Organised by Hay Tourism Group, with funding support from Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Rural Alliances scheme, the three day programme will offer a wide variety of guided mountain biking, road cycling, and leisure riding for enthusiasts of all abilities, as well as workshops and skill sessions run by local firm Drover Cycles.
The three day event looks to build on the success of Hay Walking Festival, which has quickly become a favourite in the ramblers’ calendar, and organisers Hay Tourism Group are hoping this event will be just as popular.
The Hay Bike Fest guided ride programme begins on Friday, April 12 with a 60-80km Black Mountains roundabout road ride led by top triathlete Tom Sturdy, a night ride, a 35km leisure ride of black and white villages and a trail centre trip to Nant yr Arian, near Aberystwyth.
Saturday, April 13 sees a women only 30km breeze ride, a 30km mountain bike event, a 35km Talgarth & Bronllys leisure ride led by Dave Price, a challenging Talgarth black route mountain bike ride and a Hay time trial.
The main event of Sunday, April 14 is the Sportive, registered with British Cycling, where riders will battle against the course and the clock. The final day of activities also offers a 55km self-guided Sportive taster road ride, the chance to have a go at Cyclocross, mountain bike orienteering at Trewern, a Begwyns for beginners mountain bike ride, and a 60km leisure ride to Brecon and back.
Drover Cycles will be holding regular bike workshops and skills sessions and Hay Castle will play host to a bike-based expo during the three day festival, with demonstration bikes and the chance to peddle your wares at a bike jumble sale. Hay Bike Fest will also feature charitable evening events including a photographic talk by Anna and Luke Heywood describing their cycle to South Africa, a pizza party and a cycling-themed pub quiz at The Swan Hotel in Hay-on-Wye.
The Bannau Brycheiniog has been the green gym where gold medal-winning cyclists such as Nicole Cooke and Becky James have trained ahead of victory on the saddle, and Hay Bike Fest organisers hope the area’s challenging and fun routes entice cyclists from around the UK to try it for themselves.
Event organiser Anna Heywood, who runs Drover Cycles in Hay-on-Wye, said: “Hay-on-Wye has a proud tradition as a book town, but we want to show that there’s more to Hay than just literature. The annual Hay Walking Festival is going from strength to strength, and the inaugural Hay Bike Fest will make the most of the scenic, and at times, challenging landscapes that we have here on the Welsh border.”
Julie James, Chairman of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, added: “The Authority is delighted to be able to help promote this event which champions health, wellbeing and an active lifestyle. I’m sure the first ever Hay Bike Fest will be a great success, and I’m confident its programme filled with quality and quantity will draw cycling enthusiasts from near and far.”
For more information please visit www.haycycling.org.