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Volunteers take to the trails
THINGS have come a long way since Ian Dowkes, 65, leapt on his bike and followed deer tracks through the trees to try a new-fangled sport called mountain biking.
But 25 years later the retired aerospace engineer from West Ayton, North Yorkshire, is still in the saddle, but now helping to add polish to Dalby Forest’s acclaimed off-road network.
Ian, 65, is one of an eager band of volunteers who have come together to re-establish a thriving branch of the Singletraction trail building group working with the Forestry Commission.
Off road fans from as far afield as York, Whitby and Scarborough have stepped forward to help keep the trails network in top shape, meeting together on the third Sunday of the month, and more recruits are being sought.
“Back in the old days biking in Dalby was rough and ready,” said Mr Dowkes, who chalks up about 150 trail miles each month.
“There were no purpose built bike trails and cycling in the winter was a mud slog where you did as much pushing as riding.
“A lot has happened since then and the trails we have now are top notch, but they need to be maintained, and with the opportunity to refine them in some areas. There’s a great buzz working with people of all ages, both male and female.”
Trail building sessions meet at 9am in the Tree Tops café at Dalby Forest Visitor Centre. More information from bike ranger Stuart Startup on 07909 880325, or email email@example.com