UTTOXETER'S mayor is looking to build on the summer’s Olympic legacy and promote greener travel with the first mayoral charity bike ride later this month.
Mayor Martin Blencowe (pictured) is encouraging townsfolk to get out their bicycles and take part at their own pace enjoying the idyllic countryside around Uttoxeter.
Those taking part on Sunday, October 14, can either tackle a challenging 60-mile route or a more comfortable 20-mile route for families and younger riders.
Councillor Blencowe told the Advertiser: “I am trying to introduce new ideas for raising money for mayoral charities and of course build on the Olympic sporting legacy.
“Cycling has received a massive boost in popularity and an autumn bike ride seems a good way of promoting this further.
“I am referring to it as the first because I hope it continues. The charities are very worthwhile so I hope it is a success.” The councillor stressed the event was not a race but there will be an added element of fun for those taking part.
Riders on both routes will be set three questions which can only be answered by travelling the courses and once completed they will receive a certificate in recognition of their achievement.
Both routes begin at 9am at the Bramshall Road Recreation Ground car park before ending at Uttoxeter Town Hall.
The 60-mile course will travel to Doveridge, Hatton, Tutbury, Abbots Bromley, over Blithfield Reservoir to Rugeley, Penkridge, Milford, Hixon, Kingstone and Bramshall before finishing back in Uttoxeter.
The shorter 20-mile course however will go up Highwood Road before travelling to Newborough, Abbots Bromley, over Blithfield Reservoir, through Kingstone and Bramshall before returning to Uttoxeter.
Councillor Blencowe said he enjoys cycling and he is pushing for better cycle routes across the town to make it a more attractive mode of travel.
He said: “I’m as keen a cyclist as I can be given my busy lifestyle. I do though do a mixture of off-road and road biking — and of course around Uttoxeter for the shopping trips.
“It is a great way to keep fit and anything to help us get away from car dependency is good environmentally and financially.
“The cycle routes I have been pushing for are not as claimed in the press by our county councillor in narrow historical streets but from the Heath avoiding the pinch points of the main routes past Fox’s and Oldfield’s Hall School that carries most of the heavy vehicle traffic through the town.
“At the town council we have had a number of letters over the years complaining about safety at the two locations and I believe I have addressed those and they certainly need to be looked at.
“Once people are encouraged to use their cycles, easy safe routes from the major Heath housing area are an obvious need.” For details of the routes and to download sponsor forms people should go to www.uttoxetertowncouncil.org.uk or visit the town hall.