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Wheels in motion for bike trail
12:53pm Thursday 14th February 2013 in News
CYCLING fans are saddling up for a productive weekend when a popular race coincides with the launch of a new bike trail.
Bike enthusiasts and landscape artists have spent the past two years making the £100,000 trail a reality in Philips Park, Whitefield, after The Forestry Commission stumped up the cash.
The Mayor of Bury, Cllr Joan Grimshaw, will officially open the 3km-long trail on Saturday — the same day the Hit The North race takes place.
The trail starts at the park’s play area car park and consists of two loops around the edge of the park.
Leading trail advisers Mark McClure and Karl Bartlett, of the International Mountain Bike Association, designed the route, which is set to attract thousands of cyclists to the area each year.
And some will be flocking to the park this Saturday to take part in Hit The North, which is in its fourth year.
Last year, hundreds of people joined in a communal car push after the race as heavy snow trapped dozens of cars on the car park.
A race spokesman said: “We’ve got some new exciting bits of the course, trackside entertainment, food and, of course, racing for kids, older kids and big kids.
“All profits from the race go to local charities and we’ve bought some shovels and bags of salt — just in case it snows again!”
As part of the race, each rider tackles a three-and-a-half-mile course and whoever is in front after two hours is the winner.
The youth race begins at 9am and the adult race starts at 10am.
Andrew McHugh, of Hit the North, said: “People keep coming back for more.
“When we got to 300 entrants for this year’s race we had to stop enrolling people.
“Philips Park is a great site and we're looking forward to using parts of the new trails.”
To find out more about the event visit hitthenorth.net