Tweed Valley Bike Patrol – Key points in time.
Carl Lane, a local cyclist, saw the need for someone to ride the trails and provide help to other forest users at Glentress and the rest of the Tweed Valley Forest Park. He did this off his own back and realised the need for first aid training and equipment to support this role. He carried on this sole role for around a year.
Meeting to discuss having a group of volunteer mountain bike (MTB) patrollers in the Tweed valley forest park forests. Agreement to set up a group in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) to develop the group and its role at FCS MTB facilities, particularly Glentress and Innerleithen. Basic aims and objectives set, training standards, how the group could operate and a location to accommodate the group. A room was provided by FCS.
Development of an MTB patrol handbook and communication system for the group. The handbook outlined the role and responsibilities of FCS and the patrollers. Standards set for the competence levels of the patrollers, at Trail Cycle leader (Scottish Mountain Bike Leader Association) and the 2 day first aid qualification from British Association of Ski Patrollers, with basic safety and equipment standards and communication protocol. At this point the group was developmental with joint guidance from FCS and group members.
Ride outs on the first day of every month were established with the aim to putting the handbook protocol into practice. The ride outs were aimed at those who already had TCL and first aid certificates. The group consisted of 6 members at this point
Following successful ride outs, the Tweed Valley Bike Patrol was officially launched. The TVBP also sets up as an independent constituted group to pursue funding opportunities. FCS had no involvement in the application, management or spend. This was driven by the rapid growth of the group to 12 members, and the need to fund core training and equipment for the members.
2007 / 2008
2008 saw massive growth in numbers to 28 qualified members and 7 “trainees”. This growth was aided by successful funding application through “Awards for All”. This allowed for numerous TCL training and assessment sessions as well as regular BASP first aid course. By the end of 2008, regular weekend patrols at Glentress were taking place.
The Bike Patrol trialled a rota system and opened a discussion group through Google. This allowed open communication within the patrol and allowed patrollers to arrange their own patrolling times and dates. Newcomers could also arrange “shadow” patrol rides where they would ride with a qualified patroller to gain experience before committing to training. This also allows for careful spending of limited funding.
AGM to agree altered constitution, group now run as an independent organisation who’s purpose is to facilitate training (and equipment where possible) to allow individuals to perform effective bike patrols. A new committee was elected. FCS to support the club but have no direct role in the direction and running of the group. FCS to allow permitted access to the current first aid room, support communications with limited ranger time to ensure information is passed both ways between the patrol and FCS.
JANUARY 2010 – JANUARY 2014
Patrollers were out and about although funding became challenging. An existing core of patrollers continued to offer patrol services in Glentress and Innerleithen and to support occasional events.
A decision taken to significantly raise the profile of the Patrol aided by new and enthusiastic members. This was targeted for the Tweedlove festival in May 2014 and was successfully achieved.