Good omens for Old Buckenham Cycling Festival after Team GB Olympic success

The Tour of Britain rode through Old Buckenham on Saturday, September 12. ANL-150914-144019001
The Tour of Britain rode through Old Buckenham on Saturday, September 12. ANL-150914-144019001

Off the back of the rising local uptake in cycling and the success at the Summer Olympics, Old Buckenham has high hopes for its second annual festival, as the big day fast approaches.

Organisers behind the Old Buckenham Cycling Festival are expecting more than 100 cyclists and over 500 visitors in total across September 3 and 4, due to the high turnout when the Tour of Britain arrived in the village last year, as well as Team GB’s remarkable cycling medal haul in Rio this month.

Aimed at all skill levels, events during the two days will include the Crit Racing circuit and the marathon distance Ford Anglia Series.

Stephen Rumbelow, a member of the festival organising committee and an avid cyclist from Old Buckenham, told the Diss Express: “We definitely saw an uplift after 2012 and when Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France.

“We had a couple of thousand people turn up for the Tour of Britain. There is obviously a strong interest.”

Run by the Diss and District Cycling Club, Old Buckenham Parish Council and Breckland District Council, the festival has been buoyed by the recent success of the inaugural Diss Cyclathon, held in June.

A Department of Transport report published earlier this year also found south Norfolk to be one of the fastest growing areas in the country, in terms of number of residents cycling.

Beginning on September 3, five Crit Races will take place from noon to 4pm, on a 1.1 kilometre route on closed roads around the village green, under British Cycling rules.

On September 4, the Ford Anglia Series sportive, with 25 and 50 mile courses, starts at 7.30am, while the more casual cyclists can take part in the Village Ride, setting off from The Ox and Plough pub at 10am.

There is also a family event on Old Buckenham Green, both days from 11am, with a funfair, live music, a beer festival, craft stalls and a barbecue.

Mr Rumbelow added: “There are a lot of people in the village who love cycling.

“I think what we found last year is people like cycling, but they don’t like doing it on their own. They want more organised events like this one.”

For additional information, please visit www.obcycling.org