OFF-ROAD cycling enthusiasts are gearing up for the opening of a new biking venue in York on Friday.

City of York Council’s new mountain biking area at Rawcliffe Country Park is a series of challenging jumps, banks and turns for bikers of all levels, and the 70 metre inner circuit and the easier 140 metre outer track are linked to each other and the rest of the park.

The scheme is part of the Big Lottery play programme that also funded the climbing boulders at Rawcliffe Country Park.

During the big launch day people can wheel or walk along and take part in a host of events.

There will be riding skills courses for youngsters aged eight – 14-years-old from 10am-3pm which must be booked in advance with Grit Track and Trail at

Separately, local shops have been offering bike servicing and freebies have bneen available this week. On Friday, top local riders will be giving advice and showing off their skills and activities for bikes provided by sustainable transport charity Sustrans and the council.

The opening will form part of Sustrans’ Big Pedal warm-up week, and is part of a programme of activities and events held at York Explore throughout half term.

Coun Janet Looker, cabinet member for Education, Children and Young People’s services said: “This is a superb facility on which off-road cyclists or mountain bikers can hone their skills, less experienced cyclists can build confidence, as well as regular cyclists – like me – to simply have fun. Congratulations to the council’s play team for securing funding for this all-weather track.”

For full details on the Big Pedal warm-up week contact Sustrans’ info and ride booking line on 07824 998745 or email