Saddle up: How you can get on your bike ahead of Tour of Britain’s Norfolk visit

Members of the Velo Club Norwich ready for a ride from The Forum in Norwich.
Photo by Simon Finlay Members of the Velo Club Norwich ready for a ride from The Forum in Norwich. Photo by Simon Finlay

Thursday, August 23, 2012
12:44 PM

Some of the world’s top cyclists will snake through the region next month as part of the Norfolk and Suffolk leg of the Tour of Britain.

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Mark Cavendish will be one of the star riders taking part in the Tour of Britain.Mark Cavendish will be one of the star riders taking part in the Tour of Britain.

The Adnams-supported stage of the country’s biggest road race will see the peloton of nearly 100 riders follow a route from Ipswich, through part of Suffolk, including Lowestoft and Blundeston, before arriving in Norfolk.

They will then take in Great Yarmouth, Coltishall, Reepham, Dereham and Easton before finishing at the Norfolk Showground at Costessey – where the free Taste the Best of Norfolk Food and Drink Festival and family fun day will be held as part of the EDP Adnams Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, which is held in association with Norfolk County Council.

This year’s event will see a stellar line-up of riders including Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins and current road cycling world champion Mark Cavendish.

The event’s popularity and increased coverage has coincided with a boom in cycling, now one of the fastest-growing participation sports in the UK with clubs everywhere recording a surge in membership numbers.

There are also more and more cycle events for everyone from novices to experienced riders including Sky Rides and female-only events such as Cycletta.

With Norfolk and north Suffolk’s thousands of miles of roads and cycleways, there is ample opportunity for people to be inspired by September 9’s showcase of cycling and take up the sport.

Here is a guide on how to get into cycling in the area where you live:

Iceni Velo

Based in Norwich and founded in 2011, Iceni Velo is Norfolk’s newest club with lots of ideas and enthusiasm for the sport.

Its aim is to promote all aspects of cycling – whether competitive, or for leisure or fitness. The club’s activities include specialist sessions for women and novice riders.

With more than 200 members the club continues to grow and there are regular road and mountain bike rides for all abilities.

Visit the club’s website at www.icenivelo.co.uk

CTC West Norfolk Local Group

This group covers a wide area.

On Tuesdays it meets for coffee and a chat at 11am at Castle Rising. On Thursdays its meets at 11am for coffee and cake at various cafes, then cycles as a group about 10 to 15 miles to a lunch stop, all at a reasonable touring pace.

For more information, log on to www.norfolkda.co.uk or telephone Felicity Peyman on 01945 880284.

Norwich Cycle Speedway Club

The club is Norfolk’s only accredited Club Mark cycle speedway club with fully-qualified British Cycling coaches.

It holds regular free coaching and taster sessions at the Harford Park circuit, in Ipswich Road, on Tuesdays from 6.30pm as well as team and individual competitions throughout the season from March to October.

For more information, telephone 0844 660 1545 or visit the website at www.norwichcyclespeedway.org.uk

Velo Club Baracchi

Founded as a racing club, Velo Club Baracchi is based at Lowestoft in north Suffolk and members compete in time trials, road, cyclo-cross and mountain bike races.

On most Sundays, the club run sets off from the Colville Road roundabout at 8.30am.

For more information visit the website at www.vcbaracchi.co.uk

Velo Club Norwich

Norwich’s biggest cycle club boasts 150 members and is the home club of world time trial champion and Olympic silver medallist Emma Pooley.

It runs Sunday club rides from the Forum at 9.30am. There are normally two or three groups based on fitness and ability. The rides are about 50 miles, with a stop at a café halfway round for tea and the ever-important cake.

In the summer months, there are also evening rides on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and the club runs an annual road race and open time trial events.

Email veloclubnorwich@hotmail.co.uk or go to www.vcnorwich.co.uk for more information.

Wisbech Wheelers Cycling Club

The club has both competitive and non-competitive members with club runs and time trials throughout the summer. The club meets at the Freedom Bridge, just off the main roundabout in Wisbech town centre. The ride leaves at 9am.

A smaller group meets on Saturdays for a shorter club ride and there is a Wednesday ride in summer.

For more information, telephone George West on 01553 828977 or visit www.wisbechwheelers.co.uk

Cycling Club Breckland

The club was formed in 1975 and holds activities over a wide area of Norfolk, including weekly club time trials on Wednesday evenings during summer.

