Peak District to host its first cycling festival

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Cyclists of all ages and abilities are counting down to some fun, fresh air and fitness during the first-ever Peak District Cycling Festival.

There will be more than 60 rides and bike-related activities around the national park from September 7 to 15.

The festival will get off to a flying start with the Slicks ‘n’ Nobblies Peak Cyclo Sportive, featuring three road rides and two off-road rides for most abilities, setting off from Castleton Youth Hostel on Saturday, September 7.

Entries are now open for the three ‘slicks’ courses for road bikes over 30, 55 and 70 miles, and the two off-road ‘nobblies’ courses over 45 miles and a beginner-friendly 25 miles.

Another highlight is the Thornbridge Bike Fest at Thornbridge Outdoors, Great Longstone – a residential weekend with cycling activities, demonstrations, stands, workshops, rides and evening entertainment.

David James, chief executive of tourism agency Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, said: “We’re very keen to position the Peak District as the UK’s capital of cycling.

“The Peak District is already a brilliant place to explore on a bike – with 65 miles of traffic-free routes amid superb landscapes.”

Annie Last, professional mountain biker and patron of the Peak District Cycling Festival, added: “The first-ever Peak District Cycling Festival offers a fabulous opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy fun, fresh air and fitness surrounded by some of the UK’s most breathtaking landscapes.”

n Visit www.visitpeakdistrict.com/pdcf for full details of the festival – including information on how to take part in individual events and also a prize draw to win a 2013 Great Britain cycling shirt signed by Annie.