A popular cycling event in the region made its return to action following a Covid-enforced break.

The Haydon Hundred is a regular event on the cycling calendar and returned to action on Saturday, June 12 with hundreds of riders all taking part and everyone involved in the event have been praised by its founder.

“(COVID) made it a lot more complicated because although you can have outdoor sporting events you are not allowed to have more than 15 riders starting together,” said Mark I'Anson.

“Normally we have a mass start with everyone setting off together so there is a lot more logistics this year.

“We had 330 riders but it all went very well.

“Everyone co-operated and all the entrants we gave them specific start times and they were great and followed the advice.

“We had great weather- it was sunny but a bit windy - and generally everyone had a great time.

The event, which also takes place over three different lengths around the local area, is also perfect for people of all abilities as Mark went on to explain.

“We have run it every year since and we get somewhere between 200 and the highest 350 riders. They all come to Haydon Bridge and there is three routes each of which get harder. We’ve got a 60km, 100km and 140km route,” he explained.

“The 140km route is really tough. It takes them over five of the six highest roads in England and has developed a reputation among the high level amateur cyclists as a really great event to do.

“But at the same time the 60km short one we really work hard to try and make it accessible to everyone because we want it to be a sort of community event.

“We even allow people to do it on electric bikes which you wouldn’t get on a lot of other events.”

“When they get back we gave everybody a £5 voucher and we have arranged with all the shops and everyone in Haydon Bridge that it can be spent absolutely anywhere,” added Mark.

“The idea is to encourage people to spend money and share some of the financial benefit with the businesses in the village.”

It’s all about places like Haydon Bridge its really important to keep the local economy going. They all start in the village at the library and we get the village all done up. British Cycling is involved and they lend us lots of great big barriers around the village to try and create a bit of a festival atmospohere.

“We first ran it in 2013 and we run it every year since apart from last year due to Covid,” said the event’s founder Mark I’Anson.

“We started it because I’m the chairman of the Haydon Bridge Development Trust which amongst other things runs the village community library.

“We discussed it and we decided we would create a cycling event based around Haydbon Bridge.

The idea being 1) that it would hoepfully generate a financial surplus that would contribute to the running costs of the libary and but also it would bring people into Haydon Bridge and encourage the use of the shops and generall get us on the map of cycling.

Back in 2013 cycling was just beginning to take off after the Olympics so that was it all came from.