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Back in the saddle thanks to Shrewsbury Cycle Grand Prix
05 Jun 2015
by Rhea Alton

I wouldn’t call myself a cyclist – not a proper one, not yet anyway. But I have always liked cycling.
I remember my first bike well. It was a blue BMX Raleigh Burner and I loved it.
You see, I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy so wanted a bike just like my brother.
I cleaned it, looked after it well and decorated the wheels with spokey dokeys (remember those?)  and those little wheel clacker things which made it sound like you were riding a motor bike. It was cool and I rode it everywhere!
But my enthusiasm for cycling waned a little when I then upgraded the Burner to a racing bike.
Looking back, I don’t think it had anything to do with the funny shaped handlebars. It was because the bike was PINK and just a bit too girly for me.
As a result my PINK bike spent a lot of time in the shed.
It took a family trip to Scotland a few years later to reignite my love of biking.
I remember now, packing up a picnic and me and my brother hiring two mountain bikes so that we could cycle a good twenty plus miles around Loch Rannoch near Pitlochry.
It was a long way for little legs but I loved every minute of it.
Since then I’ve owned various mountain bikes and cycled on and off, here and there.
The bulk of my honeymoon was spent cycling in the Austrian mountains and I’ve done a few charity bike rides. I guess you could say I dabble a bit when it comes to cycling.
My husband on the other hand is keen for the bike and rides whenever he gets chance.
He’s been on at me for a while to really get INTO it!
I’m not quite sure what getting INTO it means entirely but after witnessing the success of Sunday’s Shrewsbury Cycle Grand Prix, I am somewhat inspired and energised to dedicate a bit more time to cycling.
For those that missed it, the town came alive as more than 150 amateur and professional riders whipped round the town centre circuit in four different races in what amounted to almost four hours of wheel-to-wheel action.
Thousands of cycling enthusiasts gathered for the spectacle and the town was abuzz with cycling talk and paraphernalia.
Riders young and old also got their chance to whizz around the circuit before the professionals took to the stage.
They were on balance bikes, road bikes, BMX bikes, mountain bikes, tandem bikes, you name it.
The smiles were infectious, particularly the children, who beamed from ear to ear pretending to be the next Bradley Wiggins, and who knows, they might just be one day!
It was quite a day and as press officer for the event I was privileged enough to bagsy front row for most of the action.
The racing was brilliant, a super day out and I’m certain I can’t be the only one to have been inspired to get back in the saddle!