Back in the saddle for Rushmoor cycling projectBy Fergus McEwan
March 15, 2013
CYCLING fans enjoyed a wheel treat with the return of the Rushmoor Get Cycling initiative.
Many families from across the borough got in the saddle for the first ride of the year for the community cycling project, led by charity Sustrans in conjunction with Rushmoor Borough Council.
Fifteen adults, the oldest in their 70s, and four children aged as young as eight attended the relaunch of the project on March 2 following a winter break, along with 11 of its 25 volunteer leaders.
The event began at the home of Farnborough Football Club in Cherrywood Road, where organiser Ben Knowles, of Sustrans, demonstrated simple bicycle safety checks and made some repairs.
The participants, half of them newcomers, used pedal power to get around one of two routes in Farnborough. Some cycled three miles along Cove Brook Cycleway, while others went on an 8.5-mile tour of Hawley Woods.
They were joined by councillors Barry Jones and Clive Grattan, who represent Farnborough’s Cherrywood ward, and Farnborough police officers Richard Smith and Lisa Attwood. Mr Knowles said: “The relaunch went very well. There was good weather and everyone had a good time.
“I was pleased at the attendance, although I would like to eventually have 50 people turning up each week. There’s certainly a demand for this kind of project, we just have to make people aware of it.”
Rushmoor Get Cycling arranges free rides every Saturday on the Cove Brook Cycleway, ideal for beginners, with either the Hawley Woods trek or a 10-mile route including the Blackwater Valley trail.
Its aim is to get adults and children exercising while encouraging them to use sustainable transport such as walking, cycling or public transport to travel to work, school or shops.
It also has connections to local cycling clubs Farnborough and Camberley, VC Meudon and the Tunnel Hill Trolls so it can refer participants who want to ride more often and try competitive cycling.
Cllr Jones said: “Rushmoor Get Cycling is a great way to help people get out on their bikes more often and it's great fun too. It’s a fantastic way to exercise and see Rushmoor’s expanding cycle network.
“I would definitely recommend attending one of the Saturday sessions, which are open to everyone.”
Riders meet at the Cherrywood Road stadium on Saturday mornings at 9.45am for a 10am start. The short course finishes at about 11am and the longer course at about 12.30pm.
Rushmoor Get Cycling is funded by the borough council and Hampshire County Council. For more information, contact Mr Knowles on 07824 812219 or email email@example.com.
Cyclists are also reminded that free bicycle safety checks will be offered by mechanics from Purple Bike Shed, a mobile bike repair service at Farnborough Main station on March 18 and March 21. All sessions will run from 7am until noon. Cyclists need to bring a bike lock.