BRINGING CYCLISTS TOGETHER ACROSS THE
NORTH OF SCOTLAND
North charity, HiVelo, is busy pulling together plans for a new cycle sports complex in East Inverness which are intended to open by Autumn 2023.
Their aim is simply to get more people riding bikes, more often. They plan a phased development centred on an indoor 200m. velodrome which will also provide space for reception, changing/shower accommodation, bike/kit hire, coaching, refreshments, spinning and conditioning studios, large meetings room and spectator gallery. In addition, the track centre will be available for pump track, roadcraft and other skills development as well as hosting exciting demonstrations and celebrity presentations.
The safe modern complex includes a traffic-free one kilometre road circuit for use by all types of riders, para-cyclists and other sports. A future third phase reserves space for a 200m. short course competition BMX track for up to eight riders launching from a 5m. start hill. The site will be laid out to prioritise cyclists and pedestrians with vehicles segregated and held to one corner of the complex. HiVelo is keen to make this a welcoming and supportive place for every sort of rider.
“This new cycling hub to serve the Highlands, Islands, Moray and Aberdeen/shire area is long overdue” says HiVelo chair, John MacMillan. “The northern half of Scotland has no regulation-standard facilities whatsoever for track, closed road or competition BMX riders at present. It’s a long and expensive haul down to use modern Central Belt venues, especially for youngsters and folk needing regular access to improve their riding. It also goes some way to filling the current facilities ‘black hole’ for the East side of Inverness and will really enhance the city’s image by hosting only the seventh UK velodrome.”
The proposed site adjoins Inverness Retail & Business Park at Seafield. Discussions are underway with the landowners, Highlands & Islands Enterprise. Ideally located for regional road, rail and air connections, it is well-placed to serve the rapidly expanding East Inverness and Campus developments, and fully integrated with the adjoining network of national cycle routes and local green travel corridors.
Secretary Mike Greaves commented: ”Enormous thought has gone into creating a safe all-weather place for every kind of cyclist from total beginners to elite riders – it should appeal to families, school parties, womens groups and disabled people as well as dedicated club riders and keep fit enthusiasts. Open year-round for 14 hours a day, with skilled coaches, bikes and kit for hire when needed, there will be sessions to suit everyone. Whether you are learning to ride, want to improve your confidence and skills or are keen to try out different cycling experiences in a supportive environment, HIVELOHUB should be the ‘go to’ place. It will be a great boost to the North’s sports infrastructure and a useful addition to its visitor attractions, especially in the expanding adventure tourism sector.”
Wide-ranging fundraising and consultations with Community Councils and other interested parties are underway. The proposed hub will be built and operated by a ‘not for profit’ community benefit society where members buy shares or take annual subscriptions, but also available to riders on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. The wider cycling community is also being urged to provide feedback by completing a short online survey which can be accessed at www.hivelo.co.uk.
HiVelo is currently organising a fundraising 42-mile sportive ride over the scenic Wee Battle route which uses quiet country roads starting and finishing at the iconic NTS Culloden Battlefield. First riders will be flagged off at 10.30am on Saturday, 4 September 2021. A direct entry button is displayed on the home page at www.hivelo.co.uk .