Story: Rashida Hassanali
Photo: Chris Gregory
On the first Sunday of the summer holidays, two coaches (funded by BNDfC) took over 100 adults and children to Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire to enjoy the freedom and exercise that cycling can offer.
The event was organised by the Fir Vale family of schools in partnership with the city-wide group Pedal Ready who work locally to offer free cycle training. During June and July 2008, Pedal Ready ran ‘Dr Bike’ workshops in schools – mending punctures, putting air in tyres, tightening brakes and re-fitting chains. Simple bicycle maintenance helps to keep bicycles roadworthy and children safe.
Ruth Chiat from Dr Bike said of the Burngreave workshops: “The response was amazing. By July 20th, we calculate we had serviced or mended over 100 bikes, mostly belonging to the children, but with adult ones thrown in.”
Sheffield Cycling Champion, Steve Marsden, provided twelve adult cycles and Pedal Ready hired 25 more children’s and adults’ bikes of different sizes (including several with baby carriers, two tricycles and a wheelchair bike) for the family day out at Clumber Park. The staff ran supervised cycle rides round Clumber Lake (a distance of some five miles that even little children were able to manage). The sense of achievement at the end of each ride was fantastic and everyone could feel muscles they didn’t realise they had! Twelve adults and children who couldn’t ride a bicycle at the start of the day could ride unaided by the end of it, thanks to support from Pedal Ready trainers.
Everyone joined in games and activities provided by school staff supporting the event, in the picturesque surroundings of Clumber Park. Fir Vale family of schools hope to organise more countryside events in 2009. For more information contact Janet Lawson or Rashida Hassanali at the Enterprise Centre, Fir Vale School on 284 2030 or email email@example.com.