IT'S just days to go to the first ever Peak District Cycling Festival.
Pedal-pushers of all ages and abilities are gearing up for the nine-day celebration of fun, fresh air and fitness on two wheels, between September 7 and 15.
There are events for the wobbliest beginner through to lycra-clad experts.
Annie Last, Olympic-standard 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.
“I was lucky enough to grow up here. Now, as a professional cyclist, I love to return between international events to train on a variety of roads, tracks and challenging trails in Britain’s first National Park, amid wonderful, yet accessible countryside.
“I’d encourage everyone from beginners to experts to get on their bike and book ahead to explore some of the best cycling country they’ll ever experience. It’s good for both the head and the heart – as well as the very best way to get around.” Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority said: “The Peak District is fantastic for cycling and offers such a variety of routes, there really is something for everyone.
“I hope the Festival will encourage more people to cycle in their everyday lives – for travel to work or the shops, as well as enjoying two wheels to experience the national park countryside.” There are 65 miles of traffic-free routes, including the High Peak and Tissington Trails, that cross some of the national park’s most beautiful landscapes.
The Monsal Trail provides the opportunity to cycle literally through the Peak District hills and dales by way of a series of spectacular tunnels on the former railway line from Bakewell to Blackwell Mill.
Bookings are now being taken for cycling festival events, including: Saturday 7 September Ride the flight-path of the dare-devil Dambusters! Join Pennine Way Ranger, Martyn Sharp, to learn mountain bike skills around Ladybower Reservoir, the practice site of the famous Dambusters. Off-road route, on easy terrain, learning handling, maintenance and navigation. 10am to 1pm. Starts at Derwent cyclehire centre. Bring own bike and helmet, or hire on site.
To book call 01629 816 211.
Sunday 8 September Mountain biking around Bakewell For adults only, a 15-mile mountain bike ride on bridleways linked by tarmac roads. Strenuous but not technically difficult. The route is suitable for adapted bikes. Please bring your own bike, a packed lunch and wear suitable clothing. Cycle helmets must be worn.
You will need money for the car park and cafe stop.
The ride is free. Starts at 10.30am from the Old Railway Station, Bakewell, DE45 1GE (grid ref SK 2227 6891). To book call 01433 631405 or email email@example.com Sunday 15 September Mountain biking from Thornbridge Starting and ending at the BikeFest at Thornbridge, Great Longstone, DE45 1NY. A 15-mile mountain bike ride on bridleways linked by tarmac roads. For adults only. Strenuous but not technically difficult. The route is suitable for adapted bikes. Please bring your own bike, a packed lunch and wear suitable clothing. Cycle helmets must be worn. The ride is free. 10.30am to 3pm.
To book call 01433 631405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more events go to www.visitpeakdistrict.com/pdcf