Cyclists in Stoke-on-Trent celebrated the opening of a new two-mile bike path in the city on Saturday with a day-long programme of events. The path, between Kidsgrove and Westport Lake, runs through Tunstall Greenway, and was opened by Joan Walley, MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, and former Port Vale footballer, Mark Goodlad.
The bike path is one of five new route is among five in the Potteries city, which benefits from Cycling City status and receives £5 million funding from Cycling England aimed at doubling the number of cyclists there by 2011. The city is also a regular stop for the Tour of Britain, with Stage 5 of this year’s race starting and finishing there.
The day’s celebrations included a marshalled ride with 150 participants, who Cycling City project officer Phil Chatterley told local newspaper The Sentinel ranged from “an 82-year-old cycling alongside a three-year-old." Participants in the ride received free water bottles, lights, reflectors and high-visibility bibs.
Other activities included a bouncy castle, face painting and a funfair, and with the event falling on Halloween, a fancy dress bike ride and trick or treating during the afternoon.
The day was organised by Cycle Stoke and the Talisman and Greenfield Residents Association, whose committee member Mike George was quoted in The Sentinel as saying: “In the future we hope to do more events to promote the cycle path and increase the numbers of people using it."
After helping to open the path, Ms Walley, told the paper: “I have my own bike and I am gradually building my confidence at cycling. Like many people I'm not too sure about cycling on the road so paths like this are perfect."
The latest route takes Stoke-on-Trent’s network of bike paths to 77 miles, which will be extended further through the opening of others in Cobridge, Longton, Trentham and Meir and are due to open in the next few months.
Stoke-on-Trent now has a cycle network of about 77 miles. Many of those routes, like the Tunstall path, are linked into the national network to allow travel to different areas.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.