With the whole nation gripped by cycling fever, hundreds of keen South Somerset residents hopped onto the saddle and enjoyed Yeovil’s first Bike Fest on Wednesday 12 August.
The event – which was organised by South Somerset District Council with help from Knightstone Housing – took place at Wyndham Park, Yeovil and featured a wide variety of free activities including a pump track challenge, guided bike rides, cycle maintenance workshops and bike marking and security advice.
Robert Parr, Senior Play & Youth Facilities Officer at South Somerset District Council, explains more about the idea behind Bike Fest. “We organised Bike Fest with the aim to celebrate all things bicycle, giving opportunities for more people to get involved in cycling. The event formed part of our holiday activities programme providing leisure opportunities with the added benefit of promoting active lifestyles and green transport.
“During the event we were also seeking the public’s views on a proposed Bike Park for this site. Somerset County Councillor Tony Lock has already allocated funding for this project which will be used to improve access between Wyndham Park and Yeovil Country Park. The potential bike park could include features such as a pump track, dirt jumps, mountain bike trails, north shore features and a skills area, all of which would provide more cycling facilities for Yeovil and South Somerset.
Carla Somerville spent much of the day at Bike Fest with her family. Carla commented: “My boys had a great afternoon especially trying to get the fastest lap time, so well done to everyone! People of all ages and abilities were having a go which was great to see.
I hope the success of Bike Fest shows how popular cycling facilities can be.”
Bike Fest not only gave young people the opportunity to enjoy free fun but also showcased local cycle themed organisations such as the charity Hope2Cycle who service and repair unwanted bikes and then sell them to support people who are socially excluded or recovering from health related problems. Local company Kapz were also present. Kapz – who are based in Cary Fitzpaine – recently supplied Sir Bradley Wiggins with the headset cap for his successful record breaking world hour record challenge.
Cllr Sylvia Seal, South Somerset’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture added: “This is part of South Somerset District Council’s ongoing work to increase and improve play opportunities for children in the district. I must particularly thank Knightstone Housing and Bucklers Mead Sports Centre for their support in making this event successful.
“Cycling has never been more popular and Bike Fest captured this excitement. It was good to see so many families enjoying themselves, with many of them spending the whole day at the event.”
Photos:. The three riders were the winners of the Pump Track Challenge