Church flower festivals are gearing up to welcome families of cyclists heading to the area to ride Spalding.
They are hoping to put flower power behind the pedals this weekend by serving up refreshments and inviting riders to have a look at their displays.
Mary Sharrocks, of St Laurence Church in Surfleet, said she had already informed her team of caterers to be ready to welcome the riders.
She said: “I think it’s fantastic to have a group of cyclists stopping off here.
“We had a fantastic weekend last week but this is something new which has been needed since the Spalding Flower Parade ended, as it always brought a lot of people.”
The ride is part of the new Spalding Velo Prix on Saturday and Sunday, organised by Spalding Cycling Club and backed by the Spalding Guardian, one of the event’s official partners.
We are looking forward to meeting anyone who would like to join our family guided rides.Simon Wright
Families will have three guided routes to choose from - five, ten and 15 miles – all setting off from Monks House Lane Playing Field on Saturday, at intervals from 1pm.
The longer ride will take in two churches - the one at Surfleet and St Mary’s, Pinchbeck.
Spalding Cycling Club members have been busy putting the finishing touches to plans for the cycling events running on Saturday and Sunday.
Simon Wright, the club chairman and lead organiser, said; “Since the idea of holding an event to encourage people to get on their bikes was first considered last September, we have been overwhelmed by the level of support that our plans have attracted and the commitment from sponsors, schools, stakeholders and local cycling clubs to make the event a reality has been terrific.
“We are also looking forward to welcoming anyone who would like to join our family guided rides to the area’s flower festivals.”
Government minister John Hayes, who introduced the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy amendment in the Infrastructure Bill, has promised to be on the starting line of the guided rides.
He said: “I fully support the idea and hope everyone gets behind it. It has always been my ambition to make Spalding the cycling capital of England.
“That’s what I said in the House of Commons when I launched the amendment to the infastructure bill. I want cycling to play a central role in that and Spalding to be part of it.”
Younger riders will be able to sharpen their skills in ‘Go Race’ activities at Monks House Lane Playing Field on Saturday morning.
The event is sponsored by Gibbons Cycles and Alan Boswell Group, with Lincolnshire County Council’s Bikeability Team providing additional fun activities.
Sunday sees racing return to Spalding Market Place. Local schools taking part in the Italian Pursuit on Sunday morning include Gosberton Clough and Risegate Community Primary, St Bartholomews’s Church of England Primary, West Pinchbeck, Weston Hills Church of England Primary and Spalding Primary.
In the afternoon, teams from as far afield as Nottingham and Lincoln will race in an inter club competition. These include Spalding CC, Bourne Bullets, Boston Wheelers, Sleaford Wheelers, VC Lincoln and Nottingham Clarion.
These events are being managed by British Cycling and generously supported by Broadgate Homes and Springfield Exhibition Centre.
Fenland Road Club’s “Reliability Ride” of about 35 miles for more hard-core cyclists will also start in the town centre in the morning.
l For more details on the weekend, visit www.spaldingcc.org.uk