September 20 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, May 4, 2014
A cycling festival which has brought hundreds of people to north Norfolk is becoming established as a major fixture in the county after participation more than trebled from last year.
Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival director Peter Flett is delighted with the public response to the three-day event, which was started by Olympic medallist and former world champion Emma Pooley on Saturday, and continues on Monday.
Mr Flett, 49, who lives in Burnham Thorpe and runs Fatbirds bicycle shop in Hunstanton, said: “There has always been a three-year plan with the festival. The first year was to see if it would work, this year is about getting greater numbers here and next year we want to make it even bigger and better.”
More than 1,500 people have taken the opportunity to ride in the stunning scenery of the Holkham Estate and around parts of north Norfolk, west Norfolk and Breckland.
The festival, which is raising money for Prostate Cancer UK, features nine different road rides ranging from 20 to 100 miles.
There is also a mountain bike course, time trials, shows from the Zero Gravity display team, live music, sports demonstrations, wacky bicycles, trade stands and lots of other activities for people of all ages.
The EDP is one of the festival’s sponsors along with North Norfolk District Council, Adnams, Leathes Prior, Tyrrells, Handelsbanken, Holkham Emerald and Purple Chilli Events,
Mr Flett said: “We have pushed hard with publicity this year so it has been great to have the EDP on board as well as all of last year’s sponsors.
“Holkham Hall is a really big draw for people, and many have taken the rare opportunity to camp here.
“Having Emma Pooley here as well has been fantastic.”
He added: “There are only two other 250-mile weekend cycling events in the whole country.
“But it is not just about elite cyclists, there is a big emphasis on family fun.
“I’ve had great feedback from people, saying the tone has been just right.
“There is usually a lot of testosterone at cycling festivals but here, it has been very relaxed and there have been loads of children enjoying themselves, which you don’t usually get at cycling festivals.”
Miss Pooley, 31, who grew up in Norwich, said: “I’m really excited to be here.
“I don’t get many opportunities to come back to Norfolk and I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend.
“What I like about this festival is the focus is on having fun, and there are a mixture of adults and children taking part.
“The Olympics may has given cycling a bit of a push in the media but the sport has always been strong in Norfolk and that is shown by the number of people who have turned up.”
People are welcome to take part in any of the rides at the festival’s final day on Monday.
Registration opens at 7am.
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