PROVING there is more to the town than books, Hay-on-Wye is set to host its second bike festival this spring.

The Black Mountains and Radnorshire marches provide the settings for the festival which kicks off with a dual slalom race for all visitors on Friday April 25.

There will also be skills sessions for children, bike maintenance classes, guided leisure and road rides and a festival hub in the grounds of Hay Castle.

Luke Skinner, chairman of Hay tourism group and co-owner of local bike shop Drover Cycles, said: “The country roads, moorland and mountain bridleways around Hay provide a rich variety of riding.

“We’ve been working hard over the last year to build on the success of the first event and we’re sure we’ve done the sport proud.”

Bikeability skills training sessions for children will be run on Saturday April 26 in Hay town centre, while off-roaders can take their pick of guided rides.

Roadies get their turn on Sunday April 27 with the High Above Hay sportive, featuring a descent from the highest tarmac road in Wales – the 551m high Gospel Pass in the Black Mountains.

Sunday will also see British Mountain Bike Orienteering bring an event to Hay for the first time.

The festival also hosts the Timbuktu Turbo Challenge, where sponsored cyclists on four static bikes take on 6078km between them – the distance between Hay and its Malian twin town.

Volunteers are still being sought to take up the challenge, with 60 hours of pedalling time available.

Hay Bike Fest runs from Friday April 25 to Sunday April 27.

Visit to book rides and for local info.