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National Trust News: National Trust Pedal Power

...Anyone who’s ever fancied the idea of taking part in a challenging cycle ride through stunning countryside or around a beautiful country estate could be in for a treat with one of the new series of National Trust challenge rides, also known as sportives,'' says Louise Green.

All of the cycling routes will start and finish at National Trust sites and the first ride will take place in Pembrokeshire in West Wales on the 1 May.

Philip Broadbent-Yale, Outdoors Programme Manager at the National Trust, said: “These rides offer a fantastic way to see amazing countryside and have been specifically designed to cater for all ages and abilities, from first-time riders to seasoned pros, there’s something for everyone.”

With distances ranging from a few miles, which is ideal for families, to more testing 50-100 mile rides for the more experienced, these cycling challenges are perfectly suited to those who love spending time in the great outdoors.

The routes wind through open countryside and will be fully way-marked and marshalled by professional event organisers.

The challenge rides planned for 2011 are:

1 May - National Trust Pembrokeshire Challenge Ride at Stackpole in Wales

19 June - Fathers Day Ride at Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire

3 July - National Trust White Peak Challenge Ride - Illam, Peak District (TBC)

3 July - Kingston Lacy in Dorset

24 July - Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire

11 Sept - Wimpole in Cambridgeshire

2 October - Dartmoor Atlantic Challenge at the Parke Estate in Devon

9 October - Sizergh Castle in the Lake District.

More information on the rides, how to register and more downloadable cycle trails can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cycling

Also happening this summer will be the Trust’s first ever Cycling Festival which will take place between 16-24 July with fantastic bike-ride events and activities happening at twenty-five locations, including Fountain’s Abbey in Yorkshire and Scotney Castle in Kent.

Philip Broadbent-Yale added: “There are hundreds of thousands of acres of beautiful countryside, historic parks and forests owned by the National Trust just waiting to be explored on two wheels by downloading trails from the website or following way-marked routes.”

More than 150 National trust properties are within one mile of the National Cycle Network.

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