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Caution: this cycle is reversing!



Newbury Road Club ‘Reverse Steer Bikes’ provide fun and games at Wash Common Community Festival


It seemed simple enough. Ride a bike 10 metres and win a bottle of Fizz. That was the challenge set by Newbury Road Club on its stand at the Wash Common Community Festival, at Falkland Cricket Club on Saturday 10th September. The festival, now in its second year, is designed to promote local community groups, charities and organisations.

So, what was the catch with the Newbury Road Club Challenge? This seemingly simple task had to be completed on one of the clubs specially adapted ‘reverse steer bikes’. That’s a bike that when you turn the handlebars one way, the wheel goes the other. Dozens of hopefuls queued to take on the challenge but most failed in the first metre. Yet NRC Cyclist Alex Pickard was able to demonstrate riding the contraption around the wicket and beyond!


“I had to retrain my brain and balance to think in reverse, “explained Alex. “It’s like learning to ride a bike for the first time without stabilisers only harder – as you have to unlearn what you already know.”

That did not stop many visitors desperate to have a go and eventually perseverance paid off. Local cyclist Dave Austin, refusing to give in, eventually made the distance and picked up the trophy for his efforts.



The reverse steer bike may have been a bit of fun, but it is part of the serious campaign to encourage more local cyclists to enjoy the benefits of exercise, coupled with good company, conversation and occasionally cake.





NRC Alex Pickard presents Dave Austin with award for completing the challenge
NRC Alex Pickard (right) presents Dave Austin with award for completing the challenge.

If you would like to find out more about Newbury Road Club and its group rides, it is inviting local cyclists to join one of its regular Sunday rides at a ‘Come and Try It’ event at 9.00 am on Sunday 2nd October. It’s an open invitation, just turn up at Newbury Market Place ready to ride. Whether you’re just starting out or experienced racer, the Club will provide the inspiration, motivation and organisation. All you need is your bike – but not a reverse steer model!

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