Cyclists saddle up for a grand day out in country

Preparing for the cycle day, from left, Joshua Dendy, 11, Lindsey Smith, Caroline Dendy, Stuart Carvel and Heather Dendy, nine. Picture: OX69248 Cliff Hide

Preparing for the cycle day, from left, Joshua Dendy, 11, Lindsey Smith, Caroline Dendy, Stuart Carvel and Heather Dendy, nine. Picture: OX69248 Cliff Hide Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Witney and West Oxfordshire. Call me on 01865 425483

AMATEUR cyclists wanting to be the next Bradley Wiggins or Chris Hoy can take part in a festival of cycling at Blenheim Palace this weekend.

About 1,000 people will compete in a timed 60-mile or 100-mile Cotswolds course beginning and ending at the Woodstock palace as part of a “sportive” – an organised mass participation cycle ride – on Sunday.

Children and parents will also have the chance to ride around the World Heritage Site’s 2,000-acre grounds in the second annual family cycle day.

The new sportive event - promoted as a replacement for the former Bike Blenheim race – will take in a series of rolling climbs through Charlbury, Burford and Gloucestershire.

Personal trainer Caroline Dendy, 38, from Steventon, near Abingdon, will take part in the longer course and believes cycling has become one of Britain’s favourite leisure activities.

The married mum-of-two said: “Sitting on a saddle for four hours isn’t everyone’s idea of fun but we will get to see a lot and the views are beautiful.

“There seems to be more interest because of our Olympic athletes but the sportives have been rearing their heads in the past five years or so.

“Everything was very much running focused but then triathlons came along and people have got on their bikes.”

The family event last year replaced the annual Bike Blenheim event, which attracted up to 15,000 visitors – including Paralympic gold medallist Sarah Storey – but was cancelled in 2012 due to a lack of funding.

But the sportive event, organised by event management firm Kilimanjaro Live, offers the first chance for mass participation cycling again. Organiser Andy Townsend said: “The British success in the Tour de France and the Olympics has made a big difference – Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Chris Hoy are all big names.

“I’ve been riding a road bike for 25 years and the difference now in comparison to even six or seven years ago is amazing.

“It’s a great way of keeping fit for people who are a bit older and can’t play football or contact sports anymore.

“People say that cycling has become the new golf as a way of socialising.

“This event is a great way to get people cycling where they don’t have to worry about traffic and can enjoy going for a ride with friends through the Cotswolds.”

On-course marshals, mechanical support, first aid staff and feed stations will be available during the route.

There are no age restrictions for the family cycle day, but children must wear appropriate safety equipment and be escorted by adults.

Gates open at 6am, with the sportive event beginning at 8am. Visitors are free to cycle in the family event at their own leisure from 10.30am.

Top News

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

Slavery: Police fear more victims as 10 arrested remain in custody + video

Oxford Mail:

8:59am Friday 27th March 2015

POLICE feared there could be more victims after 10 people were last night in custody after a series of anti-slavery raids.

Missing girl Jennifer Moore found safe and well

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 27th March 2015

A BICESTER teenager reported missing has been found safe and well, police said this morning.

Exhibition highlights ‘18th century Spitting Image’

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 27th March 2015

IF YOU were a fan of Spitting Image you will love a brand new exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum which pokes fun at the great and good.

Cowley’s Princess gets a royal reception on its 40th birthday

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 27th March 2015

FANS of Oxford’s most famous princess were out in force yesterday to mark her 40th birthday.

Bullfinch: ‘No useful purpose in another inquiry on sex abuse scandal’

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 27th March 2015

A WATCHDOG committee of the county council has refused to back calls for an independent inquiry in the wake of Operation Bullfinch.

Anglers say Thames towpath ‘looks like a hurricane struck’

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 27th March 2015

ANGLERS have said a stretch of towpath looks like it was hit by a hurricane after a landowner cut back scores of trees.

 

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree