Opening of Larbert bike facility on track but Sir Chris pulls out

Sir Chris Hoy, pictured with Fraser Johnston last year, was to open with pump track but with racing commitments, has had to pull out
Sir Chris Hoy, pictured with Fraser Johnston last year, was to open with pump track but with racing commitments, has had to pull out

State-of-the-art cycling facilities are almost ready. But the Olympian pencilled in to carry out the offficial opened has now pulled out.

Sir Chris Hoy promised he would return to Larbert High School to open the new pump track and skills course after being impressed by the students on a visit last year.

However, with the Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medal winner now concentrating on becoming a motor racing champ, he can no longer commit to officially opening the track.

Fraser Johnston, former Larbert High School captain and keen cyclist, helped arrange Sir Chris’s previous visit to the school when he was in charge of the Captain’s Challenge - an initiative designed to encourage sport and community spirit within the school.

Fraer (18), a tennis coach from Larbert, said: “It is disappointing Sir Chris Hoy cannot commit to opening the track, but with the motor racing season in full swing, he couldn’t do it until the autumn which is too far into the year.

“We’re looking at a few other people connected to cycling and hoping we’ll get someone confirmed shortly.”

The pump track and skills area will open in the next few weeks once the site has been approved as safe.

The project, created on a piece of unused waste land near the school, was made possible by a £150,000 grant from the Commonwealth Games 2014 Legacy Fund and a further £70,000 from Falkirk Enterprise Trust, the school charity board and school funds.

The track will help to build confidence in novice cyclists, with the pump track allowing riders to increase their speed.

The area connects to a woodland trail.

The school, which was the first in Scotland to get Cycle Friendly status, worked in partnership with Falkirk Bike Club, the school bike group and professional designers to come up with the best use of the space.

The idea had been in the pipeline for eight years, but only became reality thanks to the funding secured on the back of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The track will be used by the whole community and the school will utilise it too during PE lessons and by the school’s bike club.

The facility will open for use by the school and members of the public in the coming weeks.

The official ribbon cutting is earmarked for a Saturday in June.