Firecrest Mountain Biking Covid-19 Status Update

Monday 23rd March 2020

Ian Warby – Proprietor Firecrest Mountain Biking

Late last night I had the news I was dreading, but felt was inevitable, that Forestry England have closed Aston Hill Bike Park from Monday 23rd March until further notice.

As a result of this closure I am no longer able to run Mountain Bike Skills Courses on Aston Hill. There are no easy decisions in these challenging times and no one ever wants to hear that they are unable to run the business that puts food on the table and a roof over their head but I, like many self-employed small business owners, find myself in that challenging position. However, in these difficult times we are all going to face unprecedented challenges and it’s how we rise to them that’s important.

I have been fortunate to run Mountain Bike Skills Courses on Aston Hill for the past 21 years. This isn’t the first time that I’ve had to close the gates on my business and, although I hope it will be the last, I have a feeling it won’t be. The last time I had to close the gates was due to the Foot and Mouth Outbreak in 2001 when the Government put the countryside into lockdown. We managed to survive that experience and I am sure we will come out of this.

This closure is for our own good and to save lives. I was so pleased to see the mountain bikers on Aston Hill practicing ‘physical/social distancing’ yesterday. After all it’s not hard in the woods with plenty of space and we all have to ride our own bikes at our own pace. However, it seems that the rest of the UK population didn’t have the common sense, or the necessary restraint, to distance themselves from each other. The Forestry Commission has been left with no choice but to close down it’s woodlands to stop people from coming to them, congregating, and spreading this highly contagious virus.

Needless to say, I will of course be offering everyone that’s booked a Course the option to re-book once the Covid-19 Outbreak is over. You also have the option for a full refund for Courses booked later in the year should you wish to get your money back. As a self-employed sole trader in a small business your financial support at this time is much appreciated.

Once again I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers, friends and staff for their continued support. Yes, these are unbelievably challenging times, but getting out for a bike ride will help clear your head and above all it will keep you fit and healthy, with more resilience to fight Covid-19 ‘IF’ you do get it! Stay safe out there and I’ll see you from a safe distance on the Trails (just not the trails on Aston Hill until it re-opens).

Firecrest Mountain Biking Covid-19 Status Update

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Ian Warby – Proprietor Firecrest Mountain Biking

I’m sure this will be the first of many status updates from me as Covid-19 continues to spread.

We find ourselves in uncharted waters, a period where hours have felt like weeks and weeks have felt like years. The Government advice from Monday seems a world a way from the advice they were giving on Tuesday and as a small business owner, like all small business owners, I find myself facing a huge challenge when it comes to making the right decisions with regard to the running of the business and first and foremost prioritising the health of our clients and staff.

Having reviewed all of the guidance and taking into account the fact that we run our Courses in what has to be one of the healthiest environments available, ‘the outdoors’, the lack of contact and the ability to distance from each other, I will continue to offer my Mountain Bike Skills Courses at Aston Hill Bike Park.

Obviously I will be taking steps to ensure that I and my staff are healthy and we will ensure that clients coming for Courses are healthy and are happy to do so. I will of course reschedule Courses that have already been booked, or future booked Courses, should the client feel unwell, be in, or know someone in an ‘at risk’ group, or just not want to take the risk at this time, which is totally understandable.

Of course there is also the risk of adding to the burden placed on the NHS from a rider injury at this very challenging time. Whilst Mountain Biking is viewed by many as high risk Firecrest MTB create an environment where you are learning the essential skills of mountain biking under the watchful eye of a Professional Coach with years of experience. All our Courses are tailored to a participants ability, we never have, and we never will, put pressure on clients to ride something they are not happy to ride, and that will never change.

We will however use our 21 years experience of running MTB Courses to ensure you continue to get the most from your Course and improve your knowledge, skills, and confidence on a mountain bike.

In fact we believe if you wish to continue to ride your mountain bike during the Covid-19 outbreak getting some MTB skills coaching is probably the safest way to ensure you can continue to do so safely and not increase the burden on the NHS.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients, friends and staff for their continued support. Yes, these are challenging times, but getting out for a mountain bike ride will help clear your head and above all it will keep you fit and healthy, giving you more resilience to fight Covid-19 ‘IF’ you do get it! Stay safe out there and I’ll see you on the trails.

If you would like to find out more about the Courses we offer and book yours, you can do so on www.firecrestmtb.com I will be posting regular updates as and when the situation changes. If you have a Course booked I look forward to seeing you. If you are thinking of booking a Course rest assured your health is our priority and I look forward to seeing you soon.