Nearly 800 people cycled from Cambridge to Reach Fair on the May Day Bank Holiday, with many undertaking the ride for the first time.
Despite a worrying forecast, the weather was ideal for cycling, with cloudy skies on the outward journey making way for spring sunshine on the way back and just a scattering of rain during the Reach Fair itself.
One of the youngest participants to complete the ride was Ella Norton-Wright, aged 5.
She said: “I’m proud of myself because it is a long way to ride. People told me I was doing well. The fair is good because it has a Ferris wheel that goes very fast.”
Another new attendee was Wen Juan, visiting from China.
He said: “This is my first-time riding in Cambridge and the furthest distance I’ve ever ridden a bicycle. It’s been wonderful for me and my family.
“The countryside was very nice; I can’t express how beautiful it was. Thank you!”
Around 35 people joined Ely Cycle Campaign on their ride from Ely railway station, and other guests included representatives of KLWNBUG (the Norfolk and Fens Cycling Campaign) and Hunts Walking and Cycling group.
Once again, the Reach Ride was sponsored by Cambridge City Council and Continental, with two roving mechanics from Outspoken Cycles fixing a range of punctures and other cycle issues.
In keeping with its 822-year-old tradition, the Reach Fair was opened by the Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Mark Ashton, and pennies were thrown for children to collect.
The crowds enjoyed the usual popular mix of stalls, rides, entertainment, Morris dancing and traditional Maypole.
Camcycle’s Communications Officer, Anna Williams, said: “It’s been another wonderful day of cycling for all ages and Camcycle has been especially pleased to welcome so many new faces on this ride.
“We love sharing people’s delight at exploring parts of Cambridgeshire that are new to them and achieving new personal cycling goals.
“The Reach Ride wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our amazing team of organisers and volunteers: we’re so grateful to them and our sponsors for giving hundreds of people such a memorable cycling experience.”
The 16th Reach Ride is planned to take place on Bank Holiday Monday 6 May 2024. Camcycle invites expressions of interest from Cambridgeshire organisations that would like to find out more about joining the ride as a local sponsor.
The Reach Fair was first held in 1201, when King John granted a charter for the holding of a fair in the village. Find out more at http://www.reachfair.org.uk/
- Camcycle, a local charity with nearly 1,700 members, works for more, better, and safer cycling for all ages and abilities in Cambridgeshire. camcycle.org.uk
- Camcycle’s first Reach Ride took place in 2007 and has been held every year since, apart from 2020 and 2021 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic
- Ely Cycling Campaign for better cycling in and around Ely. https://elycycle.org.uk
- KLWNBUG is short for the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Bicycle User Group, also known as the Norfolk and Fens Cycling Campaign. https://www.klwnbug.co.uk/
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