With a growing interest in two-wheel travel, both for leisure and utility use, this summer is already seeing several cycling activities in the town. Whitchurch is well placed for cycling with an abundance of pleasant routes.

Easy leisure rides for everyone…
Last Sunday a cycle ride set off for a pleasant ride around the countryside north of the town, along the very tranquil Bourne valley. Using some of the lesser used lanes, one highlight was a low flying owl that crossed right in front of the group, causing riders to duck!. A relaxing and enjoyable lunch was taken at the recently re-opened Crown at Upton before the climb to Tangley with fantastic views for miles around.
Further gentle rides are planned over the summer, so keep an eye on the calendar pages on this site.

An evening of Dutch bikes…
Just last Tuesday at the White Hart, a demonstration evening was held for town bikes brought by ‘Amsterdammers’, a company based in Brighton and arranged by Mike Stead. These ‘Dutch-style’ bikes are ideal for gentle riding, trips to the shops or just pootling the lanes. Several riders took bikes for test rides around the town and came back impressed with the sturdiness and relaxed ride position. As a result two new bikes will now be seen around Whitchurch! For a range of suppliers, just key ‘dutch bikes’ into Google.

Whitchurch’s bike shop…
Meanwhile, Whitchurch’s very own bike shop, North Hants Bikes has reported a boom in sales, particularly of ‘road’ bikes. Such is the growing demand, that they are presently extending their premises to create a showroom for these machines. As well as a full-range of bikes for everyone, the friendly and knowledgeable owners Neil and Daniel also provide a full range of accessories, and are always willing to provide helpful advice. If you just want a bike for an occasional day out, they hire bikes out too. See www.northhantsbikes.co.uk

Staying safe…
Of course anyone who uses the roads should also consider their riding techniques and road safety, and Hampshire Cycle Training offers a range of sessions from cycling proficiency for youngsters through to family riding sessions and even complete beginner training, while ‘Return to Cycling’ sessions are particularly popular. The sessions are fun and enjoyable being specially tailored to the participants. Such courses for individuals, groups, children or adults, are available in Whitchurch over the summer at times to suit. Call 07963 237619 for details.

BMX Workshops…
Summer StreetzBMX workshops visit Whitchurch on Wednesday’s 17th and 24th August, with activities at the Daniel Road BMX track, organised as part of the Summer Streetz series of youth activities. For further info, call Lucy on 07775 413251.

Turning back the clock…
September sees a plethora of events. On Sunday the 4th, Whitchurch is to have its first Test Valley Trundle – a gentle picnic basket ride out into the local countryside, when leisure and ‘genteel-cycling’ is the order of the day. It is billed as for “old fashioned bicycles and nice clothes” – turn up in lycra at your own risk! You are encouraged to ride your “best antique or period cycle”. Further details when confirmed.

Cycle for the churches…
The following week on Saturday 10th is the popular Hampshire Historic Churches Ride and Stride event, now in its 30th year. Cyclists (and others – walking, running, on horseback, by wheelchair or even skateboard) visit as many local churches as possible to raise funds. In this area alone 22 churches are participating, including Whitchurch Baptist church and All Hallows. Call 893556 for info.

A mountain of a challenge…
Finally there is a charity challenge by Chris Miller, which is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Chris intends to set off on Saturday 17th, ride to Ben Nevis, climb the mountain, then cycle back – all within a fortnight and all in aid of raising funds for a Whitchurch Youth Activity Centre! See our separate story HERE.



So why not go for a ride…
With summer now here, what can be better than getting out on those bikes. whether you go out for a gentle potter down the shops, take a family picnic ride, or enjoy a serious training bash, cycling can give you so much freedom and enjoyment.
Whitchurch is a superb place to ride in and around.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Should anyone have any comments on this article please send them to contact@whitchurch.org.uk.