Hundreds of cyclists are saddling up for Pock Pedal

Cyclists taking part in last year's Pock Pedal Sportive.
Cyclists taking part in last year's Pock Pedal Sportive.

Along with the signs of spring on the Wolds, daffodils and fresh green leaf buds, out come the cyclists in padded lycra shorts, yellow jerseys or multicolour tops and safety helmets.

East Yorkshire and the Wolds are perfect cycling terrain with routes to suit all standards and cyclists of all levels of experience are gearing up for the annual Pock Pedal Sportive on Saturday (23 May).

This year’s Pock Pedal comprises three routes options, including a mega route of 100 miles of challenging cycling from the Henry Thirsk Amenity Centre on The Balk, Pocklington, through to Thixendale, Sledmere and Malton, then returning to Pocklington. There is also a scenic but no less challenging 60-mile route and a 25-mile route via Stamford Bridge over predominantly flat terrain.

Course organiser Andy Johnston, who works in cycling development at York University and comes from Stamford Bridge, said: “This will be the fifth year we have organised the event and many riders return time and time again. Each entrant leaves via an electronic timing gate and returns through the barrier to complete the process.

“It’s not a race to find a winner, it’s a sportive, its about competing to complete, in safety, the route in a personal best time enjoying some of the best cycling country in the north of England.”

It is hoped that hundreds of cyclists take on one of the Pock Pedal challenges and the vast majority of entrants are locals, living within an hour of Pocklington.

The 2015 Pock Pedal is being organised by Clifton Cycling Club in York, in collaboration with Pocklington and Market Weighton Rotary Club. The Pock Pedal event raises money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance and local Rotary charities. Local Rotarians act as scrutineers, marshals, lunch stop providers, and members help mark and clear away afterwards the high visibility signage marking the three routes.

In addition, teams of Rotarians have gone out well in advance of the day to look for any significant potholes on the routes and made the council’s Highways department aware of them.

The only thing the Andy and the Rotarians can not plan for is the weather but hopefully when the Sportive takes place the cycling gods will look down favourably on the cyclists and there will be clear blue skies.