A FAST growing adventure motorbike series will ride into Kielder for the first time this weekend.

The Adventure Spec Challenge was launched last year, with a high profile event in Wales attracting competitors from across Europe.

The next instalment of the series, the inaugural Kielder 500, will challenge competitors to take on a 250km course through stunning countryside, on Saturday and Sunday.

Starting out at Bellingham, the route will take in sections of Kielder Forest, the north side of Kielder Reservoir, and include a checkpoint at Kielder Castle.

But it’s not a sightseeing tour, and it’s not about speed.

“The competitors will be assessed on their navigational skills,” said race director Robert Hughes, of event organisers Rallymoto. “They will have a rally road book full of instructions, and a trip meter on their bikes. It’s low speed, low environmental impact, with bikes travelling no faster than 25-30mph.

Robert said competitors were set to travel from the likes of Portugal, Belgium, Holland, France, Switzerland, and Southern Ireland.

He added: “Following the launch of the series in Wales last year, we realised there was great demand for these events.

“We’re excited to bring this to Kielder. The route is on hard base gravel tracks, and fire roads within the forest. It’s taking participants off the beaten track.

“This isn’t billed as a spectator sport, but the best place to see the bikes is the north side of the reservoir, and at the castle.”

In September, the series will visit the Isle of Man. For more information visit rallymoto.co.uk