Brinnington Big Local hosted its first-ever Bike Fest on Tuesday 28th November – where local residents were given free tips, kit & support on how to take up cycling – and they were delighted to welcome Greater Manchester’s Active Travel Commissioner Dame Sarah Storey to the event.

Source: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Dame Sarah, also Britain’s most-decorated Paralympian with 28 medals including 17 golds in cycling and her previous sport swimming, presented bikes to the winners of a competition for young people – just in time for Christmas!

Dame Sarah Storey said,

“I’m looking forward to attending the Brinnington ‘Bike fest’ event, which will be a fun, family orientated event to showcase the benefits and value of cycling, whilst providing a young person, who may not have had the opportunity to cycle or own a bike previously, the chance to experience new adventures with friends and family.

“As a mum I know how much freedom and enjoyment a bike can give a child or teenager.”

A mother of two young children with fellow cyclist and coach Barney, Sarah lives locally and as well as leading the region’s Active Travel mission to enable more people to walk wheel or cycle as part of the Bee Network, she often can be seen out on her bike training, as she has her sights on her ninth consecutive Paralympics (in Paris in 2024)

Sarah added:

“It will be inspiring to hear more about what Brinnington Big Local has delivered within the community and the positive collaborations between partners which are bringing people together to cycle more, enabling new people to try it out and discover new and exciting places and spaces within the community and beyond.”

Julie Loftus, Local resident volunteer and Chair of Brinnington Big Local commented on the run up to the event,

“We are all really excited for Bike Fest and to welcome Dame Sarah Storey to Brinnington, there is a real buzz in the community. Dame Sarah is an inspiration to many and we want to inspire and enthuse more young people to cycle.

“One of our close partners, Life Leisure, have been operating a bike repair workshop from our community hub on a bi-weekly basis which has engaged over 300 people in just a few months. It just shows the power of people when there is a shared goal. Cycling can make a real difference to our physical and mental health.”

Ross McGuigan, Communities Manager at Life Leisure added,

“We are very excited to be part of this event which allows us to continue raising awareness of cycling in the local area. We are taking our adapted bikes, stationary bikes and information around the cycling drop-in events to speak to the community, who have been integral to all the local developments and the creation of a Brinnington Cycling Forum.”

Those who attended the Bike Fest had access to free bike repair and maintenance workshops, adapted bikes, stationary bike exercises, free puncture repair kits and reflectors, as well as a selection of free activities and refreshments.

Brinnington Big Local was awarded £1m in 2015, as part of a lottery-funded scheme to make lasting change in disadvantaged areas, creating a better place to live.

More information about Bike Fest can be found on the Brinnington Big Local Facebook page