Cycling in the community

Video of the cyclo-cross course, taken by me with the phone. Warning – footage can be wobbly so make the screen smaller.

The cycling stuff went brilliantly at the Coryton school fête. The weather was superb. The races went off without a hitch and with plenty of huge smiles. There was fantastic support from the local community within and beyond Coryton primary; most noticeably from Sustrans, local parliamentary candidate Mari Williams and the parents and children of Cardiff JIF.

Mari Williams on the smoothie maker.

We ran 4 cyclo-cross races. There was ‘fastest lap’ for adults (and super keen kids). The smoothie maker fixed to the top of Jemma’s bike, whizzed, whirred and made healthy drinks for all. The Cardiff cycle training workshop ran a Dr Bike session, fixing bikes for free. Kids were happily wearing their ‘I love cycling’ badges courtesy of Sustrans. And as for the cycling raffle – all entrants to the races had a free ticket – who would not be happy with a cycle computer, pair of gloves or a North Face jacket? 

The purpose of adding the cycling activities to the school fete had several aspects. Firstly, to add some extra interest and dynamism to the event. Secondly to raise some extra funds (through the first objective – the cycling on its own would never raise that much money, but it would bring in extra people who will also spend at the other stalls). Thirdly to promote cycling amongst youngsters and embed the activities of the cycling community within the wider one. Finally, I wanted to highlight how enjoyable cross racing is and prepare the kids for the opportunity to compete at the next Welsh Schools Cyclo-cross championships. 

Test lap, 10 minutes prior to start of fete. Its a very big flag.

I loved it. The kids raced, cycled and ran around like loonies. The parents were happy that the kids were getting a good run out and we provided something interesting to watch whilst enjoying an icecream, sold – naturally – off the back of a bike (the fete raised a grand total of £1230 all of which will be spent on resources for the children). If we want to get our kids active, promote cycling as a means of recreation, sport and transport, getting in at community level is essential. I’ll leave this post with a little exchange I had with one of the children whilst I was running the 2nd of the 4 cyclo-cross races:

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Young child is watching, rapt attention.

Would you like to have a go? 

<big pause, child keeps watching the other bikes going around and around>

It’s my dream to do this.

15 minutes later he was sat on the start line on a loaned bike courtesy of Jess and Claire Hoskins (Cardiff JIF). Bless ‘em.

Big thanks to Sustrans, Cycle Training workshop, Mari Williams, Rob Sage and the parents and children of Cardiff JIF kids club.  Massive thanks to Cyclopaedia, Sunset Mountain biking and Odoni-Elwell for the cycling raffle prizes. We’ll be doing it all again next year.

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