SWINDON, England, February 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- National Trust has created a new series of National Trust challenge rides (also known as sportives) for anyone who's ever fancied the idea of taking part in a challenging cycle ride through stunning countryside or around a beautiful country estate.
All of the 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 challenging cycle (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-chl/w-countryside_environment/w-activities/w-activities-cycling.htm) rides 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*.
Also happening this summer will be the Trust's first ever Cycling Festival which will take place between 16-24 July with 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."
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 than 150 National Trust charity (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-trust/w-thecharity.htm) properties are within one mile of the National Cycle Network.
Notes to editors:
* Professional event organisers are Kilo to Go, VOtwo, Open Cycling or Andy Cook Cycling
About National Trust:
With more than 250,000 hectares of countryside and 710 miles of coastline across England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors with the National Trust.
There are over 200 free downloadable walks on the National Trust website. These include some of the most iconic sites in the UK with bracing coastal walks (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-chl/w-countryside_environment/w-coastline/w-seabritain-coastal_walks.htm) at the White Cliffs of Dover to wandering through Constable country in Essex. The walks and downloadable cycle trails (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-visits-cycling_days.htm) provide a map with directions and details of what might be seen en route.
(Due to the lengths of the above URLs, it may be necessary to copy and paste these hyperlinks into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the space if one exists.)
For further press information and images please contact: Louisa Green Press Office The National Trust Kemble Drive Swindon SN2 2NA +44(0)1793-818548 http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
SOURCE The National Trust