Stalls target new cyclists
A LIVELY street festival set the wheels in motion before the Tour Series cycle race began in the city centre.
Interactive displays and information stalls lined Long Causeway, from 10am until 5pm yesterday, to raise awareness about cycling among city residents.
It was organised by Greater Peterborough Partnership, whose environment capital officer Nick Goodman said: “The aim is to create a legacy where we help to encourage more people to get on a bike.
“The tour is for competitors but this street event is more for everyday people, whether they are regular cyclers or complete amateurs.”
Included in the event were police displays about bike security and Travelchoice ran a Scalextric car racing track, powered by people on exercise bikes.
One of the most eye-catching displays was Cross Keys Homes’ four exercise bikes, which were wired up to a computer to allow shoppers to challenge friends, family and strangers in a 500m race.
A spokeswoman said: “We have 10,000 tenants in Peterborough properties and we have a manifesto to help them become more healthy and environmentally aware. Cycling is a great way to be both.”
George Page (20) admitted that taking part in the challenge was the first time he had been on a bike in years.
He said: “It has been about four years since I was on a bike, which is quite bad.
“Things like this are definitely good to raise cycling’s profile and I am sure it will get a lot of people interested.”
George was on a shopping trip with his grandmother Valerie (73), who agreed with his assessment.
She said: “I used to cycle to work every day – but in my day everybody did.
“There are less bikes on the roads these days, but I suppose that is also because it is more dangerous out there.”
The display also turned the head of a former cyclist turned businessman, Bourne-based Anthony Spencer.
Anthony, who cycled in competitions with the British National Squad in 2002, said: “Things like this are amazing for getting people involved in cycling.
“I am down here with my colleague Piers and he wanted to jump on and give it ago. I was just happy that I won. Hopefully events like this will inspire a lot more people to get on a bike.”
Peterborough Cycling Club and Fenland Clarion Cycling Club competed against one another on the course in a time trial, after spending the day getting people to join their groups.
Peterborough Cycling Club’s Paul Oliver said: “I actually signed up at this event last year so was happy to help out.”
Recruitment was also the main aim of BMX club Peterborough Phantoms’ stall.
Club member and Olympic BMX hopeful Bethany Campbell (13) said: “BMX is a really fast-growing sport and everyone who tries it loves it.”
From 4pm to 5pm, local school children competed in a junior duathlon, consisting of two 800-metre runs and a one kilometre bike ride.