If you've been following recent events you'll know that the New Forest is basically a giant love-in between the locals and the lycra-clad. Ahem. Anyway, more news of cycling-related stuff down there today, with the launch of a brand new cycling and music festival, Early Riser, which will be held on 3–4 August at Avon Tyrell, the outdoor-activity centre of charity UK Youth.
Billed as "the place for anyone with a love of cycling and music", the Early Riser will feature britpop stalwarts Dodgy as the headliners, along with the Hotheads – fronted by Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey's Lady Cora, Countess of Grantham – and a host of supporting acts. On the Saturday there'll be a sportive with 48-, 76- and 100-mile options, and there's cycling tracks and routes all around the grounds of Avon Tyrell, including child-friendly options, a pump track and a North Shore run. Rollapaluza will be there with their ever-popular roller racing rig, and there's a pedal-powered cinema and a pedal-powered stage: no sweat, no entertainment! All Aboard Bikes will be there with a range of cruisers, tandems, cargo bikes and rickshaws to try, and Voodoo Unicycles will be there to teach festival-goers how to go one-wheeled.
In addition to all that, the Animal BikeTour will be at the festival giving revellers the chance to see Martyn Ashton and Blake Samson showing off their skills. There will also be a host of talks and seminars from celebrated members of the cycling and expedition communities, including award-winning adventurer and author, Jason Lewis.
Kids are catered for too; there's loads of outdoors to explore, Bikeability will be on site offering cycle coaching, and Sid and Andy from CBeebies will be doing a live show at the festival on Sunday.
Festival organiser, Lee Reynolds, says: "This is a completely new festival format for cyclists of all abilities, interests and experience. It's a weekend for all the family with something for everyone, from children's entertainment, to a superb range of music acts, to some amazing cycling. The venue is beautiful and will make the perfect backdrop for an idyllic weekend of cycling, music, food, drink and fun for all the family."
Weekend tickets cost £78 (£42 concessions) and it's £42/£26 for a day pass for either Saturday or Sunday. Entry to the sportive and camping (one night for day passes, all weekend for full tickets) is included in the price. Bring your own puncture repair kit.
For more information head to http://www.earlyriserfestival.co.uk
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.