This years sell-out Vallelujah was bathed in glorious spring sunshine – conditions vastly different to last year. Great trails, great people and awesome riding. Who’s up for Round 2 in June? tweedlove.com/2017-event-info/tweedlove-international-enduro
A look back at a bike season of great racing, big smiles, sunshine… and some other weather too. Shimano TweedLove Bike Festival is the UK’s biggest bike festival, with top level MTB racing, roadie events and the country’s biggest kids races.
The Whyte Endura King and Queen of the Hill – Scottish Open Enduro Champs served up a storming end to the TweedLove season with a full capacity start line and a new base in the green fields of Walkerburn. 500 riders took to trails across Caberston and Innerleithen for a weekend of full throttle racing and good times.
With heavy rain on practice day, race day turned out warm and dry, so riders with early start times got the best of the race conditions. Wet trails steadily turned to sticky mud in a few crux sections, making the riding a real challenge on tech sections of the five race stages.
King of the Hill was local boy Gary Forrest (Ibis Cycles), whose recovery from last season’s injuries continues apace, while Katy Winton (Trek Factory Racing) retained her crown as Queen of the Hill.
The event was also the culmination of the inaugural Triple Crown, a points based series of three enduro races – Endura Whyte Vallelujah, Shimano TweedLove International and the Whyte Endura King & Queen of the Hill Scottish Open Champs. The winners were Christo Gallacher and Eilidh Wells, who put in astonishing performances over the three events.
TweedLove Director Neil Dalgleish says the weekend was a fitting finale to the season’s racing: “the three races that made up the TweedLove Triple Crown have seen some fantastic racing, some brilliant people and some amazing trails…we’re looking forward to a winter of planning even better events for next year. We’d like to thank Whyte Bikes, Endura and Shimano for their invaluable support over the last season.’
TweedLove’s big new race aims to give the UK a standalone international level enduro event, and going by what went down at the first edition, it’s set to become a popular event on the world race calendar. With a tough but enjoyable course on quality trails, a cool vibe at the busy event expo and fierce racing for the UK’s biggest enduro prize purse, it turned out to be a top weekend of bike action, and a worthy headline event for TweedLove, now the UK’s biggest cycling festival. The riders loved the trails and the Tweed Valley bike community turned out in force to cheer them on.
One of the most fun nights in the Shimano TweedLove Bike Festival, LoveCross is Peebles’ own version of urban CX racing – with water pistols, a leg-killing set of church steps, fancy dress and lots of laughs. And being good at bunny hops is a definite advantage.
The Glentress Seven is consistently one of the most popular events in the TweedLove Bike Festival, held every year in the Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders. The 2016 edition was the busiest yet – with wall to wall smiles, great cakes, good laughs, and above all awesome riding on a great course at Scotland’s premier trail centre. The 11km loop seems to have achieved the impossible, with riders claiming it feels like it has more downhill than up. While that might not be possible, the descent is an absolute classic!
The Islabikes Family Day at TweedLove was a joyful gathering of nearly 400 children, coming together to ride their bikes on a hot and sunny day in Peebles. The Mega Mash-up, the Mighty Mash-up and the Mini Mash-ups saw some fun racing for children from the age of 3 to 12 in the beautiful setting of Haylodge Park on the banks of the River Tweed. Brought together by TweedLove and the four local bike clubs (Cranked, KICC, Tweed Valley Riders and PCC) the young champions of the future had a top day out on two wheels.
Peebles High Street closes for the Sestran TweedLove Family Ride, where 1000 people take to the traffic-free streets for a few laps in safety. All sizes, shapes, ages and abilities of people on all sorts of bikes cruise the High Street and Tweed Green before parking their bikes, getting an icecream and enjoying the madness of the LoveCross.
Skinny Tweed is TweedLove’s friendly sportive-type ride – heading out of Peebles onto the beautiful roads of the Tweed Valley and beyond. This year the event was supported by locally-based bike law specialists Cycle Law Scotland. With a sold out field of 500 places and the weather gods co-operating nicely, it turned out to be one of the most fun and relaxed road events TweedLove has had yet, with 45 miles of rolling tarmac and big smiles.