A POPULAR mountain bike event is making a return in May this year, and organisers have promised it will be bigger and better.

The Borderland Mountain Bike Challenge – which used to be the Dairi-Pak Mountain Bike Challenge – is back and will be held on Saturday, May 7 starting at Rhiwlas Village Hall.

Borderland Rotary first organised the Mountain Bike Challenge back in 1994 and is thrilled to announce that the 2022 event will be sponsored, as usual by Dairi-Pak and Mule Cycles but will also welcome Aico into the fold.

Jonathan Jones, who organises the event for Borderland, said: “I’ve really missed the event the last couple of years and so glad to be back as it’s an important charity fundraiser as well a great, exciting ride.

"Our main benefactor has always been the Air Ambulance and this year we hope we can top all previous years as the event grows and develops so, if you’ve taken up mountain biking during the pandemic or you’re a journeyman rider, please get involved.

"Details will be available soon.”

The 22-mile challenge, cancelled for the last two years, takes the riders over green lanes and farm tracks, up and down the foothills of the Berwyn Mountains and is available to riders of all competence.

However, the challenge is not for the faint hearted as there is only about 300 metres of tarmac and probably no more than that on level ground.

Tim Gray, chief executive of Dairi-Pak Packaging, has always been involved since his late father, Brian, launched the first ride in 1994.

Tim said: “The lockdown gave me a little time to think about things other than family and business and it occurred to me that the ride could be bigger and better if we made some changes.

"Not to the ride itself or the team at Borderland – but to the way it is supported, sponsored and promoted.

"I’m thrilled to say that Aico are now involved, and our plans are very exciting.”

AICO is major local employer and committed to community projects around Oswestry and beyond.