Gisburn Opening – By ‘eck Chief it Were a Tad Damp

Published on: Apr 16 2013 by Jon Swift

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Well we did it, Gisburn’s new trails, skills loops and car park are officially open despite the weather giving it a determined second go at cancelling things again. It rained, it rained side ways, it rained upward and the wind blew but it didn’t stop hundreds of people coming out to see Guy Martin cut the ribbon and declare it all open. Both Cocklet Hill car park and the new one at Stephen Park were rammed. Along with Guy, Hope Technology, long time supporters of the Gisburn Trails and sponsors of Guy Martin and PMBA, Escape Bikes and the local Mountain Rescue Team (BPMRT) came to support the opening. The Lancashire Telegraph covered the opening as did Tim Royle of Whitenosugar Productions. Tim put together one of his trade mark, quality videos of the day despite the rain killing a camera.

Guy was superb, shrugging off the weather and getting on with it, talking to the riders, posing for photos, signing all sorts of stuff as well as getting in the first official lap on the skills loops proving he’s pretty good on a mountain bike as well as his Tyco Suzuki bikes. The rain meant the day didn’t quite go as planned, but hey that’s Gisburn, not quite your usual trail centre. Nigel Pilling still managed to get a couple of skills sessions in and we all gave the wheel barrow Olympics ago, including Guy which Tim managed to capture on film.

The following photos were taken by Nick Moor, avid trail builder and unofficial documenter of the volunteers building efforts.

Cutting the tape with Hugh Clixby (who built the skills loop and snake) watching Just some friendly advice
The ribbon is cut Guy on the blue skills loop BPMRT with rescue bikes!Guy chased down the snake by Nick & Nige Guy chickens the blue boardwalk (it was a bit wet!) Escape BikesGuy Signs a PMBA jersey This man is competitive - Wheelbarrow Olympics The Hope van Guy with Gisburn diggers

The raffle and donations on the day raised £79 for the trail building fund which we’ll use for tools and gloves (can never have enough good gloves). The winning ticket number was number 63. The lucky winner got a Hope Goodie bag and the Gisburn Trail builders signed riding jersey (signed by Guy, not the trail builders). The runner up ticket, number 16 has yet to be claimed. If you have this ticket, take a photo and email it to us at contactus@pmba.org.ukand we’ll pass your details on so you can get your prize.

Parking is still currently free in the new Stephen Park car park although the machines are in and it’s planned to charge £3 per day to park. Annual passes will be available to buy online or in the Forest Den cafe, probably £30 for the year. Better still you can get your free annual car parking pass by doing three dig days (five dig days gets you a pass that covers the North of England). If you’re interested in joining the volunteer diggers drop us an email tocontactus@pmba.org.uk and we’ll get your name on the mailing list. We’ll let you know when the car parking charges start, in the meantime Cocklet Hill car park is likely to close soon for refurbishment. When it reopens there will be a pay and display meter there as well.

Having talked at length with Martin Colledge PMBA can assure anyone using the car parks the money will go directly back into trail and facility maintenance (new toliets when they get approved and funded, hopefully 2013). Hopefully people will see the charges as a good thing, enabling further development and sustaining what’ already there. If you really don’t want to pay the charges then think carefully where you park. New access barriers are going in on the lane in from Tosside to stop people driving into the forest (there’s never been public access there) and the surrounding roads are narrow.

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