Cyclists have a double celebration on Saturday 16 February when the Hit the North race co-incides with the opening of a new mountain bike trail at Philips Park.
The 3km trail in Whitefield cost £100,000 and has been built with a grant from the Forestry Commission, and will be officially opened by the Mayor of Bury, Councillor Joan Grimshaw.
Starting at the play area car park, there are two loops of red grade trail around the edge of the park, returning to the start along the main drive. The trail was designed by Mark McClure and Karl Bartlett of the International Mountain Bike Association (UK).
Hit the North is an annual winter mountain bike race organised by local enthusiasts who enjoy the challenges of mud, snow and ice. A feature of last year's race was a communal car push out of the park following heavy snow.
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.”
Councillor Jane Lewis, cabinet member for leisure, tourism and culture,
said: “Philips Park is unusual in having 'natural' woodland so close to Manchester and the M60; you would normally expect to travel a long way to enjoy a facility like this. We are very proud to have these new mountain bike trails in Bury, and hope people will enjoy this new facility. While we want people to use the new trails, we would remind users to be realistic about their skills and the challenges the trails offer.”
Press release issued: 8 February 2013.
Picture opportunity: 10am, Saturday 16 February. The Mayor will start the race from Dams Head Lodge. Park at the play area.