Velo Vintage will not return to Sidmouth this year
- Credit: Archant
The Velo Vintage bike ride will not return to Sidmouth this year.
Cyclists dressed in unusual attire came from far and wide on all forms of pedalled contraptions for the first event in the town in December.
Organiser Alistair Cope told town councillors they would have to decide quickly if they wanted it to return, as the slot was in demand. He has now revealed that Sidmouth has lost out to another resort.
Mr Cope told the Herald: “I can now confirm that, sadly, we shall not be returning in 2016 and that an agreement elsewhere within the county has been agreed.
“I hope that an opportunity to return to Sidmouth may arise in the future.”
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Mr Cope agreed to attend this month’s tourism and economy committee meeting after town councillors voiced concerns about how their £1,500 contribution towards December’s event was spent.
Riders regularly attend his events from as far away as London and Edinburgh, although councillors said there was only a small contingent of locals. Mr Cope said the event was intentionally kept small to retain the ‘intimate’ feel.
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He was keen to repeat the ride, saying Velo Vintage was well suited to Sidmouth and that it is easier to build on an existing event than establish a new one.
But Councillor Louise Cole has three daughters and said the ticket prices – £22 for adults and £14 for children – made it ‘untenable’ for them all to enter. She said more should be done to involve families if the event is repeated. Councillors were also divided on when it would be best to stage a ride, so did not want to rush a decision.
Cllr John Rayson said he would like the event to be in the summer, possibly to link with the Tour of Britain.
Cllr Dawn Manley enjoyed the ‘wonderful’ atmosphere of the event and said: “Old Fore Street could have been 150 years ago – it was like being transported back in time. In the summer there’s already so much going on. I would be concerned about traffic blockages.”
Although the ride will not be repeated this year, members hope Mr Cope and others will appear with their vintage cycles ahead ofthe Tour of Britain stage start in the town on September 9.