Six Penny Farthings join the fun as Camcycle’s Reach Ride makes a triumphant return

Over 800 people cycled from Cambridge to Reach Fair on Bank Holiday Monday as Camcycle’s guided ride returned after a three-year gap. With no rain, wind or intense heat, the weather was perfect for riding and cyclists of all ages enjoyed pedalling through the Fenland countryside.

Three cyclists riding two penny farthings and a vintage bicycle on the Reach Ride

In 2022, a record number of Penny Farthings took part – six, including one rider who had travelled up from Kent! – and there was a notable increase in family cargo cycles including many trailer bikes, tandems and triplets. The youngest participant was Mila, aged 9 months, who giggled and napped in her family’s new trailer. Teal, aged 5, was the youngest to pedal independently all the way to the fair, a particularly impressive achievement on a tiny bike with no gears. He said the ride was ‘Great as can be!’

Adriano Pallavicino, one of the adult participants agreed! Commenting on Facebook, he said:

“Thank you to all the people who organised it, amazing experience!”
A montage of 4 cycling families on the Reach Ride
A few of the younger participants on the 2022 Reach Ride

Around 35 people joined Ely Cycle Campaign on their ride from Ely railway station, including members of KLWNBUG (the Norfolk and Fens Cycling Campaign). Members of Hunts Walking & Cycling Group are already planning to organise a group from St Ives next year.

Riders departing from Ely railway station

In keeping with its 821-year old tradition, the Reach Fair was opened by the Mayor of Cambridge, Russ McPherson, and pennies were thrown for children to collect. The fair was back to its pre-pandemic glory with stalls, rides, entertainment, Morris dancing and a traditional Maypole.

Camcycle’s Executive Director, Roxanne De Beaux, said:

We were delighted to welcome the return of the Reach Fair and Ride on such a glorious spring day. We loved seeing both familiar faces and those taking part for the first time, all enjoying what has become a celebrated Cambridge tradition for all ages, abilities and types of cycle. The Reach Ride wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our many Camcycle volunteers, plus sponsorship from Cambridge City Council and Continental Tyres, and we thank them all for their support.”

Volunteers Simon and Willa lead the Reach Ride
The 15th Reach Ride is planned to take place on Bank Holiday Monday 1 May, 2023. Camcycle invites expressions of interest from Cambridgeshire organisations which would like to find out more about joining the ride as a local sponsor.