The event, organised by the Otter Trail cycle way campaign group, of which I am a member, made an impact on the streets of Ottery, with the colourful “pelloton” doing a quick and dramatic tour of Ottery town, before heading back to the Land of Canaan car park and over the new connect bridge.
Stalwart police community support officer, Maria Clapp, was on hand to distribute high visibility jackets.
From the Thorne Farm Estate, the group cycled up Barrack Road and then turned right into Cadhay Lane and travelled along the lovely quiet lane, with magnificent views over the surrounding countryside. Then it was over the old A30 before freewheeling down the hill into Escot Park.
There was lots of children on bikes, toddlers strapped to their parents bikes and an atmosphere of happiness and excitement.
Even Sir Wiggins himself (or at least someone who looked like him) made a brief appearance and gave a rousing speech at beginning of the event before heading off to Guildford for the next stage of the Tour of Britain.
I wore a pair of “Wiggo” sideburns, but I not sure they worked. Certainly, from the furtive looks I got in Sainsbury’s I am not sure that people realised that they were actually stuck on. Although someone (rather surprisingly) said they looked “quite nice” – ?
There will be some photos on our Otter Trail website soon (below), but in the meantime I have attached a photo of what my husband has dubbed “The Werecouncillor.” Next to me is Claire Sheridan, one of the Otter Trail campaign group.
When we arrived at Escot we bought sandwiches and cake and drank cups of tea. It was all very jolly and sociable.
Special thanks go to Jo Elliott, King’s School teacher, who masterminded the event with Claire Sheridan and Helen Collinson, Kirby James, who took some pictures and will upload them to the website later and his expert cycling proficiency colleagues, Graham Heysett, Teresa Golding and Ross Clarkson. Oh and Sir Wiggins (aka Cllr Roger Giles).
PS. If you haven’t already signed up to the petition for the Otter Trail (see website) please do!