Holme Valley Wheelers celebrated the success of the Great Britain Cycling Team by promoting their own Go-Ride Games event on Tuesday the 14th of August.
Rachael Mellor, the event organiser, only returned from her Games Maker role in London two days before the event and was therefore thankful for the fantastic support from her fellow Wheelers. In addition, a welcome visit from Yorkshire Go-Ride Coach Chris Young, meant The Wheelers had a fantastic team to support the 35 young riders who attended. The atmosphere was akin to London with the Union Jack and Yorkshire flags blowing in the wind and families enjoying a picnic in the warm sunshine.
Since May the club have been organising Go-Ride sessions on Monday evenings and this was a great showcase for all those who had been attending to demonstrate their skills alongside newcomers and have a go at racing against their friends and fellow local cyclists.
Before the start of the first race there were activities to keep the cyclists and their families busy, this included limbo, skills and design your dream bike competitions and maintenance advice such as how to change a flat. There were t-shirts on offer for the best entries in each competition.
The activities were followed by a parade of cyclists, where all the children rode their bikes in a circle, with parents and supporters giving three big cheers for the cyclists. A fitting start to the days racing programme!
The young riders were grouped on ability and from an initial one lap time trial four groups were formed. The next race was the two lap race around the tricky, but flat, grassy course. By the end there were some red faces but lots of smiles, clapping, cheering and celebrating.
The longest race of the afternoon was the five lap Cyclo-Cross race. Chris Young used his expert knowledge to transform the area into a Cyclo-Cross course, creating two sections where the cyclists had to dismount and run with their bikes before remounting and carrying on cycling.
Due to the duration of this race two groups raced together, making for two big races. Although some the younger riders were lapped by the older ones this did not deter any of them from giving their all and summed up what the whole day was about; ‘each individual being the best bike rider they could be and enjoying it at the same time!’
The final race of the afternoon was an Italian Pursuit, where once again Chris Young used his expert knowledge to manage all the riders on the course at the same time. Although from a distance it looked like chaos, every rider knew what they were doing and it worked like clockwork! Some very tired, but very elated cyclists finished to rapturous applause from families and supporters.
The day concluded with the prize presentation, with every child leaving with some memento of their afternoon, even if they were not a medal winner. Two of the Young Volunteers, Sophie and Tilly, helped to prepare all the certificates and each child was presented with one at the end of the day.
Chris also presented the medals to the winners and every rider took home a bottle and a t-shirt or a cap. Far greater than the tangible gifts, however, was the sense of achievement and the feelings of pride and happiness at being part of the Olympic Legacy.
For more information about the Go-Ride Games and to find out about events in your area, please visit the Go-Ride Games Homepage