Redhill gets bitten by the bicycle bug at charity's bike bonanza event

First published in News

Two-wheel travel was the order of the day when Reigate and Redhill YMCA hosted the Big Bike Bonanza in Redhill.

The charity mounted the all-things-bike event at the sports and community centre in Prince Road on Sunday.

Cycling fans and novices turned out for the five-hour event which aimed to inspire everyone to mount up on their bikes and get pedalling for the sake of fitness, for fun and fundraising.

The bonanza also aimed to spread the word about the new “Live SMART” centre which is due to open in the Belfry Shopping Centre in Warwick Quadrant, Redhill, later this month. There was a large selection of restored second-hand bicycles on sale, cycle maps of the local area available for those looking for family-friendly routes, and a free “Dr Bike” service for anyone wishing to have their own bicycle checked over.

There were also free Spin Classes and a free NHS Health Check available to those aged 40 to 74 who wanted to get cycle-fit.

Two free training cycle rides set off from the event – one for proficient cyclists which covered ten miles, and another eight-mile route for new or less confident cyclists, with support and advice on hand from a team of experienced riders.

More than 20 people took part in each ride.

Debbie Clement, the YMCA’s Live SMART project manager, said afterwards: “The Big Bike Bonanza has been a great success.

“We’ve had a really positive reaction from the local public. Someone even came in today and donated four bicycles that were no longer needed.”

She continued: “This event will help us to raise awareness of the new Live SMART centre which is due to open in the Belfry Centre in Redhill later this month.

“Once we are up and running, we hope people will stop by for free advice and information that will help to make everyday life that little bit easier, healthier and more active.”

She added: “We want to get everyone confident and excited about cycling this year.

“It doesn’t matter if you are an accomplished cyclist or a novice who may not have sat on a bicycle in years – we are aiming to inspire you and your family to get pedalling.”

The YMCA is looking for more unwanted good-quality adult bicycles, which can be donated at the Live SMART centre once it opens.

For more details about the Live SMART project, or to arrange a bicycle donation, call 01737 779979, or visit the website at: www.ymcaredhill.com Details of the YMCA’s fundraising cycling Challenge events for 2014 can be found at: www.ymcachallenges.org.uk

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