Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (7th & 8th August) is set to capitalise on its superb Highland setting with a mountain bike race for all ages. The two day festival of music and performing arts will offer ‘Sweaty Bella’ on Saturday 8th August, a race through the beautiful policy woodlands of Belladrum Estate which hosts the event.
Open only to festival ticket-holders, Sweaty Bella has been designed by Steve Macdonald from Square Wheels (Strathpeffer), the motive force behind the gruelling annual 24 hour Strathpuffer race. The course will be timed laps over three miles and will last about two hours. There will be a race for 10 to 14-year-olds and 15-year-olds upwards.
Festival co-promoter Joe Gibbs added: “ We can truly say we’re a biker festival now! I’m delighted to add yet another string to Bella’s bow and to have such an experienced afficianado of mountain bike racing running the event. It fits totally with our all-ages ethos and from a green perspective, it may encourage some people to come under their own steam.”
Sweaty Bella, a new community organisation supported by local volunteers was awarded a grant by the lottery-funded scheme, Awards For All. The event is working with the national children and young people's charity Barnardos and hopes to provide training opportunities in the building of the track and running the event. An organiser said: "We hope this will lead to a small group of six - eight young people learning a lot of useful skills, moving into work and being able to live independently."
A secure area for bikes will be provided as it is not permitted to ride them in the festival arena.