Velo Vintage event sets off in fine style from Exmouth
VINTAGE CYCLING enthusiasts from around the UK set off from Exmouth on Sunday 9 September, taking part in Cycle West – Velo Vintage. The heritage ride, up the Exe Estuary cycle path to Topsham's The Bridge Inn and back, left Exmouth's Strand in the morning, with the participants resplendent in colourful vintage gear and many of them riding classic bikes…
Before the ride left The Strand, cyclists gathered on the steps of Exmouth Town Hall for photos and to be welcomed by event organizer Alistair Cope.
"The weather has been relatively kind to us, considering the summer that's gone," said Alistair. "We have a ride of about 11 miles in total up the Exe Estuary with a break at The Bridge for a drink, and then we're making our way back again, but completely differently, depending on which way you're sitting on the tandem!"
Alistair thanked Cycle West for sponsoring the event, Exmouth Town Council for staging the start at the Strand, Bikelands (Exmouth's new cycle shop) for its support and everyone who travelled "so far and wide to get here".
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John Humphreys, the Mayor of Exmouth, said: "It's a first for Exmouth and the Town Council and the people of Exmouth are going to want to see this event for many more years to come. So thank you, enjoy the ride, we're going to have a refreshing drink at The Bridge and it's going to be a lot of fun!"
And he was true to his word, taking part himself in the event.
"I've decided to cycle along and go with them," he said. "It's great fun, a lot of people have turned out and all in their costumes as well. It's fantastic for Exmouth."
Other cycling fans had come from further afield, including Kent, Manchester, Derbyshire and Exeter. They included Chris Pearce and his partner Dr Nicola Diamond.
"Chris is very in to it," said Nicola. "but I'm just a beginner!"
"I'm a member of The Guvnors' Assembly, the gentleman's cycling club," said Chris. "We've all come from all over the country to join this today."
Meanwhile Amanda Denham and Anthoney Strowger had ridden down the cycle path from Exeter.
"We think it's fantastic," said Amanda. "It's great to see lots of people coming along and getting involved."
"The nice thing about this event is that nowadays you see carbon-fibre bikes, carbon-fibre everything whereas this is just beautiful old bikes," said Anthoney. "It's so much nicer!"
Were they looking forward to their drink at The Bridge Inn?
"If it's good enough for Her Majesty, it's good enough for us!" said Anthoney, referring to the Queen's 1998 visit to Topsham's 16th-century pub.
Photo gallery: Vintage Velo at Exmouth 2012