On 11/12th of Feb 2017, some 200 riders will descend on the frozen winter wonderland of Kielder Castle, ready to push themselves and their bikes to the limit. This event has long been in the planning with the Forestry Commission keen to make it a success and highlight the use of the fantastic trails in both winter and summer.
With entries opening a month ago, there are already over 100 people signed up for the challenge. Riders are coming from all over, including Belgium, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man and even the remote Orkney Islands. All visitors will be welcomed with open arms and shown the usual high standards of hospitality the area offers.
The chosen route for the event centres around the Deadwater Red with the addition of some extra forest tracks put in for event vehicles. These trails are carefully crafted by the volunteer Kielder Trail Reavers who work hand in hand with the Forestry Commission. All these people are passionate about riding and the tracks are a reflection of this passion, combining testing climbs with fast and flowing descents.
If riding a mountain bike for 24 hours was not enough of a challenge, the weather is also going to have a big say on the experience. Kielder sits well above sea level and the bracing winds that can whip up will chill people to the bone. Competitors who have chosen to ride in pairs will at least get some respite as they shelter in their cars, but solo riders get no such luxury.
Although the ride is a race, there is always space for people who want to try this type of riding for the first time. Kielder trails are there for everyone and this race takes the same ethos. So why not try the ultimate test of mountain bike endurance? Take on the wild elements of northern England and still be on your bike when the sun starts to rise on Sunday morning. Let the beauty of Kielder fill your senses and your soul. Now what are you waiting for?