New bicycle festival to accompany World Mountain Bike Conference

The Original Bicycle Festival will be held in Dumfries & Galloway from May 2 to 24, 2009. The new festival will complement the World Mountain Bike Conference on Sustainability that is being staged in Dumfries from May 12 to 15. It will celebrate the mountain bike and road cycling trails and rich cycling heritage of the south west of Scotland.

The sixteen-day Festival will promote access and participation in cycling in the region through a varied programme of open mountain bike and road cycling events, guided rides and coaching sessions, youth and women's activities, a cycle expo, a film festival and music.

The festival will cater to both residents and visitors alike; people of all ages from families with children to youth groups and "weekend warriors" to cycling commuters, the over 50s and those new to the sport but keen to have a go.

Venues will include the 7stanes mountain bike trail centres, Drumlanrig Castle, DG One in Dumfries - the Council's showcase Regional Leisure Complex, the Easterbrook Hall and Dumfries town centre.

Dumfries and Galloway are proud of their cycling heritage. Kirkpatrick 'Pate' Macmillan invented the first pedal bicycle in the 19th century and the area now hosts a stage of the annual Tour of Britain.

A full programme will be announced in February.

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