Cy­clists to have heads in the Cloud on new routes

Leek Post & Times - - NEWS - By Les­lie Jack­son les­lie.jack­[email protected]­

CY­CLISTS are on Cloud nine as new routes through beau­ti­ful lo­cal coun­try­side will be opened up to them this win­ter.

The Na­tional Trust has given a li­cence to the newly-formed Con­gle­ton Moun­tain Bik­ing Club to ride on spe­cially-cre­ated trails around The Bosley Cloud, Tim­bers­brook on the Stafford­shire Moor­lands and Cheshire bor­der.

To­gether they will be cre­at­ing cy­cle routes that will help to pre­vent dam­age and ero­sion while al­low­ing club mem­bers to carry out the out­door ac­tiv­i­ties they en­joy.

Trust ranger Tim Ryan said: “We want peo­ple to en­joy the out­doors and to en­cour­age dif­fer­ent groups to feel the coun­try­side is rel­e­vant and im­por­tant to them.

“Cy­clists have been us­ing The Cloud even though it is not cur­rently per­mit­ted so this will al­low us to bet­ter man­age their ac­cess and pro­tect the heath from ero­sion.

“It will be safer for walk­ers to have a li­cenced moun­tain bik­ing club us­ing agreed routes rather than un­man­aged cy­clists us­ing the paths.”

Talks be­tween the Na­tional Trust and club mem­bers have been on­go­ing for sev­eral months about the best way to li­cence cy­cling on The Cloud.

To­gether they have devel­oped a Code of Con­duct and trail eti­quette, which in­cludes slow­ing down and giv­ing way to walk­ers at all times.

New moun­tain bik­ing routes will be clearly marked on signs at ac­cess points and also where they cross a pedes­trian path. Trails will be de­signed to slow down riders as they reach pedes­trian ar­eas.

As part of the li­cence agree­ment, Con­gle­ton Moun­tain Bik­ing Club have com­mit­ted to an agreed num­ber of vol­un­teer­ing hours to help main­tain the routes and to work on other con­ser­va­tion pri­or­i­ties.

Cy­clists will wear a colour-coded ‘In Case of Emer­gency’ (ICE) sticker on the back of their hel­mets to iden­tify them as club mem­bers. The colour of the sticker will change an­nu­ally.

Coun­cil­lor Suzie Ak­ers Smith, Con­gle­ton’s Town Mayor, wel­comed the move.

She said: “The Con­gle­ton Moun­tain Bik­ing Club and the Na­tional Trust have shown that work­ing in part­ner­ship can ben­e­fit ev­ery­one, not just one par­tic­u­lar group.

“For many peo­ple cy­cling is eas­ier than walk­ing and with the lim­ited amount of moun­tain bik­ing ar­eas, Bosley Cloud is a per­fect place for cy­clists to en­joy a hobby they love, cy­cling in forests over un­du­lat­ing ter­rain.”

Con­gle­ton Moun­tain Bik­ing Club is ex­pected to be cy­cling on The Cloud from this win­ter.

If you feel a mem­ber of the club has put you at risk on the Cloud, or that some­one who is not a mem­ber of the club is us­ing the trails, please call the Cheshire Coun­try­side team on 01625 584412 or email – with an im­age if pos­si­ble – cheshire­coun­try­[email protected]­tion­al­

Na­tional Trust ranger Tim Ryan with Con­gle­ton’s Town Mayor Suzie Ak­ers, along with Martin Amies and Dan Critchlow of Con­gle­ton Moun­tain Bik­ing Club.

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