Hundreds of people signed up for new Tour De Broads south challenge from Great Yarmouth
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016
Budding cyclists, experienced race competitors and families are gearing up for the increasingly-popular Tour De Broads challenge.
The Pedal Revolution event is in its fifth year and includes a variety of routes across the Norfolk and Suffolk countryside.
Participants can cycle 25, 50, 75 or 100 miles and there is also an hour-long family ride on offer.
For the first year cyclists can enjoy a new route which starts at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Gardens.
The south event, which takes in Fritton Lake, Oulton Broad, Somerleyton Hall, and the southern Broads of Norfolk and Suffolk, is happening on April 30 and so far 1,500 people have signed up.
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It kicks off this year's Broads Outdoors Festival.
The Tour De Broads north event, which has run for the past five years, happens on August 20 from Hoveton Hall and includes the same distances as the south challenge.
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Helen Rainbow, Tour De Broads events manager, said: 'The event has been so much more popular than we at Pedal Revolution ever dreamed it would be. Usually, when you run a new sportive event you aim to attract 700 people. In the first year more than 700 people took part and that grew to 1,000 in the second year. We managed to attract just over 2,600 people last year.
'The Tour De Broads south event is the first big cycle sportive in the county this year.'
She added cycling was the UK's biggest-growing sport and events like the Tour De Broads helped its popularity.
About 30pc of the people who take part in the Tour De Broads are involved in regular cycling club events but the remaining participants are novices, from children to grandparents.
There is also no age limit for the challenge, which raised £60,000 for local charities and bike projects in 2016.
'We have people take part on every type of bike you could imagine, ' Mrs Rainbow said. 'We attract quite a lot of tandem bikes.'
She was keen to encourage people to take part in the hour-long family route.
The Tour De Broads south event is sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support, Nelson's Journey, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind and East Anglian Air Ambulance.