Gisburn on NorthWest Tonight

Published on: Oct 25 2012 by Jon Swift

BPMRTGisburn Forest was featured on BBC NorthWest Tonight and not necessarily for the right reasons. The phenomenal success of the new trails (50,000 visitors a year can’t be wrong) has brought with it the unwelcome side affect of people needing rescuing having crashed. Bowland and Pennine Mountain Rescue have had 10 mountain bike related call outs this year alone, accounting for nearly thirty percent of their total callouts. The latest one at the start of the 8 prompted the TV article. This increased workload is now putting some strain on the team. In addition to BPMRT the Cave Rescue Organisation has also regularly attended mountain bike incidents in the forest and of course we’ve all heard the air ambulance flying in as we’ve been riding.

You can see the full report on the Bowland and Pennine Mountain Rescue Team’s Facebook page. (You may need a facebook login to view the clip).





The Gisburn trails are designed to a high standard, following national guidelines and are signed off before they are officially opened for riding. This puts the onus back on the riders to make sure they are competent and properly equipped for the trails they’re riding. If you’re not sure about the trail grading you can read about the differences on the Forestry Commissions websiteTrail Guide. If you don’t feel happy with a section, don’t feel pressured to ride it blind, walk it first, if you’re still not happy walk it anyway (don’t ride around it, that causes even more problems). If there’s a qualifier at the start of a section and you’re not happy to ride it, think twice, the techy bit at the start will be there for a reason. The next clip shows how not to ride the start of Hully Gully, see those two rocks to the right, that’s the qualifier, so many people have ridden around them they’ve created a new trail!  You Tube Clip


If you’re out with someone who’s not ridden much before it’s not a great idea to drag them down your favourite bit of tech trail, however hysterical the consequences might be.

There’s more than one way of getting better on your bike, repeatedly hurling yourself down a techy section holding on for dear life is one way, getting some proper coaching is infinitely better, have a look at some of the people offering skills training in our links section.

Finally next time you get the chance drop a few quid in the relevant tin, be it mountain rescue, cave rescue or air ambulance, do it.

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