Countdown is on for Cycle Live
With just over three weeks to go until the annual cycling festival Cycle Live returns to Nottingham for another year, we spoke to Event Director Nik Emmonds about the event.
What makes Cycle Live such a special/unique event?
The fact that there is genuinely something for everyone, no matter your ability or preference for certain types of cycling. We get to see people of all ages, ranging from a few months old to over 90 years old taking part every year and having a great time and as an organiser of an event, that’s the part you get the most satisfaction from.
Why did you introduce new routes to the Great Notts Bike Ride this year?
We’ve had three routes for four years that have been very popular, but at the same time you always want to keep improving in an attempt to keep the event appealing to your audience. We realised that there will be people out there who would have done the 50 mile ride for a number of years and may want more of a challenge, but the 100 mile ride was perhaps too much of a step up. Adding the 75 mile ride in the middle of these was a logical step to re-engage with those participants. The same is true of the 125 mile ride, although there was the extra consideration for this route that we wanted to produce a signature challenge that would attract people from further afield.
What was the idea behind the route names for the Great Notts Bike Ride?
To start with, just having the distances as the names was a bit boring! Given the strong link to Nottinghamshire and the legend of Robin Hood it was an easy decision to head that way with naming the rides. The idea was to make the rides have a bit more personality and hopefully generate some banter between participants in terms of which ride they were doing. Again, the strong names we’ve chosen are well known beyond Nottinghamshire so making the event more recognisable beyond our borders was an influence on the decision.
Are you excited to have racing back with the Nottingham Grand Prix?
I am very excited to have the racing back this year. The last time we had the racing in 2014 was one of the best days we’ve ever seen at Cycle Live as the quality of the racing on offer was top notch. The Omnium element gave riders the chance to take part in three races and stick around for the whole day rather than just showing up for their race and then going away. It felt like something was missing last year with the racing not being a part of the weekend so I’m pleased to see it back.
What is your favourite part of Cycle Live?
That’s a hard question because there are several elements across the weekend that I’d choose. I love seeing the young children taking part in the Nottingham City Ride and getting their first experience of a large event, especially as we tend to get large family groups take part together. The spectacle of the racing generates a great atmosphere while the sight of 5000 people taking part in the Great Notts Bike Ride is something to behold. If I had to choose one thing though it would be seeing the very last cyclist cross the line of the Great Notts Bike Ride after hours on the road and still having a smile on their face when they receive their medal.
Which part of Cycle Live is a must-see for people coming down?
The Omnium is a real crowd pleaser. You actually have the chance to become invested in the riders as you get to see them in three races. The quality of the competition means you get some real sprint finishes too, so that is always very exciting.
Cycle Live takes place at Nottingham’s Victoria Embankment across Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June. The weekend will feature the Nottingham City Rides, the Nottingham Grand Prix and the 35th Great Notts Bike Ride – there is something for everyone so head down and join the fun!
For more information on the different cycling activities and the event as a whole, or to enter go to www.cyclelivenottingham.co.uk