Sustrans has announced a family ride on Monday 6 May to celebrate the opening of the Festival Way from Bristol to Nailsea, with the Lord Mayor of Bristol Councillor Peter Main waving cyclists off at 11am from the city’s Queen Square.
The ride, on a traffic free route that passes Ashton Court and Long Ashton as well as Flax Bourton, where a free lunch will be laid on, coincides with the 2nd Nailsea Scouts May Fair, where the fun includes entertainment from Wurzels tribute band – this is the south west, after all – the Twice Dailies.
The May Fair also features a fun fair, falconry displays and archery, and at 2.30pm Councillor Terry Porter, Chairman of North Somerset Council, will unveil the Festival Way Portrait Bench.
The bench depicts Adge Cutler, lead singer of the Wurzels who died in 1974, shortly before the band found fame with hits such as I am a Cider Drinker and Combine Harvester, Coate’s Cider founder Redvers Coate, and social reformer Hannah More, who set up a school at Nailsea Tythe Barn.
Jon Usher, Project Manager for Bristol-based Sustrans, said: "It's vitally important that we continue to invest in new walking and cycling facilities to help people to make more journeys by foot and bike.
“Routes like the Festival Way that connect communities transform people's ability to make leisure and utility trips for the benefit of their health and our environment.
“This event will be a great way to celebrate the achievement and partnership working demonstrated over the last five years.”
As an added incentive for families to take part in the ride, those registering for it on the Sustrans website will be entered into a prize draw for a free bike service worth £45 plus an additional £100 that can be spent on parts and accessories or used as credit towards future servicing costs, courtesy of Taylored Cycles.
George Ferguson, who last year became Bristol’s first elected mayor and who now leads the city’s transport strategy, commented: "I welcome every single initiative that encourages commuters out of their cars and makes us a greener, healthier and safer city.
“A high-quality cycling link from Nailsea to Bristol will make a big difference to quality of life for all those who access it.
“All involved with this project have done a great job, choosing a clever route that forges strong links between the city and North Somerset."
Councillor Elfan Ap Rees from North Somerset Council added: "I am delighted that we can mark the official opening of this important route which at times has been a challenging project.
“We want to develop similar off-road routes in other parts of the district, for example a cycle and pedestrian link between Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon via the old railway line that used to connect the two towns many years ago."
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.