourself while riding at an organised event. Once again Scotland proved an excellent host for international racing but there were also tons of domestic events for everyday riders to enjoy.

The inaugural Epic Cymru gave British riders a taste of stage racing in south Wales, the ‘Ard Rock enduro continued its success in the Yorkshire Dales and the Tweedlove festival provided two weeks of  great events . With all these and more set to run again in 2016 there’s no excuse to not test your riding against others in the future.

We funded Martyn Ashton’s rehab

Martyn Ashton GoFundME rehab

At the tail end of 2015 Martyn Ashton was in dire straits. To keep up his rehab program he decided to sell his famous bike from Road Bike Party 2. There was a massive social media backlash and instead a GoFundMe page was set up.

The £7,000 Ashton needed was raised within an hour and the total now stands at £50,000 with over 3,500 backers.

We made some great bikes

Grand Design: the Bossnut can't be beaten for £1k (Fowler)

Grand Design: the Bossnut can’t be beaten for £1k (Fowler)

Not only do some of the world’s best riders come from these islands but so do some of the best bikes. This year our Bike of the Year was the Bossnut from Calibre bikes. On top of this we’ve seen some great models from Whyte, Orange and Bird. There are also new brands emerging such as the Sheffield based Airdrop.

We enjoyed racing success

Once again Britannia ruled the trails as our riders took on the world. Rachel Atherton was our biggest success story as she stormed to seven World Cup victories and a World Championships but there was also downhill success for Josh Bryceland and an enduro crown for Irishman Greg Callaghan.

Special mention should also go to Sam Reynolds who took the Best Trick prize at his first ever Red Bull Rampage.

We opened some awesome new trails

Our riding scene would get pretty boring if we had to ride the same old trails every ride. Thankfully Britain is home to a number of trail building groups that keep us inundated with new singletrack to ride.

The most exciting development of the year was Britain’s first crowd funded trail-Lady Canning’s but there’s more good news for 2016 as the Fly Up 417 bike park is set to open in March.

Mountain biking gained more mainstream recognition

Peaty winter loop sheffield 7

Mountain biking forced itself further into the public consciousness in 2015 as the sport continues to grow. Steve Peat was awarded a Legends Star outside Sheffield Town Hall for his contributions to the sport and the local riding scene and Rachel Atherton was nominated for the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award.

Mountain biking also featured in TV adverts for Puegeot and in The Indestructibles, a program on Dave.