DESPITE mountain biking being perceived as a dangerous pastime, there have been no injuries sustained by enthusiastic bikers using the new Davagh Mountain Bike Trail.
Four new facilities have opened in Northern Ireland in recent months, which, according to a BBC report, has led to a rise in visits to hospital accident and emergency units, putting more pressure on an already stretched service. Medical staff in other parts of the province have dealt with dislocations, head injuries and in one case a broken neck as over-eager bikers get carried away with excitement.
The new trail in Davagh Forest opened to the public in April and boasts over 25 kilometres of feature packed mountain biking trails as well as purpose-built changing facilities, toilets and a bike wash.
Located in the rural townland of Broughderg, this long awaited trail development has been heavily supported by the Broughderg Community Association and is now resulting in a welcome economic injection to the economy.
The trails were developed by the charity Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland, and Davagh is run by Cookstown District Council.
With more trails planned and more people engaging in the sport, injuries are likely. However, it’s been a largely injury-free few months at Davagh with bikers knowing their limits.
Laser-beam counters keep tabs on how many bicycles are using the trails across the Province and in the month of June, all four trails enjoyed just over 18,600 visitors. Of those, many seek the high speed thrills that mountain biking promises, and up to 50,000 people are expected to use the facilities this year.
A spokesperson for the Northern Trust said there were no reports of any serious mountain bike related injuries and no pressure on the emergency department at Antrim.