Norwich hosted the 3rd annual Cycle Swarm event on Bank Holiday Monday, with hundreds of keen cyclists from around the county of Norfolk gathering at the Norwich City Football Ground. The eager riders were welcomed by warm weather and sunny skies, as they departed on their epic treks around the beautiful countryside. Young and old, experienced and novice were in evidence, as the colourful entourage set out on their way.

With three alternative distances available, all standards of ability and fitness were catered for. Competitors could choose between 100, 70 or 35 mile routes, all of which set out from the 'Canaries' home ground situated next to the picturesque Riverside development.

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First off were the hardy 100 milers at 7:45am, with staggered starts akin to the time trials in races such as the Commonwealth Games to ensure that the event did not become overly congested.

With the long distance athletes safely out on the road, the interim event began at 8:20am. 70 miles still provided a stern test of their resolve and offered plenty of saddle time to be endured.

Finally, the far shorter (biking wise) 35 mile entrants were on their way at around 9am. A far more sociable time for a spin no doubt, but still a challenge for the occasional rider whose fitness was in need of a boost.

All of the routes passed out of Norwich, through Salhouse and Wroxham before splitting. The beautiful Norfolk towns and villages provided a homely backdrop to all of the courses, with the finish back at Carrow Road again.

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The longer events journeyed out to the coast, taking in the meandering North Norfolk coastal road en route, then they passed the mill at Buxton before heading back to Norwich.

The charity partner for the Norwich event was the Community Sports Foundation. They do wonderful work in the local community for disabled and underprivileged children through their 'Sporting Light Appeal'.

With Cycle Swarm events being held across the country at different times during the year, they offer a great sporting spectacle and a satisfactory test of endurance. Professionally organised and registered with British Cycling, they are fully insured and allow the riders to don their helmets in a welcoming environment. Rest areas on the course and top up refreshments are also available for those whose energy levels start to flag. Motorcycle outriders and mobile mechanics are on hand for any unexpected bike issues on the routes.

With Britain enjoying something of a renaissance of interest in cycling, the events are a welcome addition in recent years. The professional riders still offer the excitement in such as the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain and the Tour de France (when the legs are held in this country), but Cycle Swarm offers the amateurs their own challenges. Maybe the next Sir Bradley Wiggins could even be inspired by taking part? #Youngsters #Society