The east coast’s reputation as a cycling hub was boosted again today when 300 bikers, including world champion Graeme Obree, rode out from Great Yarmouth seafront.

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World record-breaking racing cyclist Graeme Obree has been in the seaside town today to launch Yarmouth’s new cycling hub and its cycling festival.

The East Coast Classic, a festival organised by ActivatingCIC with support from Great Yarmouth Borough Council, saw hundreds of people of all ages passing landmark sights as they rode along the coast, starting outside Britannia Pier from 8.30am.

An estimated 300 people took part in the 110km Epic Ride and 50km Challenge Rides, while hundreds more enjoyed a 5km family ride.

Obree, known as the Flying Scotsman, took part in all three - and inspired the crowds with stories of his sporting career. He helped start the race with outgoing mayor of Yarmouth, Councillor John Burroughs.

Yarmouth’s new cycling hub is based around a former bowls pavilion on North Drive, converted as part of the wider GY Bike Project which aims to promote cycling and bike maintenance.

ActivatingCIC, a social enterprise specialising in cycling activities, was able to convert the former bowls pavilion, owned by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, thanks to £36,833 secured from Norfolk County Council’s Community Construction Fund, plus a contribution of £36,967 from the borough council. Yarmouth-based offshore energy firm Seajacks donated £20,000 towards the running costs for the first two years, and Pedal Revolution bike shop, in Baker Street, Gorleston, is also supporting the project.

The hub will provide a fixed location for the GY Bike Project and the core aims are to raise physical activity levels, while improving employment opportunities by providing people with an affordable and sustainable form of transport – and maintenance skills.

All through summer there will be free three-mile bike rides in the heart of Yarmouth, a free weekly workshop where people can learn bike maintenance skills, and a ‘Learn, Recycle, Ride’ course.

Visit www.activatingcic.co.uk for the full programme.

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