"Wiggo the Wight" tribute to cycling hero

By David Newble

Monday, September 24, 2012

 

Isle of Wight Cycling Festival launch. Jane Denton on her 1878 Bates Tricycle, chatting with Richard Hope, both members Solent Veteran Bicycle and Cycle Club.

RIDERS at this year’s Cycle the Wight will have the chance to pay tribute to Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.

As part of the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival, which launched on Saturday, riders taking part in the Cycle the Wight — dubbed Wiggo the Wight this year — have been asked to don Wiggo-style sideburns.

Claire Critchison, of the Isle of Wight Council, organises the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival and said: "The Olympic Games was an amazing event and has helped boost the profile of sports such as cycling even further.

"The achievements of Team GB cycling, and in particular Bradley Wiggins has resulted in an increase in participants at the festival this year and we think it is only right we recognise their success.

"We are asking participants in the Cycle the Wight event to wear fake sideburns in honour of Bradley, whose sideburns have become something of a national icon.

"We are also nicknaming the event 'Wiggo the Wight' this year, although I think he will probably be a bit too busy to pop over!"

Cycle the Wight, which features several different routes of different lengths, takes place on Saturday.

It’s one of a host of events being held as part of the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival.

Hundreds of people packed into St James’ Square, Newport on Saturday to mark the festival’s launch.

Vintage cycles such as Penny Farthings and a rare 'boneshaker’ were on display as well as modern machines and a collection of unusual cycles including a 'Harley Davidson’ pushbike based on the famous American motorcycle.

The brilliant late autumn sunshine brought out the crowds who were able to see displays about sustainable transport and youngsters were also encouraged to get on their bikes at a specially designed obstacle course.

Earlier this year the Isle of Wight was recognised as the top spot in the world for cycling by travel guide Lonely Planet, which said the Island was a "cycling paradise."

The cycling festival is title-sponsored by Mio Cyclo and supported by Wightlink.

Reporter: davidn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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