The Bellingham Blast will be back in September this year, following an inaugural run in 2011.
The Blast will take place during two days on September 22 – 23 and will offer riding opportunities for both serious and leisure cyclists. There will be a 61-mile timed circuit of tarmac and forest roads for serious bikers, with a more relaxing 18-mile outing for casual riders the following day between Bellingham and 13th century Dally Castle.
Kielder is now a major hub for mountain bikers in the north of England. The Bellingham Blast aims to take things further by opening up some breath-taking scenery to road enthusiasts.
The weekend is run by the North Tyne and Redesdale Community Partnership backed by the Forestry Commission and Northumberland National Park Authority. The aim is to make it an annual cycling extravaganza and attract new visitors into the area.
Organiser Rachel Pearson said: “We’ve tweaked the longer route and it will now be run anti-clockwise so the hills are at the start, providing a faster finish. The family outing is completely new, using beautiful and quiet country roads.”
Alex MacLennan, Public Affairs Manager with the Forestry Commission, added: “Last year’s event had a fabulous feel-good factor and the feedback was tremendous. So lube your bike and sign up for the Blast, whatever your ability level.”