Festival of Cycling comes to Thoresby Park

The setting could not have been much grander for the second Pennies in the Park event. Stately Thoresby Hall in north Nottinghamshire provided a stunning backdrop for the occasion which, unlike the inaugural Penny in Matlock last September, was extended over two days.

Another key difference was the pitting of different styles of bike against one another.


Those races provided intriguing and occasionally nail-biting contests as state-of-the-art unicycles slalomed along the park's avenues side by side with the historic high wheelers to prove which design was the swifter.


The Retford Times has perhaps never been so quickly delivered as it was during the paperboy race which attracted some entrants for whom a newspaper round may now be a fading memory.


At the other end of the generational scale, British Cycling's Go Ride coaches provided youngsters with some top tips for tackling a meandering course over grass and for powering down the straights on Tarmac. 


But of course, the main event was the hour long penny farthing race on Sunday. 


In Matlock the course had been just a few hundred yards long with the tightest of turns, with the crowd only feet from the competitors. This year's event made the most of the wide Thoresby vista; inclines, bridges and all. It even swung through neighbouring Perlethorpe. 


Richard Thoday, organiser of the Matlock event, had been pipped at the post on home soil. This time around he was a comfortable winner by some distance, completing nine circuits as the race reached the hour mark.


The spirit of the event was etched in the faces of the competitors as they crossed the line. The most notable finish was by a bloodied Karl Webster, another Matlock Cycling Club member, whose bike had suffered what can only be described as a Victorian mechanical issue, unseating him from its great height.  Despite the bumps and bruises, he crossed the line on foot, wheel in one hand and frame in the other.


But the biggest smile was on the face of organiser Graeme Waters, of the Retford Wheelers club. Perhaps it was partly relief at the end of such a gruelling race, but it could also deservedly be for a job well done to have kept the high-wheeling revival ticking along very nicely indeed.


More feature images and a short film  from the event to follow and also check out the image galley from the event using the link below


Feature by Rob James

Images by M Ludbrook, D Thorburn

Film (to follow) by Rob Leake

Lucy Garner Promotes Pennies in the Park that moves to Thoresby Park for the Festival of Cycling


Lucy Garner Promotes Pennies in the ParkLucy GarnerLucy Garner Promotes Pennies in the ParkLucy Garner pennies in the parkLucy Garner pennies in the parkLLucy Garner nails the shotucy Garner, 2011 Junior World Champion at the UCI World Championships visited Thoresby Hall to help promote the 2012 Pennies in the Park recently.

Sportsshots have again been asked to be the official photographers for this years Pennies in the Park.

Matlock hosted the 1st ever pennies in the park with huge success in 2011 with large crowds visiting the Derbyshire Town. Matlock rider and organizer of the first event Richard Thoday has now handed the race event to cycling buddy Graeme Waters who will host this years Pennies in the Park at Thoresby Park 0n the 19th and 20th May 2012. Lucy a member of Leicestershire cycling club came along and took a penny farthing for a spin to help promote what should prove to be a wonderful weekend of cycling with many disciplines on display.Lucy herself is no stranger to a penny farthing although due to a busy schedule had not ridden one for some time. The penny farthing that stood almost as tall as Lucy was built in Czechoslovakia and was reported to be of some considerable value.

Lucy not only became UCI Junior World Champion but was selected also to be part of the British team at the Commonwealth Games held in the Isles of Man where she took Gold in the Road Race.Lucy Garner behind the scenesLucy Garner behind the scenesLucy Garner behind the scenesLucy Garner behind the scenesLucy Garner behind the scenes with sportsshotsLucy Garner behind the scenes with sportsshotsLucy Garner behind the scenes with sportsshotsLucy Garner behind the scenes with sportsshots

Lucy heads off now to continue training ready for a fantastic year ahead of her, where she is part of the Olympic Development Programme.


To the right New Photos reveal a behind the scenes view of the pennies in the park promo photo shoot with Lucy Garner


Previous news & press release on sportsshots
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The succsess of the rcent Pennies in the Park at Matlock  this year is to be repeated in the neighbouring county of Nottinghamshire at Thoresby Park, The event will be held over two days so as to make way to some new support events,and as we are led to believe some that have never to have been tried before.

Sportsshots are in talks with the organizers about providing media coverage of the event and hopefully will be bringing you the lastest news on the event as we get it.

Any sponsors wishing to get involved in Pennies in the Park should contact Graeme Waters for further information graeme@penniesinthepark.co.uk

For more information on the event please read the press release below


Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th May 2012

On May 19th-20th 2012 there is the first Festival of Cycling to be held at Thoresby Park North Nottinghamshire.

This event is being held in the beautiful historicThoresby Park and Courtyard and aims to be a celebration of all things cycling.

The Festival is a combination of events and will include Youth and Senior Circuit racing, `Go Ride` Racing, Grass Track Racing, trade stands, vintage bikes and the feature races for the Unicycle and Penny farthing bicycles.

There will be an attempt to try out a `penny stack` [a row of penny farthings static side by side with riders held for 3 minutes]


There will be other feature events including `roller racing` a proposed `paperboy` race and during Saturday evening a barn dance and hog roast.


This will be an opportunity for families,cyclists and non cyclists to witness what is anticipated to be a special unique friendly and exciting atmosphere.


"To see Unicyclists and Penny Farthing racing is enthralling and exciting" said organiser Graeme Waters the Chairman of the promoting Club Retford and District Wheelers Cycling Club.


In addition there will be quality food stalls who normally attend the Thoresby foodfest.
"Our stallholders are local, with the vast majority coming from Nottinghamshire and the surrounding counties", said organiser Alison Lowe of Nottingham-based Adelanta Events. "Our aim is to promote local companies and products, helping visitors to be aware of just what a fantastic array of produce we have in this region".

Running from 9.30a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the Festival of Cycling will be located on Thoresby lawns with the racing taking place on the private estate roads that pass the beautiful Thoresby Hall and also within Thoresby Courtyard that has its own uniques shops including the Gallery all run by the StoneBridge Trust who are supporting and allowing this event to take place.

There will be `have a go` events including `Go Ride` racing for the youngsters and an opportunity to see close up original and modern Penny Farthing machines and some vintage bikes in action.


Admission to the event is free with free parking at Thoresby.

The event Charity is the Notts and Lincolnshire Air Ambulance


Entry to the cycling racing events is through application on either the British Cycling website for the Circuit and Grass Track Racing

Entry to other events will be through application on the event website www.penniesinthepark.co.uk


The event  has still to locate a title sponsor but is being supported by The Stonebridge Trust, Ashfield Training Solutions, Bassetlaw District Council, David Fowkes Jewellery,Retford, Matlock, Derby and Heanor Cycling Clubs and other volunteers.

For further information, please see the website www.penniesinthepark.co.uk

Graeme Waters



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