Record numbers expected at town’s annual Bike Day, setting off at new venue

Bicester Bike Day
Bicester Bike Day

Bicester’s annual Bike Day looks set to be bigger than ever this year and is taking place at a new venue.

The event will start out from the Annex Field of Bicester Community College - behind Bicester Leisure Centre - on Sunday, July 19, between 11am and 3pm.

Now in its 4th year, Bicester Bike Day has even more on offer than before with something for everyone, whether a budding cyclist, learner, or those who haven’t yet got a bike - there is plenty to see and do.

The free event, which is open to all, starts at 10am with the Tour de Bicester treasure hunt-style family ride around the town, with participants collecting answers from yellow jerseys along the route ready to complete a Bicester themed quiz at the final leg and claim their medal.

For those wanting a more demanding cycling challenging, A2Dominion, in partnership with a range of Bicester groups and charities, has teamed up with Parkwood Bicester Leisure Centre who are hosting the first Bicester Cycling Sportive.

The Sportive has three distance options – 28, 65 and 100 miles – with more than 150 participants registered so far. Riders taking part in the 28-mile route can sign up* early and get a £5 discount (£15 in advance or £20 on the day), setting off at 8.30am so riders can be back to join the rest of the Bike Day’s events.

Louise Caves, A2Dominion’s strategic partnership manager for NW Bicester, said: “We are really looking forward to our Bike Day which is set to be much bigger than in previous years. It makes perfect sense for the annual Bike Day to team up with the Leisure Centre’s Cycling Sportive, as the day truly does cater for every cycling ability, from 100 and 28-mile timed routes, down to a 2-mile family ride, as well cyclo-cross racing for off-roaders, balanceability for little-ones just getting started and specially adapted cycles for those with disabilities. For anyone who just wants to come along and see what it’s all about, there are all sorts of other bike and non-bike related activities, face painting and crafts as well as a delicious barbecue.

“We really want to encourage people to get out on their bikes and promote cycling in the town. Cycling is a really fun way to travel and a safe and sustainable mode of transport. Last year, 400 people came to enjoy the event and it’s a great way to celebrate the community spirit in Bicester.”

Jason Andrews, centre manager at Bicester Leisure Centre, said: “We are delighted at the level of interest the first Change Gear Cherwell Sportive has created. We see this as being an annual event that we hope will grow year on year.

“We have some great routes to cycle around this area and we feel we have created three challenging, but most importantly enjoyable routes for the day to suit all ages and abilities. There is still time to sign up to the Sportives in advance and on the day.

“We are also delighted to be combining the event with the Bicester Bike Day and can hopefully really increase people’s awareness of the cycling opportunities available in Bicester.”

A barbecue and whole host of other activities begin at 11am. New this year, sees a BMX Flatland show and workshops from London’s Team Extreme, performing incredible spins, balance and technical tricks. Team Extreme will be performing two shows with commentary and workshops to encourage others to learn skills and tricks.

For younger cyclists, Bicester Leisure Centre will be offering Bike Balanceability training for 2-6 year olds as well as outdoor ‘spin-classes’ for those feeling energetic and looking to experience a different type of cycling.

Wheels for All, a national programme, will be present with a range of specially adapted cycles for children and adults with disabilities and differing needs to be able to enjoy cycling activities on the day and for everyone to try to experience.

Following the success of last year, Bicester Millennium Cycle Club (BMCC) will be running its exhilarating cyclo-cross event with races for all age groups to experience an exciting and challenging off road course with twists, turns and ramps to compete for trophies. Back by popular demand, Pimp my Bike with artist Graeme Meads and Oxford Youth Arts Project, and craft activities including ‘paint a pebble pet’, face painting and games.

Cyclists will also be able to make their bikes safer with special security coding conducted by Thames Valley Police and learn how to repair their own bikes with our Bike Doctor Repair service delivered by Broken Spoke, and those without a bike can find out about how to loan a bike in Bicester from Bicester Green’s cycle loan initiative.

To sign up online for the cycle sportive go to www.leisurecentre.com/change-gear-cherwell to register.

The event is organised by North West Bicester developer, A2Dominion, working in partnership with, Parkwood Bicester Leisure Centre, Bioregional, Grassroots Bicester, Bicester Green, Bicester Millennium Cycle Club, Cherwell District Council and National Cycling Charity CTC.

For more information about the event and programme for the day visit www.nwbicester.co.uk or call: 0800 298 7040.