This article was published in 2017, in Newsletter 132.
1 May 2017
The 11th annual Reach Ride had a huge turnout of people of all ages and with all kinds of cycles. Nearly 300 people joined the main departure from Market Square with many more participants joining along the way, so that in the end 849 ‘saddles’ were counted at the Reach Fair cycle park.
This year the person who had made the longest bicycle journey to join us was Andy from Leicester Cycling Campaign Group, with others from Ely, London, Peterborough, Ipswich, King’s Lynn (King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Bicycle Users Group) and Whittlesey.
As always there was an excellent assortment of unusual bicycles on show, with many varieties of tandem, a Pedersen, a Circe triplet and lots of cargo bikes carrying passengers of varying ages. Even the more standard bikes had unusual cargo, from a ghetto-blaster to a small terrier in a front basket. It was also great to hear lots of different languages being spoken on the ride, showing how universal cycling is as a community activity.
There were many children who made a tremendous effort to cycle there on their own bicycles – even some as young as four made the journey. Max, 11 years old, was doing it for the 11th time, although the first few times he had been on the back of his parents’ bike!
Orange flags, attached to some Camcycle members’ bicycles, looked fantastic as the parade of bikes crossed White Fen, flying well in the rather breezy conditions and reassuring those new to the Ride that they were still on the right path.
Unfortunately, there were quite a lot of punctures despite our recce team who had gone out two days before and cleared the route, but such is the spirit of the Ride that those unlucky riders were helped by our members, in particular Gary from Outspoken who gave away all his spare inner tubes!
The Reach Fair was just opening as the first riders arrived in time to hear the Mayor’s speech and try to catch the coins thrown into the crowd. The sun came out to warm us all up after a rather chilly morning and we enjoyed fantastic food and drinks in the village hall to fuel us for the return ride, which turned out to be much easier as the wind was behind us.
Some of us cycled back to the Guildhall at about 3.30pm to welcome returning riders and in particular to congratulate all the children who returned very pleased with themselves at having completed the distance of 30 miles.
We would be very interested in feedback from any riders as the event goes from strength to strength each year. Please add a comment to Cyclescape 2718 and if you are inspired to help make next year’s event even better, then let us know there, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Willa McDonald, Events Officer