The Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge took place on 13 June 2009. It is one of the premier cycling events in the UK and part of the UCI Golden Wheel series, attracting riders from the UK and overseas.

The race is non competitive and allows participants to ride at their own pace and enjoy the stunning countryside that Northumberland has to offer. A time chip is given to participants and some riders set themselves a time goal, but for the most part, participants are content to progress at their own speed.

It seems that a sense of humour is mandatory to enter this race as our photographer witnessed many an amusing remark whilst photographing the riders as they reached the top of the Ryal Hills before they made their way down to Maften and then on to the finish. Some of which included 'I wish I'd taken the bus' and 'I'm smiling because I've reached the top' and 'take a photo of me so I know I can walk'.

Known as 'the secret county', Northumberland's beautiful countryside and quiet roads, perfect for cycling, are little known throughout the rest of the UK and offer both the experienced and novice cyclist a pleasurable ride through country lanes and quiet villages.

The Cyclone Challenge aims to appeal to all levels of cyclist from the beginner to the supremely fit, experienced rider. In this vein, three types of race were on offer:

Ride A: 33 miles
- designed for families and those who enjoy a gentle saunter to take in the countryside.

Ride B: 62 miles
- some previous training and a degree of fitness was required to complete this race.

Ride C: 101 miles
- a demanding course with many hills and only for the very fit rider.

All riders received a free t-shirt and certificate on completing the event and returning their timing chip.

The Cyclone Challenge offered the participants the opportunity to attract sponsorship and ride for charity.

   www.northernrockcyclone.co.uk

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