MAYOR Anne Roberts praised the amazing welcome Woking, and in particular Byfleet, gave RideLondon cyclists as they whizzed, screeched and zoomed through the borough.
In excess of 350 visitors descended on the village last weekend to take in the excitement of a new, two-day cycling festival held in celebration of the impressive cycle races that dominated last year’s Olympic Games.
And the mayor was overawed by the community spirit on show, especially in Byfleet, where Reverend John McCabe had organised a fun day to coincide with the nation’s attention turning towards Surrey. “It is an amazing event that re-ignited the London 2012 spirit,” beamed Mayor Roberts.
“I was absolutely delighted by the number of people who turned out to see the Byfleet procession and how many joined us in the Songs of Praise afterwards. There was even time to catch a bit of the cycling!”
More than 15,000 pros and amateurs completed the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, a 100-mile, closed-road event based on the route used for the gruelling Olympic road race which graced Woking tarmac last summer.
The event is the result of a three-year partnership with Prudential, the insurance and financial services firm, whose intention is for it to develop into a world-class event and create a lasting legacy of the 2012 Games.
“I’m very enthusiastic about the community spirit and the legacy the event brought,” continued the mayor.
“There was a lot of entertainment for the children with bouncy castles, face painting and games, and a big thanks goes to John who has been an absolute star in organising the day, supported by members of the Byfleet Amenities Group.
“Once again the community spirit in Byfleet has shined through.”
Another hope for RideLondon is that some of Woking borough’s many excited spectators will be bitten by the cycling bug and will want to adopt two-wheeled transport on a regular basis.
Professionals swung by Old Woking, Pyrford, Ripley and Byfleet to the delight of local fans who had lined the streets to catch sight of competitors in their own patch. Amateurs then took up the challenge of completing the course themselves.