The first is on Sunday 22 March when experts will teach basic riding skills, followed by a second session a week later (29 March) focusing on simple bike maintenance and culminating in a ride through the 2,000-hectare (5,000-acre) County Durham beauty spot.

Vicky Chilcott, Hamsterley Traiblazers Secretary, explained: “Last year’s female workshops were amazingly popular, underlining that there are loads of women out there who want to give biking a go. These sessions are all about building confidence and showing everyone can gear up for the sport.”

When Hamsterley Trailblazers set up in 2003 there were just two women out of nearly 20 members. Now over 30% of the group’s 160 roll call are women – and the number is growing.

Neil Taylor, Forestry Commission Ranger, added: “A day in the saddle is a great way to experience the forest and keep in trim, which are two brilliant reasons to sign-up for these events.”

Sessions cost £5 (free to Trailblazer members) and last up to five hours starting at 10.30am. Booking is required by contacting Vicky Chilcott on

Bike hire can be arranged through Wood n Wheels on 01388 488222. The sessions will be repeated on 14 and 28 June.