This article was published in 2011, in Newsletter 94.
Why do we do it?
Reach Fair has been going for over 800 years and is one of the most enjoyable countryside events within easy cycling distance of Cambridge. At 12 noon on 2 May 2011, Reach Fair will be opened by the Mayor of Cambridge, dressed in mayoral regalia and with costumed attendants. The Mayor throws handfuls of new pennies into the crowd which children scrabble for – a modern version of an ancient distribution to the poor. Hundreds of people will be there to enjoy the crafts, stalls and entertainment available. Many of those people will have cycled to the event from Cambridge and surrounding villages.
So why does the Campaign organise this ride?
Most of our members are regular users of bicycles who cycle in and around town between work or school and home, to the shops, maybe to the cinema or a restaurant. What could be better than getting all your friends and family together and joining the Reach Fair bike ride to stretch those legs a little more than your average trip?
After all, cycling is about enjoying yourself. The freedom to stop and start when you want. To cycle quickly or slowly. To experience the joy of cycling out in the countryside. The ride has people of all ages and abilities, from school children to more mature and experienced riders. The Reach Fair bike ride is not about cycling; it’s about getting to Reach in a fast and fun way. It just happens that the fastest and most fun way to get there is by bike.
How far is it? And where is Reach anyway?
Reach is to the northwest of Cambridge, just past Bottisham and the Swaffhams. Our route to Reach is about 12 miles from the centre of Cambridge, and our route back is the same distance. We ride out of Cambridge along the traffic-free cycleways by the river Cam, and then follow the National Cycleway Route 51, which has some on-road sections, all the way to Reach. Don’t worry about getting lost either, as we have marshals who will guide you along the way.
If you want a shorter ride, you can start from Newmarket Road Park & Ride site. Park the car (at your own risk), unpack the bikes, and ride to Reach from there.
Full details of starting times and places will be in the next Newsletter.
Do I need sponsorship?
We ride because it’s fun and quick. If you want to ride to raise money for charities through sponsorship, then please consider a ride that is a little bit more challenging. For example, the Ride to Southend (see article) is a challenging ride that you can be proud to finish. The Reach Fair bike ride is not a challenge. It’s only 12 miles there, a good day out with plenty of food and drink and shopping. Some may consider 12 miles a very long way, and for some like very young children it may be. However, even the least fit of cyclists have been able to do this ride with a smile on their faces.
We will be riding there because we enjoy it. There is no fee to join the ride.
Come and join us for one of the most enjoyable days out this year. Just have a look at the happy faces from previous years. Life is a journey, so start pedalling…