At only three miles long and the day after L'Etape du Tour organisers announced next summer's two epic rides in the Alps and Pyrenees it would seem that news of a country bike ride from Wiltshire's Bradford on Avon to the outlying village of Lower South Wraxall wouldn't be a huge story for keen cyclists.
But the ride that's been planned to launch a new bike route between Bradford on Avon and Lower South Wraxall to the North through rolling countryside has the advantage of coming up this coming Saturday 22nd October and the added bonus is that there are tea and buns being laid on by a local bike shop owner. Being "fairly flat" according to John Potter of Bath's John's Bikes, the course should also be a lot friendlier to casual family cyclists than riding up any mountain range for 100 miles in Lycra.
According to Potter, who is also Deputy Mayor of Bradford on Avon, "It’s been fantastic how the residents of South Wraxall in particular and from the surrounding villages have pulled together to make this happen and thanks must go to the Parish Council, Wiltshire Council and SUSTRANS for the signage, Cumberwell Golf Course and Roy Francis Plant Hire for improving the surface on the way, the Longs Arms for the tea and Duncan Hames for his support. It just shows what can be done – absolutely brilliant."
Cyclists are meeting up at the car park of St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon at 2pm and will get a send off from Bath's Natural Theatre Company "in their own inimitable way," as John Potter puts it. The ride should take half and hour and the local MP Duncan Hames will be welcoming riders with the tea and buns from 2.30pm at The Longs Arms, Lower South Wraxall.
The new South Wraxall route runs between St Laurence School, past the Dog and Fox, through Little Ashley, through Cumberwell Golf Course and then through the bridle path into South Wraxall along the MacMillan Way. This will be a much safer route for getting between the two villages on foot or on bike, avoiding the busy Leigh Park Cross Roads and the B3109. Pupils will be able to get to St Laurence School from the villages to the North in about ten minutes by bike. Cyclists will be able to leave Bradford by a much safer route than usual to visit Great Chalfield Manor or up to The Courts at Holt.
The route will also be a great addition to Bath's Two Tunnels Greenway which is due to open in the Spring of 2012.
Bradford on Avon to South Wraxall Cycle Route Launch Bike Ride
2pm Saturday 22nd October 2011 St Laurence School Car Park, Bradford on Avon BA15 1DZ
Lady Margaret and her brother Rev. Cedric from Bath’s Natural Theatre Company mingled with over a hundred cyclists from Bradford on Avon, South Wraxall, Monkton Farleigh and surrounding villages before the cutting of the ribbon and sending the cyclists on their way. "Lots of families and some really young children; fantastic!" according to John Potter of John's Bikes who sponsored the event including the tea, cakes and home made bread at the finish. Riders were welcomed at the end of the three mile route by MP Duncan Hames, who had already walked the route himself earlier.
Lady Margaret of Bath's Natural Theatre Company meeting her public
John Potter of John’s Bikes, Lady Margaret and Rev. Cedric at Bradford on Avon
Lady Margaret, Rev. Cedric, MP Duncan Hames, John Potter of John’s Bikes and Bill Parker, Chairman of the South Wraxall Parish Council outside the Longs Arms at South Wraxall