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NEWS RELEASE No: 1487815 AUGUST 2011

Blast bikers heading in the right direction

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Bikers try out the route of the new Bellingham Blast - the first running of which takes place in September

Cycle chiefs have revealed the routes for the Bellingham Blast – the North East’s exciting new mass bike ride event.

Kielder Water & Forest Park and the Northumberland National Park will provide the stunning backdrop for the first ever running of the ‘Blast’ on 24/25 September.

Two routes have been announced - a 61 mile circuit for serious road bikers (Saturday) and a 22 mile route (Sunday) for casual and family riders.

Although not a race, the longer outing will take four hours plus to complete, whizzing riders along country roads from Bellingham to Stonehaugh, and then looping around Kielder Castle and the north side of Kielder Water to Tarset and the Combe, near Greenhaugh.  Some sections will be on logging roads and organisers say race timing will be available.

The less strenuous family route takes in a spectacular link between Bellingham and Falstone going across Kielder Dam and using tranquil back roads, often with more red squirrels than cars. Registration is free.

The Bellingham Event Group has been set up to run the two wheeled festival, comprising Forestry Commission, British Cycling, Northumberland National Park, Bellingham and District Trade and Tourism Association, local businesses and North Tyne and Redesdale Community Partnership. 

Alex MacLennan, Recreation, Tourism & Communities Manager with Forestry Commission, said:

“The aim is to draw new visitors into one of the nation’s most breath-taking areas. Entries are flowing in and it will be wonderful weekend.  It’s a fantastic way to explore the area at your own pace and for those fancying a challenge they can look to beat their own personal time challenge.”

To register go to  A bike trailer and minibus service will also run between Bellingham and Tyneside.

Notes to Editor

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more visit

Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038.