FULL SPEED AHEAD FOR THE FIRST-EVER PEAK CYCLE FEST

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

Pedal pushers from beginners to experts are gearing up with just over a month to go before the nine-day celebration of life and leisure on two wheels – spanning more than 60 rides and bike-related activities – from September 7 to 15.

Bookings are still being taken for the huge variety of events on offer, from guided mountain bike rides and relaxed evening routes to bike orienteering and more challenging road rides.

The Festival will get off to a flying start with the Slicks ‘n’ Nobblies Peak Cyclo Sportive, featuring three road and two off-road rides for most abilities, setting off from YHA Castleton 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 beginner-friendly 25 miles.

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

Another key feature is the Carsington Water Charity Day, including family cycle rides and other outdoor activities such as walking, sailing and raft racing.

“We’re very keen to position the Peak District as the UK’s capital of cycling – including the world’s most cycle friendly national park, and this new Festival is spearheading a number of initiatives to help achieve our goal,” said David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board.

“The Peak District is already a brilliant place to explore on a bike – with no less than 65 miles of traffic-free routes amid superb, specially-protected landscapes in the National Park – and recent initiatives, such as opening up former railway tunnels on the Monsal Trail, have enhanced that reputation.

“The Peak District Cycling Festival is set to put the area on track to further success in 2014, when we welcome the L’Eroica bike ride and three-day festival in June, the Tour de France in July, and the opening of Derby’s brand new £28 million Velodrome and multi-use sports centre in early 2015.

“We’re also hoping that this new Festival will persuade more people to incorporate cycling in their everyday lives – using their bikes to travel to work and get to the shops, as well as taking to two wheels during their leisure time.”

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.”

Full details – including information on how to book for individual events, a video interview with Annie Last and a prize draw to win a 2013 Great Britain cycling shirt signed by Annie – can be found at www.visitpeakdistrict.com/pdcf. Printed brochures are also available from tourist information centres in and around the Peak District.

Ends.

For further information, please contact Janette Sykes, PR Manager, Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, on 07792 924839 or at janette.sykes@visitpeakdistrict.com.

Note to News Editors

A high resolution image of Annie Last, patron of the Peak District Cycling Festival, is attached. Caption: Peak District Cycling Festival patron Annie Last gears up for the area’s first-ever nine-day celebration of life and leisure on two wheels on one of the area’s most popular routes, the Monsal Trail.

If you require additional images of cycling in the Peak District, please contact Dan Eagar, Marketing Executive, on 01246 212924 or at dan.eagar@visitpeakdistrict.com.

Date for your diary

 Reporters, photographers and film crews are welcome to attend the official launch of the Peak District Cycling Festival, at the start of the Slicks ‘n’ Nobblies Peak Cyclo Sportive at YHA Castleton, S33 8WB, on Saturday September 7 at 8am. Arrangements can also be made to accommodate pre-Festival filming – please contact Janette Sykes to set this up.

 Annie Last (23) lives in the Peak District and rides for Trek Factory Racing mountain bike team. She represented Great Britain at the London Olympics in 2012, where she finished 8th. Currently Derbyshire Sports Personality of the Year, she is a multi-national champion and World Under 23 silver medallist.

Visit Peak District & Derbyshire – the area’s official tourist board – works with VisitBritain, VisitEngland, Derbyshire County Council, all local authorities in the Peak District and Derbyshire, the University of Derby Buxton, tourism business partners and surrounding tourism organisations that share the Peak District. It is committed to the successful and sustainable development of tourism.

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