TEENAGERS sampled some white-knuckle mountain biking this week at one of country's most popular cycling centres.

Four boys from a residential school sampled downhill adventure cycling at Hamsterley Forest's Endeavour mountain biking range, in County Durham.

The 15 and 16-year-olds from Appleby, Cumbria, faced a bumpy downhill track, cross country trails and a tobogan run and by the end of a day's training they confidently cleared jumps and rock features.

Craig Hunter and Bobby Boyd, of Descend Mountain Bike Promotions, which is developing the forest's cycling facilities, coached the youngsters to introduce them to the sport.

Mr Hunter said: "The courses have got the name 'mild to wild' because there is something for everyone.

"I've seen groups like this, especially when girls have taken part, look at the routes with their knees knocking, but by the end of the day they are asking for another go.

"If they ride here, we can offer advice and supervision that keeps it fun but as safe as possible."

The pair have started coaching courses for schools and community groups, private parties, scenic rides, team building exercises and race training to encourage more people to take up the sport for leisure or competition.

Brian Dodd, who organises outdoor pursuits for the school, said: "A challenge, bit of adventure and feeling of danger encourages them to harness their energy into something positive that can give them a real buzz.

"It builds their confidence and makes them feel brilliant."