24th Oct, 2016

Bells ring out for first ever Cyclefest

Evesham Editorial 18th Sep, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A CELEBRATION of pedal power was held in Evesham when the town hosted its first ever Cyclefest event.

Raising cash for the Bell Tower Appeal, the packed day of events last Sunday (September 14) was aimed at families with plenty of exhibits and activities on offer for young and old alike.

The celebrations kicked off last week with seven intrepid cyclists saddling up for a journey from Evesham’s bell tower to one of the country’s most iconic bell towers, Big Ben in London.

One of the highlights of the day itself was ‘The Family One’ a scenic 20-mile bike ride to Pershore and back to allow families to take to two wheels and discover the joy of cycling.

Devised by Colin Tether, the route showed off the beautiful Vale countryside and cycling opportunities locally.

A good number of Evesham Wheelers turned out in support of the event, riding twice round the route to make sure all was well.

A climbing wall and circus skills were among the activities on offer for children while visitors also learned more about the knitted bike, first showcased when the Tour of Britain passed through town on September 10.

The day coincided with Heritage Open Weekend and many took the opportunity to visit the Bell Tower Ringing Chamber where local artists set up their easels.

Bell Tower Appeal and Cyclefest committee chair, Sue Ablett, was delighted with the response: “Before the event we had just 24 riders registered, but riders flocked in on the day, so we ended up with a great total of 69 riders taking part.

“This wasn’t a race, it was about enjoying the ride. Some took advantage of tea shops and pubs along the way, others had a picnic.

“But the real stars were the young children who took part – some with no gears on their bikes, and managed the whole route.

“Crossing back into Evesham via Hampton Ferry with their bikes was considered a really cool way to end the ride!

“The youngest cyclist to complete the ride unaided was James Webster, aged six-and-a-half. His parents are keen long distance cyclists, and grandfather John was the inspiration behind Evesham’s first Cyclefest, so watch out for James in years to come.” she added.

The Webster family from Norwich were among those taking part in Cyclefest. (s)

Riders set off at the start of the 20 mile ‘Family One’ ride held during Cyclefest. (s)

The Perks family from Evesham also saddled up for Cyclefest. (s)

Members of Bromsgrove Cycle Club were also among those tackling the route. (s)

Steve Kaos led the ride around Market Square. (s)

Town Mayor Coun Charlie Homer with members of the Haynes family. (s)