The weather turned out well (as did the the riders) for the eagerly awaited Borderland Mountain Bike Challenge on Saturday. For mountain bikers there was no better place to be – beautiful hilly countryside just west of Oswestry bathed in sunshine on what turned out to be the hottest day this year, so far.

Jonathan Jones, who organises the event for Borderland Rotary Club said, “It’s always quite frantic when you come to the day of the event and you wonder if anyone will actually turn up at all, but as most people register on the website, we did have a rough idea. We’ve been so lucky with the weather this year, and it’s brought lots of people out on the day. Of course, it’s not all luck and I want to thank all the farmers who let us ride over their land – it couldn’t happen without their input, and the Marshal, the caterers and Morrisons for the cakes, Valley Medical Services, Raynet comms, Grum for the photos and all the members and friends of Borderland Rotary that helped make this such a great day. But most of all, I want to thank the riders for being so generous and entering into the spirit of the event. And let’s not forget what we’re raising the money for, the Air Ambulance has been the main benefactor of the ride for many years and do a wonderful job – we never know when we may need them to come and save us. Of course, our sponsors have also played a pivotal role in the success. Aico, ever supportive, Mule Cycles’ technical help, and last but by no means least, Tim Gray from Dairi-Pak, not only company sponsorship but also personally raising more than any other rider as he rode as Tail end Charlie on his E-bike (which failed with 14 miles to go)”.

Tim said afterwards “It was a harder ride than anticipated cycling a heavy E bike with no power… but this event was my father Brian Gray’s brainchild way back in 1994 and I hope he’s looking down on us today feeling very proud that the ride is still going and growing in popularity. Dairi-Pak have been proud sponsors of the event since its inception and I thoroughly enjoyed riding the route again after many years of absence. My Dad rode the event until he was 71 – hopefully this will inspire others who may feel that their riding days are over to gird their loins once more, get an E-bike, and get back on the hill”.

The challenge, which starts and finishes at Rhiwlas Village Hall, takes riders 22 miles over the beautiful foothills of the Berwyn mountains and is organised by Borderland Rotary Club with funds raised going to the Air Ambulance and other local charities. If you want to learn more about what Borderland do, go to

Pictures: Grum.