Kielder to host mountain biking conference

One of the UK’s most exciting mountain biking destinations is to play host to the UK’s leading mountain biking conference next week.

The Forestry Commission’s Kielder Water and Forest Park will play host to the influential UK Mountain Bike Conference between October 15-17.

Over three days speakers and delegates will explore the role of cycling in health, the environment and the rural economy. The list of speakers includes many influential figures in the field and will afford trail managers and cyclists the opportunity to network and explore opportunities to expand the rural economy.

Speakers include Tom Hutton (award-winning MTB Writer, Photographer and Guide), David Hall (Chairman of Northumberland Tourism), Councillor Val Tyler (Northumberland County Council), Dave Buchan (Bike 4 Health), Mark Torsius (International Mountain Bike Association Europe) and Alex MacLennan (Forestry Commission).

The conference will mark the official launch of OpenMTB, a new national network of mountain bikers speaking for MTBers and campaigning for better access.

It is the first time that UK Mountain Bike Conference has run at Kielder since 2006. Since that first UK conference local mountain bikers have worked closely with The Forestry Commission to develop the largest network of off-road cycling in England within the forest, currently covering 62,000 hectares.

Tom Hutton, conference speaker, writer and mountain biking expert said: “I’m really looking forward to the conference at Kielder. It’s a breath of fresh air to see mountain biking coming out into the open and discussing the opportunities the sport presents and the problems it faces.”