046 – Get Your Flow On And Visit Blessingbourne Estate MTB Trails
Colleen Lowry – Owner of the very popular Blessingbourne Estate MTB Trails
On episode number Forty Six I am chatting with Colleen Lowry, owner of the popular year round destination for not only mountain biking but a host of other activates: Blessingbourne Estate.
Colleen and her husband Nick are the proud owners of a beautiful family run estate at the edge of FiveMileTown, which just also happens to have 13 Kilometres of mountain bike trails. A simple coincidence? Not so. Colleen and Nick were the main driving force behind getting the trails built. When Colleen and Nick were looking at diversifying the land around the estate they (with the help and advice of others) decided that mountain bike trails would be the way to go. They visited trial centre’s in Scotland and had a look at what other estates were doing besides mountain biking, but in the end and with Colleen being a keen mountain biker when she lived in London decided that mountain biking would be a great fit for what they were looking to achieve. It would bring in a different clientele, would be something the whole family could use and it would attract people from all corners of the country and beyond.
We chat about where the idea came from, as it is unusual to have mountain bike trails situated on a picturesque country estate. We chat about how the first few days went when the trails first opened, we chat about the MountainBikeNI awards the estate has won, plus a tone of other interesting and useful information including, what a bunch of good people we mountain bikers really are!
- Where the idea came from to build mountain bike trails
- What the trails are like and who they suit
- Why bikers of all types use the trails as a training ground
- Who designed and built the trails
- The two different phases of the trails
- How the trail network was funded
- What other activates Blessingbourne Estate has to offer
- What awards Blessingbourne Estate has won
- Why the area is so family friendly
- Where people visit from
- Why Colleen and Nick love mountain bikers
- Why you should visit
When chatting with Colleen it is easy to see how passionate and excited she is to have the mountain bike trails on her property. She really does enjoy us mountain bikers hanging around, riding the trails and making use of all the other great facilities Blessingbourne Estate has to offer. We chat about that very thing, from how family friendly the estate is to what else is available during your stay, and let me just say, there is a lot. We chat about what it was like to have Blessingbourne Estate be the first purpose build trail network in Northern Ireland and with people like Kelan Grant and his brother Paddy riding there back in the day (and still training there today) how this has helped with the exposure of the trails.
We chat about who the trails best suit, what kind of riding you can expect and about the two different building phases that were planned. We chat about how the trails were designed and how they were funded. Colleen is very open about the complete process from start to finish and it was great to get an insight into how the trails came into being. And I am sure we are all happy that they did.
I have been to Blessingbourne Estate twice and have always been welcomed with open arms by Colleen and Nick. They are the nicest people you will ever meet and if you are lucky enough to bump into them, they are never far from offering you a cup of tea or coffee. So tune in and find out how the first purpose build trail network came into existence and why you should go for a visit, and don’t forget the pump track!
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Thanks so much to Colleen for being a guest on the podcast and taking time out of her busy work schedule to be with us.
Thanks for Listening and being involved!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!