December 10 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
About 270 cyclists toured some of the gems of the north Norfolk countryside as a week-long festival of summer activity reached its finale in Fakenham.
The inaugural Fakenham 50 cycle ride took riders, ranging from beginners to club racers, on a choice of 13-mile or 35-mile circuits on Sunday.
The routes featured picturesque villages, country lanes, meandering streams and meadows and included the spectacular scenery of the Holkham estate and a stop for home-made flapjacks at a “feed station” in Burnham Thorpe.
It was the culmination of the first Get Active in Fakenham week, a diverse combination of events and activities which included Balkan dancing, theatre shows and “aquafit” sessions, while also incorporating established events like the Great Duck Race and Saturday’s Fakenham Fair.
Town councillor and Fakenham 50 organiser Richard Crook said he hopes the event will now become an annual addition to the entertainments calendar.
“It was a really great success,” he said. “The great thing about it was that it was such an eclectic mix of people. There was one woman who was still learning to get on and off her bike, and then we had about 20 club riders.
“There was that mix from the really experienced club riders to complete beginners and families. The mayor, Adrian Vertigan, did 35 miles and the sunshine helped, obviously.
“People all pulled together and it was a really positive event. It is all about participation and a lot of what the whole week was about was to get people moving, whether it was to walk to the theatre or do some dancing or come on the bike ride.”
Mr Crook said the theory behind the Get Active in Fakenham festival was to bring together a wide variety of events, to share resources between small businesses and voluntary groups, and to give “added value”.
“We certainly got people participating,” he said. “It is very strategic, and the strategy behind it is about getting people healthy and enjoying themselves, and bringing some economic benefit to the town at the same time.
“People came from London and Cambridge to take part in the bike ride, as well as all the local people. So it brings a whole range of social and wellbeing benefits to the town.”
The Fakenham 50 added to the town’s proud cycling history, as engineer John Garrood famously invented tubular metal forks and made grips for pedals at his cycle works in Wells Road 150 years ago. He is commemorated on the Fakenham town sign by a penny farthing cycle.
Mr Crook organised the festival with Fakenham cycle group East Coast Riders and Trevor Brown, who runs the mountain bike team Thirteen3.