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Norfolk town’s cycling celebration rides off with national award

PUBLISHED: 11:55 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:12 08 October 2018

Diss Cyclathon which has been running for three years involves family rides and a nine-town sportive. Picture: Neil Collins

Diss Cyclathon which has been running for three years involves family rides and a nine-town sportive. Picture: Neil Collins

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A community celebration of all things cycling that has encouraged a Norfolk town to get on two wheels has won a national award.

Diss Cyclathon has been named ‘Best Cycling Event’ at Cycling UK’s Volunteer Awards. Picture: Neil CollinsDiss Cyclathon has been named ‘Best Cycling Event’ at Cycling UK’s Volunteer Awards. Picture: Neil Collins

Diss Cyclathon, a popular cycling event and family fun day for cyclists young and old that includes family and sportive rides as well as a family fun day, has been named ‘Best Cycling Event’ at Cycling UK’s volunteer awards.

The prestigious accolade from the UK’s biggest cycling campaign group comes despite the annual event having only started three years ago.

Each year it has grown and in June this year it saw over 1,000 people take to the country lanes around Diss and enjoy the cycling-related entertainment in the town’s park beside Diss Mere.

Riders of all ages took part in family rides, of five, 10 or 15 miles or the more challenging Nine Town Sportive, whilst the event also expanded to include cycle-related film screenings and art exhibitions.

Diss Cyclathon is a family celebration of all things cycle related. Picture: Neil CollinsDiss Cyclathon is a family celebration of all things cycle related. Picture: Neil Collins

Its success brought it to the attention of one the country’s largest cycling organisations, Cycling UK who have recognised it in their 2018 volunteer awards.

Alan Franks, one of the organisers, said “We’re flattered and somewhat amazed that we’ve won this award from Cycling UK.

Diss Cyclathon has been named ‘Best Cycling Event’ at Cycling UK’s Volunteer Awards. Picture: Neil CollinsDiss Cyclathon has been named ‘Best Cycling Event’ at Cycling UK’s Volunteer Awards. Picture: Neil Collins

“What we have tried to do with the Cyclathon is get as many people out on their bikes as we can. We’re so blessed in Norfolk and Suffolk to have beautiful lanes to cycle around and it’s great to see so many people enjoy them.”

As well as encouraging people into the saddle, the event has supported its partner charity, East Anglia Air Ambulance, and has donated thousands of pounds raised to good causes in South Norfolk.

Diss Cyclathon which has been running for three years involves family rides and a nine-town sportive. Picture: Neil CollinsDiss Cyclathon which has been running for three years involves family rides and a nine-town sportive. Picture: Neil Collins

Mr Franks added: “The Cyclathon is also run by volunteers on a not for profit basis and we’ve raised over £30,000 in the three years for local charities and good causes.

“These range from donating to great local charities like East Anglia Air Ambulance to making sure every paper boy and girl had a free bike service and safety gear before the winter set in.

“That a major national organisation like Cycling UK is even aware of us is amazing but to have given us one of their coveted volunteer awards is truly humbling.”

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