Pedalling Success for Bike Bath Annual Cycling Event
by Holly Blades
Nearly a thousand riders pedalled their way around the Somerset and Wiltshire countryside on Sunday 3rd July for the fifth annual cycling event - Bike Bath.
The sunshine was the perfect addition to this year's event which saw the highest number of riders take part and ride distance of either 25, 50 or 80 miles.
The longer distances this year started with a mighty climb up Ralph Allen Drive and if that hadn't warmed up the calves it was onto Winsely for a further climb, but once cyclists had managed to draw breath they were delighted with the routes that lay ahead - meandering through pretty lanes and picturesque villages - some stating they never even knew existed.
The shorter route was also a little more challenging this year, but still incorporated elements of the Bristol and Bath cycle track as well as the popular two tunnels.
Beautiful country lanes
The event received support from many local businesses which included Curo who sponsored the shorter route and HPH and BMW Wellsway who have supported the event since it started. People could also sign up and ride for a number of charities and raise money for a good cause. Bike Bath's supported charity this year were Dorothy House who are celebrating their 40th year.
The Mayor of Bath, Cllr Paul Crossley and his wife Mayoress Margaret Crossley supported the event by setting waves of riders off before the Mayor took to his bike for the 25 mile route. And local Bath girl, Olympic gold medal winner, Amy Williams was supporting the event as their female ambassador and rode the 50 mile route. Amy is in training for the L'Etape which she is riding this coming weekend for a new television show to be aired in the autumn.
Heading off into the sunshine
Talking about the event, Amy said, "I've been training hard for the last 6 months riding many sportives and to have Bike Bath on my doorstep as my final training event was perfect - such a great, friendly and well organised event. A real popular event with a varied field of cyclists and I have to say how great it was to see so many females on their bikes. The routes were really lovely, I'll certainly be back out on them again soon - and as for the feed-stations, the cakes were certainly worth the stop!"
Sunshine, well stocked feed-stations on each route and a very worthy finisher's medal meant riders returned to the REC all smiles and full of praise, ready to enjoy the post-event atmosphere.
Adam Conlon from Bath said of the event, "Had a lot of fun on my 1st sportive today. Incredible views and such friendly atmosphere all the way round!"
Returning via Poultney Bridge
Vinni Gunessee who rides several sportives every year returned back to the REC full of praise, Vinni says, "Amazing event, super organisation and by far the most challenging and enjoyable event I've done this year! The scenery was beautiful and with the little added extra's it felt more than just a bike ride."
The organisers of Bike Bath try to encourage cyclists of all abilities to take part and in particular promote it as a fun, friendly event for cyclists of all abilities.
Talking about the day, Event Organiser, Richard Best, said: "It's been a superb day - we've seen a fantastic turn out of cyclists, all of whom appear to have had a really enjoyable time. I'd like to thank everyone for their support for the event - from local businesses, the riders and our volunteers - all of whom make the event possible. The atmosphere and positive vibes at the event have been incredible - of course the sunshine certainly helps, but I'm delighted to see the positive support continuing for the event."
Bike Bath will return for another year in 2017 - so get Sunday 2nd July in your calendar, online registration will soon be open.
Visit the website www.bikebath.co.uk for timings and photographs of this year's event. And if you can't wait until next year then the organiser of Bike Bath also run Bike Oxford - Sunday 11th September for more of the same, but a different county!
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