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Mountain Biking in the Moonlight

Posted on December 1, 2011 @ 9:43 AM in AdventureCycling

Who says the day has to end when the sun goes down? It may be dark outside by 5 p.m. but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

Clearsky Adventure Centre is currently running mountain biking sessions in the dark as part of their Nightriderseries.

The Hoff may not have made an appearance but this didn’t stop the inaugural Nightrider from being a great success!  Guided by the moon and the stars (as well as a few of the latest in technology ultra bright bike lights) enthusiastic mountain bikers of all abilities met at Clearsky HQ in Castle Ward. The centre is situated at the head of the newly opened Mountain Bike Trails which provided the perfect setting for this off road moonlit experience.Nightrider caught up with Craig from Belfast to find out how he got on at Clearsky Adventure Centre’s brand new event.

A keen road cyclist, Craig had not been on a mountain bike in seven years.  Previously sticking to bashing out the miles along tarmac roads he decided it was now time for a change.  Intrigued by Nightrider he gathered a few mates together and headed down to Castle Ward.

“I’ve been to Castle Ward before but never with a bike so it was good to try something different” explained Craig. 

You do not have to be an avid mountain biker to take part; in fact you don’t even have to own a mountain bike!  Included in the price of the session Craig was able to rent a top quality VITUS mountain bike from Clearsky’s extensive store.  Proving that this event is for all skill levels he explained “The group was made up of all different abilities but it didn’t matter.  We were taken round the trails so we knew what to expect and then we were given our own freedom to get stuck in.”

Asked how it compared to biking in the daylight Craig responded “Obviously it’s very different in terms of what you can see.  It definitely increases the difficulty of the trails but the challenge was great.”

And the best bit? “The whole thing! The event was very well organised, the bike and equipment were top quality and the people were great craic. My only complaint is that I wish it had lasted longer!”

Craig was keen to recommend the event to others stating that “it doesn’t matter what skill you have because everyone is able to go at their own pace.  I am more used to road cycling however I didn’t have trouble picking it up.  After about 5 minutes to get used to the different bike I was good to go!”

Having experienced the dark depths of the forest trails by bike Craig is already looking forward to the next Nightrider

So whether you’re a mountain biking junkie or simply someone wanting to try something completely different this unique activity is sure to fit the bill.  Mountain biking under the moonlight - it’s hard to think of a better way to spend a weekday evening!

Nightrider Gift Vouchers are now available.  Treat a friend or loved one with an experience they’ll never forget!

Nightrider vouchers are available for her, for him and for couples – a truly unique present!


Activity provider:

Clearsky Adventure Centre.

Castle Ward Estate,

Old Farmyard,



BT30 7LT

+44(0)28 4372 3933



£25 - includes mountain bike and light rental as well as entry into the Castle Ward Estate.

£12.50 - includes the hire of bike lights and entry into the Castle Ward Estate.

Normal booking conditions apply.  Subject to availability.




Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson  Marketing Officer

Sarah joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in 2011. A firm believer in giving anything a go at least once (unless it involves jumping out of a plane at 6,000ft!) she is always looking for new adventures in the outdoors and can often be found wandering the Mournes or Glens of Antrim attempting not to get lost!

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