Adventurous young cyclists are being invited to interactive workshops to help them stay safe and be prepared for any bumps in the road.
Safe Oot – Safe In sessions are being hosted by Scottish Cycling in conjunction with Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team and First Aid Borders Ltd.
Running on September 25 and October 2 at the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland at Glentress, near Peebles, the sessions are in response to a growing number of riders getting into difficulty while venturing further afield.
And it’s all part of the Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) initiative which see partners working together to spread good practice and shout about the benefits mountain biking brings to Scotland.
Graeme McLean, DMBinS project manager, said: “These sessions are aimed primarily at our young riders. The incredible ability and talent among Scottish young riders at the moment is allowing them to ride more technical trails with challenging terrain.
“Their fitness and the capabilities of their bikes is allowing riders to travel longer distances self-sufficiently.
“In the Borders we are seeing more and more young riders exploring wider, going further and cycling faster than ever before.
“But we have also seen examples of young riders finding themselves in difficulty and needing help.
“Recent incidents have also shown the importance of wearing the correct protection and knowing what to do in an emergency.
“We would always encourage people to get out and explore and that’s why we see so many elite riders from this area.
“However, we’re also seeing a lot of crashes so we want to make sure people are safe and prepared if anything goes wrong.
“This is the first partnership for Scottish Cycling, Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue and First Aid Borders.
“We do have lots of information leaflets but nothing beats face-to-face, practical sessions – we believe it will benefit lots of young people in the area.”
The first of the sessions will look at developing an awareness of the steps cyclists should follow to prepare for a ride, including basic bike checks and understanding the connection between weather and kit.
Sharing top tips, helmet and body protection suitability will also be investigated.
The session will be interactive and will include the following:
n Planning a ride and factors that should be considered such as conditions, weather, trail management, time of day, lights, food, energy, and water;
n Using weather forecasts and maps to plan a ride and help pinpoint locations in the event of an emergency;
n Importance of ICE numbers and knowing where members of the group keep them;
n Leader injury protocol and how to cope if the leader is no longer able to;
The second session will cover emergency first aid.
It will build on existing skills and include treatment demonstrations.
This session will focus on CPR, bleeding problems, bone damage, head and spinal injury, helmet removal and how to improvise to create a first aid kit.
Graeme added: “Both these sessions cover extremely serious issues that may one day result in a life being saved.
“We are urging young people and their parents or carers to attend.”
Neil Jackson, from Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue, added: “We are amazed at the talent and fitness of young riders in the Borders and across Scotland.
“However, we do feel that many young people just aren’t aware of how to effectively prepare for their rides and how to manage themselves, and others in their group, in the case of an emergency.
“We don’t feel it is the young person’s fault or their negligence but rather they just need to be involved in sessions that inform them of good practice.
“We will be delivering these sessions in an interactive and engaging way. We’ll be getting the young people to think about the situations they have encountered and how they would deal with anything going wrong.”
If you are unable to go along to the sessions, sign up to DMBinS’ Facebook page which will be broadcasting them live.