Work has finished on a new DH route at Kidland Forest in the Cheviot Hills, and the first race as part of the Northern Downhill Championship will take place there on 4/5 April.
Trail builders have worked with the Forestry Commission for two years to bring the event to Kidland, and over 150 riders will pit themselves against a course described as “hair-raising, packed with twists, turns and technical features.”
The trail, which will be used solely for racing, is the result of the Forestry Commission linking up with the Northumberland National Park Authority and Northern Downhill – a group of north east bike enthusiasts. The trail snakes through trees in the 3,000-acre woodland and should take around 3min to complete. The trial is said to not be suitable for novice riders.
Philip Grimes, a member of Northern Downhill said: “We’ve eyed Kidland for some time as a potentially brilliant venue. The terrain lends itself to fast and hair-raising action. Downhill biking is a massive sport in the UK, but until now we’ve often had to make long treks to Wales or the Highlands to take part in races and get an adrenaline rush. Now we have created a new race series and venue on our doorstep.”
The event has been supported by a £1,000 grant from the Northumberland National Park Authority.
Alex MacLennan, Recreation, Tourism and Communities Manager with the Forestry Commission, added: “There’s a big demand for race venues which are well designed and sustainably managed. Fortunately the north east has some fantastic locations with dramatic countryside. This new championship will draw people into the region and keep us at the forefront of developing exciting new locations for biking.”
Other legs of the Northern Downhill Championship will be held at:
A final race will take place on 10/11 October at a venue still to be determined. For details of how to enter go to www.northerndownhill.co.uk