News: Busy time in the Eastern Region in 2012

News and rumours on events in and around the Eastern Region for 2012 from Ken Jolliffe

Planning is well underway for a new sportive in Norfolk in early Summer 2012. As well as delivering a quality event and helping to put Norfolk on the sportive map (along with the Hethersett 30/60) the aim of the event is to raise funds to support the local cycling clubs that are committed to organising events in Norfolk.

The route will take in Norfolks finest scenery and as many of the high points as possible! If there’s a hill, we’ll go up it and prove, as many of you already know, that Norfolk is far from flat! Distance will be around 100 miles with a shorter route of 30 miles also on offer.

The HQ has been confirmed as the World Horse Welfare Centre just off the A11 at Snetterton – this venue has an almost limitless amount of car parking and equally importantly, a huge café! But we’ll be keeping numbers to around 500 for
2012 … unless we change our minds!

We will provide as many of the ‘must have’ items as possible including: electronic timing, GPS route downloads, mechanical assistance and emergency recovery. More info will follow as soon as details are confirmed.

One thing we want is the Sportive Title – any ideas?

Clubs wishing to access the funds raised by the event should be prepared to make some contribution to the running of the event.

Gas Hill Gasp Friday 6th July
It is the wish of the City Council that it becomes an annual event as part of the new Norwich Lord Mayor’s Celebrations. Using the lessons learnt this year, the cost has been significantly reduced making the GHG viable on a relatively low budget. Next year we want to have a more varied programe and introduce a fun element; veteran bikes, trikes, tandems and shoppers spring to mind. The racing makes the hill look easy so we need something to show how difficult it really is! Any more suggestions?

Whilst most of us would prefer a Crit, this is currently unaffordable by us or the City Council but we see the GHG as a ‘foot in the door’ that may help ‘open doors’ for such an event in the future.

RAF Honnington
An official reply is awaited but on the costs we have been quoted, this will not be a viable venue. Region of £600+ per day including 1st Aid. If we could be sure of similar numbers to Hog Hill then it would be. The MoD have to charge commercial rates.

Lotus League
2nd May to 25th July except 4th July. Go Ride to Elites. This will clash with some of the Ipswich Events but both parties believe there are sufficient riders in the area to make both ventures viable. Website will be up and running again shortly. Information on Lotus and Ipswich events will follow soon.

Cyclo Cross – New event – New Venue
World Horse Welfare will host a round of the Eastern Cross League next winter. The course may prove a bit novel, whilst most of it will be between the paddock fences on cinder or grass it may prove possible to route through the indoor arena! Spectators can then watch from the comfort of the cafe! This will partly fill the need for more events in Norfolk. Lets hope the large fields we are seeing this year will include more Norfolk riders.

Tony is revamping this website. Its principle function will be to act as a calender of ALL cycling activities and give new cyclists a guide as to what is available. Please visit and give him your support with information.

Other events – rumours only at this stage.
One or two more road/circuit events plus a 100 & 200 k Audax rides.

The CTC Rough Stuff in October saw another 50% increase to 180 rides, just a year or two back it was under 10. The Norfolk Nips Audax’s are proving so popular that entries have had to be limited to 170, double the previous year. Tony Clarke has been ‘blamed’ for this increase by his repeated emails. If this is the power of communication via email we should have more of it. Not sure the organisers appreciated the huge increase as it takes organising to a new level but they coped extremely well. The efforts of mainly Norwich CTC are appreciated to say the least.

Lets hope this sort of increase is reflected across all aspects of our sport and pastime next year.