Vélo Jam sounds like it should be a clothing label resulting from a collaboration between cycling’s leading Mod, Bradley Wiggins, and his musical idol, Paul Weller. But it’s actually the name of a cycling festival being held next Wednesday in Frome, the evening before Stage 6 of the Tour of Britain departs from the Somerset town on its way to Bideford.
The event may be crammed into three hours from 6pm to 9pm, but it promises a host of activities for keen cyclists and curious locals alike, including a talk by Dr Alex Moulton, inventor almost 50 years ago of the small-wheeled bicycle that bears his name, now made in nearby Bradford-on-Avon.
Meanwhile, the Westway Centre hosts charity stalls, including a display of military vehicles by Help for Heroes, and the Market Yard car park features a display by the Animal Mountain Bank Stunt Team and Professor Crump’s Crazy Bike Circus Show.
It also plays host to – one for the fixie fans here – a chance to win a Charge bike in a longest trackstand competition.
But the fun and prizes don’t stop there. The Cheese and Grain concert venue has a static spinning time trial contest, plus a chance to meet Dennis Talbot, ex-pro rider and European Madison champion in 1952.
The highlight promises to be the inaugural Catherine Hill Cobble Wobble ride, organised by the Black Canon Mountain Bike Club, an uphill time trial over 6,000 cobbles with riders setting off at two-minute intervals from 6.30pm. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.
Maybe if Wiggo can persuade the Garmin-Slipstream driver to step on the gas on the way down from the Stage 5 finish in Stoke-on-Trent, he could have a bash at it, too?
And for those who want to get jelly legs without the exertion of cycling uphill, Milk Street Brewery has come up with a new ‘Cobble Wobble’ ale, which will be sold in The Griffin in Milk Street and the Cheese and Grain Bar.
From September 1 to 15, there is also a treasure hunt featuring bike parts hidden in shop windows around town, with a £600 bike as the prize.
Full details are available from Frome Town Council's website. Entrants to the Catherine Hill Cobble Wobble need to pre-register, with entries available from the Live2Ride bike shop in Frome or by calling 01373 469590.
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.