The first Whitchurch Primary Pedal took place on Sunday 18th May, when over 220 adults and 30 children cycled between 20 and 60 miles through the Hampshire Downs to the north of the Bourne Valley. The event was designed to showcase the outstanding natural beauty of the area while challenging the riders over South-East England’s highest hills. The event was sponsored by Newbury Building Society and The Red House Pub, organised by the Test Valley Cycling Club and hosted by Whitchurch Primary School, both organisations benefiting from the funds raised.
Test Valley Cycling Club spokesman Mike Stead said “We are very happy with how it went. The weather was perfect, the volunteers were amazing and the riders were so generous with their praise. No injuries, only a few minor ‘geographical embarrassments’ and we even got the amount of free Cake just right – it was very popular. There’s a group of parents going to start cycling twice a week after the school drop-off, having re-discovered how nice exploring on two wheels can be. We couldn’t have hoped for more”
Very high satisfaction
When surveyed, over 80% of participants rated the day an 8/10 or higher, and 98% intend to return for 2015. Approximately half the participants came from within the Test or Bourne Valleys, meaning a significant number were new to the area. Many expressed a wish to return with friends to cycle here again which will benefit local businesses such as The Red House pub, which sponsored promotional prizes and was the venue for a number of groups for lunch after the event.
For Whitchurch Primary School, Deputy Head Teacher Zoe Newton said “We were proud to host the first ever Primary Pedal. A number of our children and families took part together with cyclists from far and wide. The event went extremely well and we look forward to building on this success by making next year’s event even bigger and better”.
2015 already in planning
Mr Stead commented “The Club and School are already planning 2015’s event, which will be even better. We’ve proved the local attraction of relaxed yet challenging rides on our gorgeous lanes, and everyone had a lot of fun helping out”.
The 2015 event will be widely publicised. The Test Valley Cycling Club holds several weekly rides Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings, details can be found at www.TestValleyCC.org.uk