Sunday club runs leave Dereham Market Place, near the war memorial, at 9am for a ride of about 50 miles at 15-16mph.

Telephone Rod Hobbson 01362 692246 for details or visit the website at www.ccbreckland.org.uk.

Diss and District Cycling Club

A friendly club which meets at 9am every Sunday in the small car park opposite Madgetts Cycles in Shelfanger Road, Diss, for a ride of 40-80 miles at 15-18mph.

New members are welcome and the group rides at the speed of the slowest rider. There is also a slower-paced club run that runs on the first Sunday of every month.

The club also organises weekly time trials which are held on Tuesdays in summer and plans to hold a Wattbike league from October.

Email membership secretary John Musgrave at jmusgrave60@yahoo.co.uk for more details or log on to www.disscc.com

Godric Cycling Club

Based in Bungay, the club’s 90-strong membership is drawn from the surrounding area along the Waveney Valley, south Norfolk and north Suffolk area.

It meets every Sunday under the Butter Cross in Bungay Market Place for its club runs which start at 9.30am in December, January and February and 9am from March to the end of November.

The club also runs an evening time trial most Tuesday nights on the A143 at Earsham through summer.

Call David Hatcher, acting secretary, on 01986 875361 for more information or go to www.godriccyclingclub.co.uk.

Great Yarmouth Cycling Club

Formed many decades ago, GYCC has recently been re-launched. It runs weekly Sunday rides from outside The Arches on the corner of Crab Lane and Beccles Road for an 8.30am departure.

There are also mid-week rides on Tuesdays from outside the Ferry Boat Inn, Riverside Road, at 10.30am.

The club also runs weekly time trials at Somerleyton and in the winter there are indoor group training sessions called Sufferfest at Cliff Park Infant school in Gorleston.

For more information, telephone Norman on 01493 652183 or go to www.greatyarmouthcyclingclub.co.uk

King’s Lynn Cycling Club

Founded in 1874, the club has attracted more than 465 club rides in 2011. It runs evening time trials in the summer and open time trial events. The club’s next event will be a hill climb at Flitcham on October 16 at 11am.

For more information, log on to www.kingslynncyclingclub.co.uk

Norwich Flyers BMX Club

Formed in 1983 to promote the sport of BMX racing in Norwich and surrounding areas, the club is now based at the British Cycling national standard track at Sloughbottom Park in Norwich.

The track, which was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Norwich in November 2005, proudly features a ‘Broadband’ air ram starting system that complies with UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) regulations.

The club is open to everybody from five years old to 50-plus. Riders range from the complete beginners through to Pro-Elite and even world champions.

It holds practice sessions on Wednesdays, 6pm to 8pm, and Sundays 12.30pm to 3pm.

For more information visit the website at www.norwichbmx.co.uk

Norwich Amateur Bicycle Club (ABC)

Founded in 1879, Norwich ABC prides itself on being a club for all types of rider, from the novice to the experienced cyclist.

It is a club for people with all sorts of bikes and a club for people of all ages.

The club holds Monday evening rides which, through the autumn and winter months, leave from the King’s Head pub in Hethersett at 6.30pm.

Saturday rides are about 50 to 60 miles in length and leave from pre-planned locations at 8.30am.

There are also Sunday rides, which are shorter, leaving from outside The Fiveways Pub in Earlham at 8.30am.

The club also runs fortnightly time trials in Ketteringham in the summer months.

For more information, telephone Tony Goodall on 01603 407597 or go to www.norwichabc.co.uk.

Sandringham and West Norfolk Cyclists (SWNC)

An informal group who enjoy cycling together for anyone with an interest in cycling, whatever their ability.

Most of the rides have an average speed of about 15mph although some will be slower and some faster. As a group, they use digital media as a notice board to promote and advertise local rides.

A group regularly meets at 9am each Sunday at Castle Rising for a ride of around 40 to 50 miles with a coffee stop. The route for this activity is usually posted during the week. Others events are often impromptu affairs that are organised through our digital contact pages.

Some members ride organised events together. As they are a group and not a club, there are no membership fees or obligations, just enjoyable cycling.

Contact Andy Lane on 01485 600929 or find them on Facebook.

kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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