The rides will take place every other Wednesday until March 24 2010. Each ride starts at 7pm (lasting for around two hours) and bike hire is available for those without their own bikes. Cost per person is £15, which includes bike hire, guided ride and hot food. Bikers can bring their own lights or reserve a set of high power off road lights (£10 to hire). The events suit intermediate riders and will include some sections of single track. Pre-booking is required on 01434 250 532.
Ruth Griffin, co-owner of Purple Mountain, said: “There is no better location for an exhilarating night ride than under the darkest night skies in the whole of England. Night riding is completely different to daylight riding as it offers an opportunity to sharpen your senses and experience the thrills of nature’s sounds and scents in the pitch black.
“For those who think they have already tamed the Kielder wilderness by bike or have been taking the same trails for granted, the night rides give a different perspective and a chance to see things you don’t normally see. For newcomers it’s a chance to explore and for all, it is fantastic fun that will leave you buzzing.”
Vicky Griffin, co-owner of Purple Mountain, added: “It’s cold, still and pitch black in the forest. Visitors may feel the piercing glares of orange eyes watching them through the trees. It’s definitely a thrill but every ride is led by a highly experienced guide for those who are too scared to go it alone!”
Elisabeth Rowark, Kielder Partnership director, said: “It’s a common misconception that the Park closes over the winter because the visitor centres’ hours change. However, events and activities here are all year round and visitors can check winter opening hours on the home page of visitkielder.com.”
Other upcoming mountain biking events in the Park include a New Year’s resolution bike ride on Saturday January 2, Women’s Riding Skills on Saturday January 16, The Bike Place Winter Warmer on Saturday January 23 and Junior Riding Skills on Thursday February 18 2010. For details on all events go to www.visitkielder.com/events.
Image by Joolze Dymond