A range of events and activities are being held across Breckland to celebrate the Aviva Tour of Britain’s upcoming return to the district on Saturday 12 September.

Breckland Council recently offered grants of up to £500 to support community activities related to the cycling event and a number of local groups have taken up the offer to help them make the most of the return of the UK’s largest free to view sporting occasion.
 
Grant-funded activities are being planned in Attleborough, Thetford, Old Buckenham, and East Harling. They will largely coincide with the Tour’s visit to Breckland on 12 September or take place during the two weeks leading up to it.
 
Cllr Trevor Carter, Breckland Council’s Executive Member for Place, commented: “The activities being supported by Breckland’s grants aim to bring together the district’s various communities to celebrate one of the country’s most exciting sporting spectacles and I hope everybody turns out to enjoy the festivities. The Tour is a truly exciting event and I’m delighted that our residents will once again have an opportunity to line the route and enjoy it first-hand alongside their neighbours, friends and families.”
 
The Aviva Tour of Britain cyclists will race into the district at Guist before going through Twyford, Bintree, Foxley, and Bawdeswell on their way to Norwich. They later re-enter Breckland at Besthorpe before riding through Attleborough, Old Buckenham, Quidenham, East Harling, Bridgham, and Brettenham on their way to Thetford, marking the end of the Norfolk leg of the race. The cyclists will continue into Suffolk where the stage will come to a close in Ipswich. You can find an interactive Ordnance Survey map of Stage Seven here.
 
Grant-funded event details:
 
Attleborough: Trail throughout August, events on Monday 31 August & Saturday 12 September
Attleborough is already gearing up for the Aviva Tour of Britain’s arrival and the Attleborough Retail Forum is inviting people to come to the town to take part in their unique bike trail. Dozens of bikes with blooming flower baskets have already been placed around the town and people are being invited to pick up a trail map to make sure they see them all.
 
Each bike has been numbered and allocated a secret name and people who use the map and accompanying form to make a note of at least 60 of the bike names will be able to enter a competition to win a £100 voucher for Cranks Bicycles, on Exchange Street, in Attleborough. The bikes will be in place throughout August and until at least 12 September when the race passes through..
 
The Attleborough Retail Forum has also organised a family fun day on Monday 31 August (10am-5pm), while a similar event has been organised by Attleborough Town Council for Saturday 12 September (9.30am-6pm).
 
Both events will be held in the town’s Queen’s Square and will offer visitors the chance to enjoy fun fair rides, wattbike racing (static bicycles), face painting, live music and other activities.
 
Tony Perkins, from the Attleborough Retail Forum, commented: “The flowering bike trail is already really brightening up the town in a unique way and we hope people will come along to try to see them all. We’ll also have lots of activities at the events – some for those feeling particularly energetic and some at a more serene pace – so there is going to be something for everyone!”
 
Sandra Dewsbury, Admin Assistant at Attleborough Town Council, added: “The events are going to be great for the town and we’re really looking forward to the whole community getting together. The wattbikes are good fun for those wanting to test their might on the pedals, while we’ll also have a craft market, horticultural stalls and fun fair stands for those wanting to try something a bit different.”
 
For more information about either of the family fun days or the bike trail, contact Attleborough Town Council on 01953 456 194 or Tony Perkins Butchers on 07759 937 626.
 
Thetford: Monday 7 to Saturday 12 September
In Thetford, Keystone Development Trust will be holding free bike health checks in the week leading up to the Breckland leg of the Aviva Tour of Britain. Between 7-11 September (10am-5pm) people will be able to bring their bikes to Green Ventures Bikes – at Unit 4, 39 Brunel Way, Thetford – where the bicycles will be assessed to see what maintenance may be needed to keep them on the road. If small adjustments need to be made, the team may be able to carry them out there and then. Everyone that brings their bike for a free check will be entered into a prize draw to win cycling goodies.
 
Alan Flack, from Keystone Development Trust, said: “We want to help people who already have a bike but haven’t used it for a while to get back on the road. If you’re not sure how much it is going to cost to bring your bike up to scratch or how to fix a problem, come along to see us and we’ll hopefully be able to get you back in the saddle!”
 
On Saturday 12 September, Keystone Development Trust will also be holding a family day on the green overlooking Nuns’ Bridges. People will be able to enjoy a range of activities, including bike designing, cycling and Tour of Britain themed drawing competitions, and opportunities to find out more about how bicycles can be recycled. Keystone also hopes to arrange bikes at Nun’s Bridges to spell out ‘Thetford’.
 
Residents will be invited to contribute to a unique mural which will reflect the Aviva Tour of Britain coming to Thetford. To take part, people will need to submit electronic copies of photos taken of the Tour and local Tour-related activities. An artist will later paint the 16ft x 8ft mural on mdf, incorporating as many of the images as possible, before it is hung at the Green Ventures Bike unit in the town. To take part, people can email their photos to pictures@keystonetrust.org.uk or via Twitter @KeystoneTrust.
 
