‘Stoppie’ press: Will woos visitors with world-record attempt

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Selkirk Chamber of Trade hopes to break a world mountain-biking record when the British MTB Marathon Championships returns to the Royal Burgh from May 9-11.

Chairman Will Haegeland’s latest scheme to tempt visitors to Selkirk is to stage the world’s longest “stoppie” (front-wheel wheelie) in the High Street at 6pm on May 9. The record, which mountain-bikers need to beat by only 1cm, has been held since 2008 by Jim DeChamp of Utah, at 15.76m (51ft 9in).

Mr Haegeland’s idea was inspired by the 400 mountain-bikers riding the 80km-lap course up the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys last year – and an expected 600 coming this time , including their supporting family and friends.

Speaking to Selkirk’s Community Council, he said the national race is becoming “an annual event” for the Royal Burgh, which could carve its own niche in the mountain- bike market.

“To make them want to come back, we need to have events beside the race.”

Other town-centre attractions include a kids’ pump track and mini-film festival of daredevil mountain-bike YouTube videos. Will said the cost is £5,000 – the chamber is giving £975 – and he asked the council for a donation. Alistair Pattullo proposed the “pathetically small” request for £250 be doubled to £500, due to the event’s beneficial impact, which was agreed unanimously.

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