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The Castle Combe Family Cycling Day saw 300 people take to the historic Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire for a day of cycling in the sunshine. All ages, abilities, experience and type of bike were welcome, and it truly was an inclusive event for all. The charity partner for this year was The National Autistic Society, who were on hand throughout the day to spread awareness and raise money for their important cause.

As the Severn Bridge Sportive riders made their way round the beautiful lanes of the Cotswolds and Wales, families arrived at Castle Combe Circuit with their bikes (and their grandparents, their babies, their deckchairs and their picnics!) ready to enjoy all that was on offer. Apart from being able to ride around the car-free, smooth, flat circuit, where everyone can feel safe on their bikes, the National Autistic Society entertained little ones with a lucky dip and a raffle – with the chance to win a Strider Balance Bike. Children could also enjoy the sensory bus – a magical place filled with endless sounds, moving parts, music and textures to entertain, soothe and beguile children on the autism spectrum in particular.

In the Circuit’s pit lane we had a fabulous array of road-safety exhibitors. Wiltshire Council Road Safety team were providing helmet checks, as well as exhibiting their Close Pass Initiative – to encourage drivers to give cyclists room when overtaking. The wonderful Kevin from Tarmac Hauliers was on site with a ‘mirror mat’, allowing anyone to climb up into the cab of his huge lorry and see what the view was like. Local policemen were on hand to help with these demonstrations, as well as allowing children to sit in their cars and find out more about Wiltshire Police. Our local Traffic Officer was also there with a full display of kit – and the sounds of his siren could be heard across the circuit throughout the day as he invited anyone to have a go!

Lots of families took part in our Lap Challenge – where the first prize was a Family Pass to a track day or other event at Castle Combe Circuit. The winning family will be announced soon!

Go-Ride coaches Lauren and Aaron Booth joined us in the track centre with a fantastic skills course – children young and old had a go riding round the cleverly-designed circuit and could even attempt to make it to the top of the leaderboard with timed laps! Jacqui was on hand with her fun Strider Bike skills course – where smaller children could have a go on balance bikes around the small skills circuit. We spied many a skilled balancer on this course, perhaps next year we’ll see the same toddlers on pedal-bikes riding round the main track!

In total, at least £500 was raised for the National Autistic Society through donations and raffle tickets. The final donations are still coming in, so we hope to have raised at least £600 for this worthwhile charity at the Severn Bridge Sportive and Castle Combe Family Cycling Day. The day was a huge success, and many happy families went home sun-kissed and smiling, some with aching legs and tired children, but, most importantly, feeling great having had so much fun being healthy and active. We’re already looking forward to 2019!

Our amazing photographer Rich Lewton was with us all afternoon snapping away as everyone enjoyed themselves. He’s kindly let us use some of his great photos in the gallery below, but there’s loads more on his website: www.richlewtonphotography.co.uk. See if you can spot yourself 🙂

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