Residents urged to saddle up and boost fitness at Cycle Devizes!
The first Cycle Devizes! event at the town’s Market Place will encourage people to get on their bikes.
NHS Wiltshire has signed up as a partner in the event, which aims to promote fitness through cycling.
Maggie Rae, corporate director of public health and public protection at NHS Wiltshire and Wiltshire Council, said: “We are delighted to be involved.
“Physical activity is crucial to maintaining our health and wellbeing and regular cycling can help people lose weight, reduce stress and improve fitness.
“It can appeal to people of all ages, providing they have the right equipment, and is easy to fit into a daily routine.
“Hopefully this event will encourage more people to cycle in and around the town.”
Other main sponsors of Cycle Devizes! are outdoor pursuits specialists Roses of Devizes, Devizes Area Board and Bristol-based Sustrans, the cycling organisation which works to create dedicated cycle paths.
The organisers are filling the Market Place with all manner of cycling-related activities and shows for the launch event.
There’s even a chance to win a Sustrans bike by going on a route or joining a lucky draw, courtesy of Devizes retail newcomers Wilkinson’s on the day.
Bikes ‘n’ Boards are joining in the fun, offering vouchers for bike products and sponsors Roses will be hiring bikes and promoting its tax free cycle purchase scheme.
Xtreme stunt bikers will perform in the Market Place and will help visitors to have a go on their BMX track to test their skills and daring.
Along with the real thing, there will be a cycle-powered Scalextric track, scooter course and bikes-to-try to encourage residents to give cycling a go. At the heart of the event are the Cycle Devizes! routes for all grades: a short one follows a circuit through the town, a slightly longer one explores countryside all on the level, and a slightly more challenging one goes as far as All Cannings.
There are freebies and rewards for those who join in and complete any of the three rides.
Event co-ordinator and Bikeability officer Margaret Nightingale said: “Make sure you register before the rides set off from noon onwards.
“There will be experienced cyclists with each cycling group so don’t worry about how long it’s been since you found your feet touching a pedal. “What’s so wonderful about cycling is that it’s free – no hanging about for buses or looking for a parking space – and it keeps you fit.”
Cycle Devizes! has arranged for the Bike Doctor to be on hand to make sure bikes are roadworthy. And you can get your bike security marked at the event.
Coun Laura Mayes, a keen cyclist, said: “No excuses. Dust down your bike and come along.”
Pick up a programme on the day for full details or visit www.cycledevizes.org.uk