Let’s har­ness pedal power across town

Gloucestershire Echo - - LETTERS & OPINION -

IN Septem­ber 2017, Chel­tenham hosted the fin­ish of the Tour of Britain cy­cle race. Many will re­mem­ber the cy­clists fin­ish­ing in the Prom­e­nade, not to men­tion the tor­ren­tial down­pour just be­fore they ar­rived. The gen­eral view was that it had been a great success.

While Chel­tenham Bor­ough Coun­cil took the lead in bring­ing the race to Chel­tenham and worked with many peo­ple to make sure ev­ery­thing went well, it was a ma­jor learn­ing exercise in the amount of ef­fort needed.

It was not some­thing we could do every day and since then we have been work­ing out the best way to con­tinue to main­tain the link with cy­cling which we are keen to en­cour­age.

This month’s Fes­ti­val of Cy­cling in Pittville Park was equally amaz­ing and it showed a real ap­petite for an an­nual com­mu­nity event.

More than 500 peo­ple at­tended and the busiest place seemed to be the in­clu­sive Wheels For All cy­cling ses­sions and the have a go ju­nior cy­cling track.

More than 140 chil­dren had a go, a great out­come in sup­port­ing the No Child Left Be­hind year of ac­tion.

We wel­comed many clubs to take part in the West­ern League Cy­clocross races that hap­pened along­side a mul­ti­tude of other cy­cling ac­tiv­i­ties to­gether with a va­ri­ety of lo­cal busi­nesses.

It show­cased just what can be achieved with a small bud­get work­ing in part­ner­ship, a huge vote of thanks to ev­ery­one who made this hap­pen.

Please keep your eyes peeled for the next cy­cling fes­ti­val event in Septem­ber which will be larger and in the town centre to en­cour­age those visit­ing to sup­port our busi­ness and re­tail of­fer.

The long term ob­jec­tives and as­pi­ra­tions for this fledg­ling fes­ti­val will be to pro­mote cy­cling as a sport, recre­ation and means of trans­port, gain­ing stronger youth cy­cling of­fers in Chel­tenham, in­spire and pro­vide path­ways for women, girls and those with dis­abil­ity to par­tic­i­pate at all lev­els, raise the stan­dard of re­gional events and at­tract more ma­jor events to Chel­tenham, and hav­ing a bet­ter spread of of­fer across dis­ci­plines to meet lo­cal need such as BMX, MTB, CX and road/ track cy­cling. Coun­cil­lor Rowena Hay Lib­eral Demo­crat bor­ough coun­cil­lor for Oak­ley

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