The project was put together by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland and Edinburgh Napier University

Date posted

7 March 2024


Light Up The Trails

140 enthusiastic mountain bikers – including many young riders – have taken part in a unique night-time event to illuminate Glentress Forest trails with light and sound.

Cyclists taking part in Light Up The Trails

Light Up The Trails, which is thought to be the first event of its kind, saw Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) and Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) collaborate to create a series of interactive installations along a 6.5km circuit at the popular Scottish Borders destination.

The one-night ticketed event, held on Friday 1 March, were snapped up within a day – and organisers are hopeful, if appropriate funding support is attained, it could be repeated in future.

Light Up The Trails was aimed at families and those who had never experienced the joy of night riding before.

Riders were treated to animated projections on a quarry, mystical soundscapes inspired by nature, and spectacular visual light displays. Each participant was given their own light box to activate some of the installations, as well as wheel illuminations to attach to the forest’s distinctive Glentress sign.

A cyclist in front of the illuminated Glentress sign at Light Up The Trails

Graeme McLean, Head of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, said: “Our vision was to create an event to encourage riders, new and established into the forest during a quiet time of the year, celebrating the darkness.

“To inspire more people onto their bikes during the dark months by introducing them to the magic of night riding.

“We were overwhelmed by the anticipation for the event. The fact that it sold out in less than 24hrs really showed the appetite for a family adventure like this.

“We had families travelling to the Valley from quite some distance and it was such a delight to see so many little ones enjoying their first night ride.Some young cyclists taking part in Light Up The Trails

“The post event feedback has been really positive and we hope that we can secure funding to run a similar event in the future to attract new visitors to the Tweed Valley to experience a warm welcome from the fabulous local businesses, and discover more of what the Valley has to offer.”

Zack Moir, the professor of Learning and Teaching in Music at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “It’s great that we have been able to make this happen. It’s been wonderful.

“We knew roughly what it would look like, but to see it all come to life, to see all the light merge together with the sound was really exciting.

“This was always intended as a pilot and I think we’ve surpassed what we expected. I hope we can do more in future, have more opportunities to light up other spaces, and encourage people to engage with exercise and art.”