Also on the green overlooking Nuns’ Bridges on 12September (10am-3pm) will be a bar and barbeque, hosted by members of the Rotary Club of Thetford with support from Thetford Town Council. People will be invited to get together to enjoy some food and drink and to watch the race pass through. All profits from the event will go to local Rotary Club sponsored charities.
 
David Vick, from the Rotary Club of Thetford, said: “Our event will give people a chance to enjoy some tasty treats before and after the cyclists whizz by. We’ll also have a marquee to provide shelter from the sun – or rain! – so I hope lots of people will choose to watch the Tour from excellent vantage point of the green.”
 
East Harling: Saturday 12 September
East Harling Church, East Harling Old School Hall, and East Harling Sports and Social Club have organised a joint event in the village to take place on 12 September (10am-3pm) and are inviting people to get together to watch the Aviva Tour of Britain go through the village.
 
While they wait, families will be encouraged to enter the family league table which will see them awarded points for competing in various games, from skittles to egg and spoon and sack races. Oversized card and board games and a bouncy castle will also be available.
 
People will have a chance to enter a raffle to win prizes, including an original commemorative watercolour painting of the Tour route by Maz Jackson, internationally renowned artist whose creations include one of the GoGo Dragons – currently residing in St Benedict’s Street in Norwich.
 
Other activities will include a free display by the Sports and Social Club, which will be holding sports activities on the recreation ground. Inside the village’s church will be a bike art display alongside a road and cycling safety competition.
 
Sue Wall, from East Harling Church, said: “The event will be a lot of fun for everybody. East Harling is a beautiful village and will be a great location to watch the Tour go by. We’ve got lots of activities planned and hope families will get into the spirt of the day by taking part in some friendly competitions. We’ll also have lots of refreshments available so people will be able to enjoy the whole day in the village.”
 
Old Buckenham: Saturday 12 September
A family fun day will be held on 12 September on Old Buckenham Green, which – at around 40 acres – is thought to be the largest village green in Britain. Organised by Old Buckenham Parish Council, the celebrations will take place from 11am, running right through the day and evening, and will see visitors able to enjoy all the fun of the fair as games and food and craft stalls are put in place on the green, while local pub, The Ox and Plough, will be holding a beer festival with live music entertainment.
 
The parish council has also organised a village bike ride for families. Meeting at The Ox and Plough at 10am, participants will be invited to cycle together along either a 3-mile or 6-mile route around the village at a leisurely pace. There will also be a 20-mile ride (leaving at 9.30am) for more accomplished cyclists, organised by Diss Cycle Touring Club.
 
There will be a manned bike park outside the village hall, with ample car parking and bike racks. Local cycling clubs are being encouraged to visit the village with Iceni Velo organising a club ride over and members of Diss Cycling Club, Velo Club Norwich, Hethersett Velo and Mulbarton Velo all expected to make the journey.
 
Stephen Rumbelow from Old Buckenham Parish Council’s organising committee commented: “Old Buckenham will be the place to see the Tour as the route makes use of the straight road which cuts through the village green. We’ll have plenty going on for all the family so we hope to see the whole village – and people from all of the surrounding villages – turn out to enjoy the party atmosphere.”
 
On Saturday 12 September, cyclists will also be given the opportunity to race on part of the Aviva Tour of Britain route as part of a separate event being organised by Diss Cycling Club in partnership with Breckland Council that will take place after Stage Seven has passed through.
 
Diss Cycling Club will be staging a series of races for British Cycling Category 3 and 4 riders on a contained 1.1km course around the village green. Membership of British Cycling will not be required for the ‘Go Race’, which is for novices who would like to give the sport a try, or for the Youth Under 12 / Under 10 or the Youth Under 16 / Under 14 races. People interested in taking part in these races can enter online at the British Cycling website here before the deadline on Saturday 5 September. For more information, contact Ken Jolliffe on 01953 681755 or cyclingken8@gmail.com.
 
There will also be an opportunity for anyone age 12 or above to compare their cycling ability to that of the British Cycling Members by riding one timed lap of the Village Green on any type of road legal bike. Entries for this will be taken on the day.
 
Ken Jolliffe, from Diss Cycling Club, said: “We believe this event is unique as we are not aware of any other racing like this being held on the Aviva Tour of Britain route on the day of the race, so it’s exciting that we’ll have the chance to be the first! The Tour is a really inspiring event and I hope lots of people will take the opportunity to join us in one of our races on the day. Just think, every rider in the Aviva Tour of Britain, including Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish MBE, will have started racing in events similar to this!”
 
For more information about Aviva Tour of Britain events taking place in Breckland go to www.breckland.gov.uk/tobcelebrations