On Sunday 9th June, the Winchester Criterium and Cyclefest will open at 10.00am with the popular Family Ride, in partnership with South Downs National Park and, new for this year, as an event in collaboration with British Cycling and HSBC UK.

The South Downs National Park Family Ride joins the community of HSBC UK Let’s Ride festivals that will take place up and down the country this summer offering a safe and friendly space to enjoy cycling. Whether you’re a beginner or pro, this traffic-free environment provides the perfect opportunity for the whole family to have fun on their bike, before watching some spectacular racing and a enjoying a range of activities in the Broadway area and Abbey Gardens.

‘We’re delighted to be partnering with Winchester City Council to deliver this fantastic event as part of our year long support of cycling in the city” said Ruth Miller, Cycling Delivery Manager. “It’s now the third year that this event has incorporated the South Region Circuit Championships and having the community cycle ride as part of the HSBC UK Let’s Ride family feels like a great addition. Recreational cycling has enjoyed a real boom in Winchester over the years thanks to the dedication and support of a growing group of volunteers in the area, and it’s also great to see how local clubs like VC Venta have developed to become a mainstay on the course and behind the scenes on 9th June.”

 

Following the success of last year’s aim to ‘Share the Space’, South Down National Park’s countryside theme and continued commitment to local active travel will once again be the focus of the Family Ride. Participants will be led out onto the Criterium route at 10.00am before the races begin at 11.00am.

Alister Linton-Crook, Cycling Projects Officer for the South Downs National Park, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting the event and are excited for a great day out for all the family. “We encourage everyone to behave responsibly and share the space in the National Park and this is a great message to advocate when cycling on roads too. “Winchester is on the doorstep of the National Park, so I hope this event inspires people of all ages to get on their bikes and make use of the many family-friendly cycling opportunities across this stunning landscape.”

The National Park rangers will be in Abbey Gardens with the events van offering a host of fun family activities, including Virtual Reality experiences showcasing the beauty of the South Downs and its wondrous Dark Skies that offer some of the best views of the stars in the world.

Share the space participants will also receive a South Downs National Park memento after completing the traffic and pedestrian free ride around the city streets.

Registration for the South Downs National Park Family Ride is now open and FREE to all so head to www.letsride.co.uk/rides/south-downs-family-ride-winchester
to reserve places for the whole family.