Ridelines was started in 2011 by Andy Weir. It was dreamt up as more of a lifestyle business to facilitate his love of mountain biking and to make a modest living for his family. Starting the business simply to teach the requisite skills to stay upright on your bike. He could never have known the impact that Ridelines would have on so many diﬀerent of people come 2019.
8 years later and the Business is a major contributor to the Tweed Valley area in several respects. We employ over half a dozen independent guides and instructors across the area. Working for us on both on a semi-permanent and ad-hoc basis, this allows them to do what they love as well as pay the bills with their regular jobs. Ours is a small industry from the point of available expertise. At Ridelines, we only oﬀer work to practicing, NGB (Notional Governing Body) qualiﬁed instructors and coaches.
We also educate. We are strong advocates of responsible use of the countryside. We have been part of the consultation on the National Access Forums guidance on Illegal mountain bike trails. We run courses and deliver national level qualiﬁcations in mountain bike leading. This very demanding set of qualiﬁcations leans very heavily on the importance of respect for the countryside it’s users and landowners, as well as the letter and the spirit of our precious Outdoor Access Code.
Amongst our directors we have a land manager for a local authority and an ex-forest ranger. We really understand the importance of both the land reform act and what privileges it aﬀords us as mountain bikers.
We promote wellbeing and participation in outdoor activities in all types of cycling, not just mountain biking. Over the last 2 years we have focussed our attention on beginners cycling, speciﬁcally women.
These weekday sessions on reintroducing them to recreational cycling has been a great success. Over 200 women have beneﬁtted from this free “Easyriders” scheme and we regularly see these participants commuting back and forth from work & school runs as well as getting regular feedback from them suggesting regular recreational use of their bikes.
Over the last few years, our drive to bring mountain biking to the forefront of tourism in Scotland has started to pay dividend. Both for our business and for the suppliers we use to facilitate to experiences for our clients. From Hotels and restaurants, bike hire and taxis right along to the coﬀee shops and cafes we use along the way.
We have formed mutually beneﬁcial relationships with businesses that not only share our vision for outdoor tourism, but also our values and ideas on how we should move forward making it attractive to everyone and most importantly sustainable for all involved. Including the land we ride on.
There is so much more to tell about Ridelines. Our story is short, but rich in positive action for responsible use of the outdoors and the opportunity it gives us for our wellbeing. As we grow we will continue to focus on these things that matter most to us.
Over the last 8 years we have trained and assessed to NGB standard over 300 Mountain Bike Leaders. We have instilled the values listed above in all of these guides and instructors.
Our recent turnover based on shifting the focus to tourism and educating our peers on the environment we operate in has grew 25% in 2017-2018 and is on course for a 30% improvement during our 2019-2020 trading year.
We were recently awarded the Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland Mountain Bike Provider of The Year Award for 2018. This was awarded in conjunction with Edinburgh Napier University and the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland.