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An exciting new event is being staged in England’s greatest wilderness area for cyclists keen to keep their tyres firmly on tarmac!
Kielder Water & Forest Park and the Northumberland National Park will provide the stunning backdrop for the first ever running of the ‘Bellingham Blast’ in September.
The road cycling event will be staged over two days on 24/25 September, combining a 61 mile circuit of transfixing terrain for serious road bikers into the heart of Kielder, along with a 22 mile route for casual and family riders between Bellingham and Falstone.
Kielder has emerged as a honeypot for mountain bikers lured by new trails and events like the Kielder Montane 100 mile endurance race. But this new initiative will open up the same breathtaking scenery to road enthusiasts using picturesque country roads.
Alex MacLennan, Recreation, Tourism & Communities Manager with Forestry Commission, said:
“This is a great opportunity to develop another high profile event in the area and we reckon up to 400 riders could take part. Both rides are non-competitive and are aimed at a celebration of both cycling and the inspiring Northumberland countryside.”
A new body has been formed to run the event called the Bellingham Event Group, comprising Forestry Commission, British Cycling, Northumberland National Park, Bellingham and District Trade and Tourism Association, local businesses and North Tyne and Redesdale Community Partnership. The aim is to make it an annual cycling extravaganza.
Kerry Seedle, from Bellingham and District Trade and Tourism Association, added:
“We want to build on Bellingham’s growing reputation as a hub for both walking and biking. There are few places in the country surrounded by so many fantastic natural assets offering real potential for future tourism growth. This new event will draw new people into the town and help put it on the map.”
Colin Earnshaw, Community Enterprise Officer with the Northumberland National Park, explained:
"The launch of the Bellingham Blast coincides with a Northumberland National Park drive to promote five new cycle routes using the quiet lanes and roads around Bellingham this summer. The National Park recognises the importance of Bellingham as the 'gateway' to the National Park and its potential as a hub for outdoor activity based holidays such as leisure cycling. We are delighted to be a partner in this event"
To register for the event call Alex MacLennan on 01434 220242, or email Alex.firstname.lastname@example.org
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 www.forestry.gov.uk/northeastengland
Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038. Mobile 0775 367 0038.