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Sunday, 26 June 2011

Festival of Leisure in Church Gresley

Rangers talking with the visitors to our stand.
A collaborative effort by the Gresley, Leicestershire and Derby Rangers this weekend was highly successful in promoting Sustrans and the National Cycle Network
Several thousand people came to the event which is held annually in Maurice Lea Memorial Park.
Saturday's weather was not quite up to the standard expected from the forecast, but Sunday's heat wave was right on the money, and the park was packed with crowds come to see all sorts of entertainment and activities in the beautiful Summer sunshine.

The view from our gazebo. An excellent pitch facing the main area.
We had plenty of visitors to our stand on Saturday in spite of the rather cloudy weather, and on Sunday morning Shawn and Ben led a Fresh Air Miles Ride around the nearby Conkers Circuit.
From then on we had a constant stream of people, many of whom owned bikes but knew not where to  ride them away from the traffic.  By the end of the afternoon we had almost run out of maps, leaflets, balloons and flags.
Next to us was the stand of Purple Mountain, the organisation which runs the new Hicks Lodge Cycle Centre at Moira.  In the few quiet moments that we had, we were able to discuss closer collaboration with them on some future projects.
The Derby Group's vehicle trailer proved invaluable not only for transporting our kit, but as a mobile advertisement and somewhere to put spare leaflets and other paraphernalia.
It would seem that we should do more of this type of event, where we can (as a charity) get the space for free.  Commercial organisations have to pay for the privilege.
It is amazing to see how many potential cyclists we have out there. Most people have a bike at home but do not ride it. There are several reasons for this, the main one being a fear of traffic and not knowing where they can ride on traffic free routes. Another reason is not knowing how to fix some minor (to us) mechanical fault with their bike.  It may be something as trivial as a puncture or a need for a spot of oil.
Many women feel that they should wear a helmet but don't like messing up their hair, and perhaps helmet maufacturers should be offering some alternative designs.
So it seems to me that these people need some help in overcoming their problems, and that is what we are doing at these events.
It is great to see young families enjoying cycling together, and we would hope and expect that the children will grow up as confident riders, passing the culture on eventually to their own children.


swaddywaddy said...

You are quick Les!
I am still trying to cool off! Good weekend enjoyed by Rangers and punters alike and I think we achieved a lot. thanks to all the rangers for your support..Les,alan,ben,eric and keith.
I salute you!

swaddywaddy said...

By the way Les I checked out the NYC bike messenger video ..cool.. a sneaking admiration for those crazy guys!