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Cycling inspires Weaverham
BIKES are bringing youngsters together in Weaverham as the community investigates finding a long-term home for BMX riders.
More than 100 children and teenagers proved the need for permanent ramps in the village when they crowded to Weaverham High School for a BMX day.
The event, run by Ramp Riders and funded by Cheshire Police, was organised by PC Claire Murgatroyd and PCSO Karen Nixon, who wanted to give the bikers somewhere to go while they begin the search for a permanent park.
PC Murgatroyd said: “The event ran from 10am to 4pm but the kids were there before Ramp Riders turned up – they were that enthusiastic and keen.
“As the morning wore on and word got round there were lots more turning up and I can’t praise everyone highly enough – everyone was so well behaved, everyone joined in and got on with it and there was absolutely no trouble.”
The day, on October 6, drew BMX and stunt scooter riders aged from seven to 19, plus parents who came along to bring packed lunches and watch the stunts.
PCSO Nixon said: “It was nice to see the little ones with the big ones who were taking the time to go on the ramps and show the little ones how to do different things.
“There was no ‘they’re only little, get them out of the way’.”
PC Murgatroyed added: “Every adult was saying this is a great idea and this is what we need in the village.”
There were stalls with information on road and cycling safety, road quizzes, security bike marking and competitions.
Cheshire Police also supplied all of the youths with a free bicycle lock.
A second event will take place at the high school from 10am to 4pm on October 27.
The BMX days have been organised as part of a campaign for a permanent skate park in Weaverham.
Youngsters have been riding their BMX bikes on grassy mounds in Elm Road, but this has caused friction with some of the residents.
PC Claire Murgatroyd said: “We need to get the kids somewhere safe where we can appease the residents but give the kids somewhere to go.
“But we’re a tiny cog in a huge machine, trying to get something going and trying to identify sites, but it’s an uphill struggle.
“What we need to do now is shift the momentum to the community to ask them to help us and push this because we can only do so much.”
Alex and Paula Bennett, who live on Elm Road with their nine-year-old son Harvey and 10-month-old daughter Pippa, have launched a petition as part of the campaign and have already collected 300 signatures.
“This has been the first year Harvey’s been allowed to play out on the front and he’s probably the youngest but the other lads have been lovely with him and really taken him under their wing,” Paula said.
“They’re a nice bunch of lads.
“I took my little girl for a check up at Northwich infirmary and saw some of them on their BMXs at Verdin Park and they were being so well behaved – I thought that’s what they need, somewhere to go that’s their space where they can just be left alone.
“They really deserve a break.”
- 2012 has proved to be a big year for the bicycle.
Brits have seen their cycling sportsmen triumph in the Tour de France and Olympic Games and the humble bike is riding high on a surge of popularity.
The past year has also seen events like Cycletta come to Cheshire to persuade more women to get back on their bikes, keep fit and have fun.
The Guardian is keen to keep 2012’s cycling momentum going and, with the trial one-way system through Northwich town centre, keen to also keep safety at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Next week we plan to launch our Pedal Power campaign to inspire cyclists of all ages, types and abilities and encourage more people out on their bikes in safety.
So if you have a cycling story you want to share get in touch with the newsdesk at email@example.com or ring 01606 813624.