Issues and opportunities facing Scottish mountain bike sector to fall under spotlight

Edinburgh Napier and Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland event partners at Scottish Mountain Bike Conference 2018

Date posted

21 November 2018


The issues and opportunities surrounding the mountain bike sector in Scotland will fall under the spotlight this week (22-24 November) at a leading conference in Aviemore.

The Scottish Mountain Bike Conference 2018 – Future Proofing the Trail Ahead, organised by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS), will be hosted at the MacDonald Hotel in Aviemore and will see delegates from across the country come together to discuss the future of the sport within Scotland.

As in previous years, Edinburgh Napier University and the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (MTBCOS) will have a strong presence throughout the three-day event, with a number of speakers taking part. Both organisations are key partners of the conference.

Topics of discussion will vary from planning for the future of mountain biking tourism and product development, to the rise of e-bikes, growing participation in mountain biking alongside maintaining and enhancing Scotland’s world-class mountain bike trail network.

An impressive array of speakers will take part in the event, with attendees hearing from Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Government, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Julie Harrington, CEO of British Cycling and Craig Burn, CEO of Scottish Cycling among others.

Edinburgh Napier’s Professor Geraint Florida James is the lead academic of MTBCOS and will also speak at the event, alongside hosting a session with the University’s Dr Tony Westbury, Dr Debbie Palmer, Dr Lesley Ingram and PhD student Lewis Kirkwood who will share more on their latest research – from mental health and injuries at major events to enduro athlete preparations. Edinburgh Napier has strong links with the cycling industry through collaborations with product companies, supporting elite athletes and organising the inaugural World Science in Cycling congress.

In his talk, Geraint will discuss how a vision for future investment in an Innovation Hub will support growth in the Scottish economy by providing a gateway to Scotland’s academic research base and be a focal point to attract international mountain bike businesses.

The conference will conclude with the third annual Scottish Mountain Bike Awards, which will see prizes awarded to individuals, organisations and businesses currently making waves within the cycling sector here in Scotland – and further afield. A highlight of the awards evening will be the announcement of the winners of the primary and secondary schools competition 2018, sponsored by Edinburgh Napier University, Frog Bikes and Trek Bikes.

Prof Florida-James said: “The cycling industry is a dynamic sector with scope for research and innovation in product development, engineering, textiles, sports science and many other disciplines. The university and MTBCOS are delighted to be supporting the conference which will bring together an international audience of industry experts to Scotland.”

The Scottish Mountain Biking Conference 2018 is organised by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS), with support from Cairngorms National Park Authority, Scottish Government, Edinburgh Napier Univeristy, Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Cairngorms Business Partnership.

The biennial conference won the prestigious ‘Conference of the Year’ award at the Scottish Event Awards in 2017. The 2017 conference attracted 257 delegates from 13 different countries.

Tickets for the event are still available here