The new Transcend Festival from Tweedlove is nearly upon us and we found some time to catch up with Harley, the girl in charge of all things marketing, to find out what's new for the 2019 cycling event in the Tweed Valley.
First off, who are you? What's your role in the big Transcend machine?
I’m Harley – I look after the marketing here at HQ! As a tiny team, however, at Transcend you’ll catch me registering riders, handing out prizes, marshalling on a hill, cleaning toilets – you name it!
We know and love Tweedlove, why the revamp this year?
We love all the excitement and fun of the races, but a lot of chat with the bike brands and customers all pointed to the same thing. Everyone wants an event weekend with entertainment, a real festival experience and bike riding for everyone, all weekend – so that’s what we’re providing. It’s just getting bigger and better, but awesome riding in a friendly environment is still what we’re all about!
What makes Transcend so good and why should people choose to visit?
We all get a natural high from riding our bikes, but instead of packing up and going home, we’re aiming to provide the perfect bike-ride afterparty. Great food, drink, music and a festival vibes. We’ve always tried to create events and experiences out of what we enjoy the most, but we’ve gone further this time! So it should bring something unique to the UK bike scene – a bike festival mixed with a small music festival. Whether you want to race, try out a new bike, shop for some of the latest bike bling, rock out to some epic tunes, just soak up the vibes or just head out and shred some of the trails.
Other than the name and the site we have revamped the offering all weekend. There are more events than ever before not only for enduro riders but for eMTB, gravel and kids. There is also a full entertainment schedule off the bike this year from yoga to a full line up of live bands and DJs all weekend. Transcend is as much about the fun off the bike as on the bike this year, and for the first time ever you can also camp onsite so you can bask in the festival vibes all weekend.
What's the same?
We’ve still got the best trails, the best race stages, the best people, the biggest brands and we’ll still ensure everyone has the best weekend of the summer!
Where is the festival and why choose that location?
For 2019 the festival is taking place in Innerleithen at Nether Pirn Farm - owned by organic dairy farmer David Hamilton. The site is at the foot of the Innerleithen trails, it sits on the banks of the Tweed and is simply stunning! David also has a connection with the valley’s bike scene too, his brother Dik built many of the famous forest trails which have helped to transform the valley into what it is today – so it all just seemed the perfect fit.
What are you most excited about?
There are so many different people that have been working together behind the scenes to make this work for so long and I just can’t wait to see it all come together and watch everyone have a good time!
Oh, and if I get the chance I really want to catch some of the pros riding Transcenduro.
Is it still super easy to get to the trails if you just want to go out and ride?
Hell yeah! The site is right on the cycle path which links all of the best trails in the valley!
What's going on for the gravity fans?
What’s not going on for the gravity fans you mean? We’ve got;
- Transcend Epic – the UK’s first two day, multi venue, uplift-served enduro adventure
- Transcenduro – the festival’s headline event - It's optional practice Friday, race day Saturday, party Saturday night & festival Sunday! Oh, & you'll be racing with not only your mates but the some of the biggest enduro stars too – Florian Nicolai, Dimitri Tordo, T-Mo, Ella Connolly…
- Transcenduro Boost – A lighter helping of Transcenduro for the Sunday morning, but still with all the flavour. A shorter version of the main event.
- And we have uplift!
What can you do as a whole family?
Where do I start? There is so much to do as a family! For starters our (now legendary) annual free event – the go e-bike Family Ride, supported by Frog Bikes is back. It’s a family friendly parade of bikes of all kinds – unicycles, tricycles, tandems – you name it! It’s free all you need to do is turn up with a bike and a helmet. (Sunday 9 June, departing Tweed Green, Peebles at 10.30am)
We have also teamed up with Frog Bikes this year and together we have created the Frog Bikes Kids Adventure Zone in the festival village which is a mini bike festival within itself just for the kids – think fun loops, face painting, pumptrack and more! Once they are tired out take them to the Street Food Village for a refuel and then it’s time to enjoy the music.
We've heard that there is a big gravel ride too - what's that all about?
Indeed – we are bringing back our big gravel ride for 2019 – Gritopia, and we have partnered up with the guys over at Bergamont to do so.
It’s happening on the Saturday (8 June) and has a whole new format … we now have three more or less separate loops – you can do one, two or all three parts of the course. Doing the whole thing will be a tough day out – with around 90k distance and a bit over 2000m of ascent to do, but the shortest is just over 30km, with around 743m of climbing.
The idea is that you can take on as much, or as little, riding as you want and the festival HQ is plum in the middle of the course so you can head back for food, beer and the festival vibe whenever you’ve had enough. The route has three distinct zones with a different feel in each, and it really does head out into the middle of the backcountry. There’s even a timed singletrack switchback climb in the mix!
Is this the future for the 'Tweedlove weekend'?
It’s going to be an awesome weekend for everyone and we really hope that this is the start of something special. We 100% believe this is the best place in the UK for a bike festival and that’s what we want to continue building.
Is there anything else we need to know?!
I don’t think so – just get packing your tent and we’ll see you in a few weeks! Oh wait, and it’s only £10 for a weekend ticket – and under 16s are free. And don’t forget you can pre-book uplift if you want an easy way up the hill! Ooops, can I just also say there are 27 bike brands demo-ing their bikes and you can try them on some of the best trails in the country!
It’s gonna be EPIC!
Thanks Harley - see you there!
For everything else including entries, event schedules and camping tickets head over to www.tweedlove.com
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