Goal to create the cycling capital of county’s north

Beth Mills, chairperson of Wooler Cycle Hub, looks over maps ahead of this year's programme of events.
Beth Mills, chairperson of Wooler Cycle Hub, looks over maps ahead of this year's programme of events.

Making the Glendale area the cycling capital of north Northumberland is the goal behind this year’s programme of events by Wooler Cycle Hub.

With thousands of riders, supporters and their families expected to visit the area to attend the main events next month and in October, the organisers have urged local businesses to take advantage of the increased footfall in the area.

After the successful Wooler Wheel 100km cycle ride last October, the requests from entrants for a ride earlier in the year has prompted the organisers to set up a three new events this May.

On Saturday, May 11, the first Wooler Wheel 160 will take place, extending last year’s 100km route southwards to Coquetdale and into the Northumberland National Park. There will also be a 100km and 80km route on offer.

Beth Mills, chairman of Wooler Cycle Hub, said: “Last year’s event brought in 350 riders to the area, and all their families, so the events are a great opportunity for local businesses to get on board and generate increased footfall through their doors.

“The events in May and October are an opportunity to showcase the region, our businesses and the friendly welcome people receive in north Northumberland.

“If we can do that successfully then people will come back to Wooler and the surrounding area again and again of their own accord.”

And the organisers are looking for business to get involved to make the events a success for the region.

A simple 10 per cent voucher off accommodation, a meal or a shopping bill could be just the thing to tempt riders and their families to spend money at local businesses, stay for a weekend later in the year, or recommend a great pub or restaurant to friends.

The events have attracted a high-profile sponsor in the form of Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative, but more are always welcome to join.

Beth said: “We have already had some support from local businesses, in terms of items and discount vouchers for the riders’ goody bags.

“The events are the perfect vehicle for local firms to generate increased business around the actual events themselves, and subsequently, and we would love more businesses to get on board.”

With a website, a Facebook page and Twitter, the events also offer online promotional opportunities for businesses actively supporting the rides.

Also in this year’s programme are free on and off-road guided leisure rides, including ones tied in with the Glendale Festival, the exhibition of the Lindisfarne Gospels in Durham and the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.

The Wooler Wheel 100 and 50 events will again take place in October.

For more information on the events programme see http://woolerwheel.com