Festival seeks to get town pedalling

IN THE SADDLE: Students from Lowestoft Sixth Form College and Lowestoft College join the organisers

IN THE SADDLE: Students from Lowestoft Sixth Form College and Lowestoft College join the organisers of the town's first cycle festival to promote the event, planned for Royal Green on May 18-19. picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

Part of Lowestoft seafront will be transformed next month – as it hosts a two-day celebration of cycling.

The first Lowestoft Cycle Festival has been organised for the weekend of May 18-19 on Royal Green and organisers are promising a packed programme of entertainment for all the family.

As reported in The Journal last month, the launch of the festival coincides with the unveiling of a new Lowestoft Cycling website, aimed at encouraging more people in the area to take to two wheels.

About 35 volunteers from Lowestoft Sixth Form College and Lowestoft College have been working behind the scenes to plan the festival, and last week they got on their bikes and joined Steff Jones, project manager for the Lowestoft Local Links initiative, and festival organiser, Terry Osborne, to promote the event.

Over the weekend of May 18-19, the three lawns at Royal Green will play host to a tented cycle retail and exhibition village, an entertainment zone and an area where people can take a test-ride on new bikes.

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There will also be practical advice available on cycle maintenance, a number of special cycle rides and challenges for people all ages and abilities, and performances by a cycle trials display team.

But it's not all about cycling: the free-to-enter event will also feature a range of other attractions and live entertainment while seeking to raise money for local schools and charities.

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Ms Jones told The Journal: 'We wanted this to be a real family festival and for visitors to get as much from it as possible. We decided to have sponsored rides as part of it because it gives everybody a chance to raise money for their local school or charity and have some real fun at the time.'

There are three sponsored rides to enjoy during the festival: a traffic-free two-and-a-half mile seafront route following cycle paths that is deemed suitable for all including younger children on scooters, and a five- and 10-mile course that makes use of cycle paths and local roads where traffic levels are low.

Mr Osborne added: 'The festival seems to have hit the right note at the right time.

'I am just amazed at the help and support we are getting from local cycle retailers, schools, pupils and our student volunteers who are really helping to make this Festival happen.'

For more information on the festival or to enter a sponsored ride team, visit www.lowestoftcycling.com

Win a copy of new cycling book – see page 54

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