Cycling facilities in one the island’s plantations will get an upgrade shortly as part of a three stage project dreamed up by End to End organisers the Manx Mountain Bike Club.
Archallagan plantation will benefit from a new junior race course, a fitness trail and a play area, as part of a bigger plan to develop the plantation for cyclists and families.
Kate Evans, who is chairman of the End to End organising committee, said Archallagan is a poppular place with people of all ages and already has many unofficial mountain biking tracks
‘Younger children will be able to usse the play area with their parents while their older siblings can use the race track close by.’
End to End organisers wanted the event - which attracts more than 1,700 riders from the island and overseas - to provide a lasting legacy for the local community and to that end have pledged to spend the profits from the 2013 and future events on developing Archallagan.
The development is also to benefit cyclists of all abilities as well as providing a facility for the island’s junior races. Future plans for the plantation include graded cycling trails for mixed abilities, a skills centre, further play areas and access to the plantation’s lake.
Building on the first phase takes place between May 12 and 16. The phase one work is being done by 125 staff from Zurich International Life who will spend a week on the project. Zurich has also provided funding for the first phase as part of its Community Commitment programme.
The new junior race track and play area should be open for use at Archallagan by mid-May.
Mrs Evans added: ‘This is very much a family and community facility and it will certainly provide a much-needed hub for junior mountain bikers and racers who can hone their skills or just have some fun in a secure environment.’