HUNDREDS of people will finally arrive in Peeblesshire for a new biking festival this year – two years later than planned.

The enduro-style event will take place between April 29-May 1 in the grounds of landmark Traquair House.

Muck n’ Mac Festival, the brainchild of Cameron Balfour, was initially planned for July 2020 but suffered two years of setbacks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the 26-year-old says he is “excited” for his work to finally come to fruition.

“We started doing the work on it in 2019 and we were initially meant to be having it in July 2020, but obviously with COVID we had to reschedule it,” said Cameron, who was part of Peebles Cycling Club as a kid. “We rescheduled it to last year and then it fell again when we were in a heavy lockdown.

“It’s just been such a long period of work on it, I’m just excited to see it all together in one finished product.

“It’s been knocking on three years’ work.”

Across the weekend at Traquair House, visitors can expect to find a range of onsite catering including a bar, live music sessions, film screenings, yoga and wellness sessions and family friendly activities.

Riding at Muck n’ Mac Festival is open to anyone aged 16 and over and riders can bring a road bike, gravel/mountain bike, or E-bike.

And children can enjoy the weekend for free with a paying adult.

“For me the point I’m most excited for is the Saturday evening after the first day’s riding,” said Cameron, who grew up in Heriot. “I’m looking forward to that sense of comradery – everyone’s been out on their bikes through the day, they’ve had that challenging day and come the evening time just everyone sitting down over a pint talking about their stories from the day and a bit of live music.”

Cameron has always had a passion for biking, riding the trails around Innerleithen as a youngster.

“I come from a cycling background myself,” he said, “I love cycling, it’s my passion. As a kid I was part of the Peebles Cycling Club.

“[In] Peebles and Innerleithen is really where my cycling began. I grew up learning to ride mountain bikes and exploring.

“It’s a fantastic area for riding bikes, it’s the trail I know best and I think it’s a great area for folks to be riding bikes.”

Now, the 26-year-old is hoping that the first Muck n’ Mac Festival will not only be a fun event for the adult riders taking part, but will also encourage young people to get outside more.

“The big driver is the cycling aspect,” he said. “To get more folk out riding bikes and to look at cycling from a different perspective.

“I think there’s a lot of people, like myself for example, who were very much into the competitive side of it and kind of fell out of love with it.

“So we’re trying to look at cycling from a different perspective and add extra elements to it, not so much the serious racing approach.

“With the event being free for kids and the outdoor activities, just trying to get kids hooked on that outdoor type lifestyle and getting more involved in the outdoors.”

A full weekend riding ticket is £95, a ticket for a single day riding is £50, and a festival village pass is £15.

All tickets include the cost of camping at Traquair.

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