Six-week cycle tour to Aberdeen is springboard for rickshaw rides in Bury St Edmunds
The germ of an idea for setting up rickshaw rides in Bury St Edmunds all began with a six-week cycling tour from the town to Aberdeen.
And now Libby Ranzetta is about to embark on launching the initiative once she has gained a troop of volunteer riders.
A special meeting is being held in the Southgate Community Centre, at 7.30pm, on Thursday, before the rickshaw arrives next month from Denmark and the rides commence round the town in June.
But it was Libby’s six-week ride to the Scottish city in the summer of 2016 with her black cocker spaniel called Raisin which was the springboard for the new project.
Her route took her across the country lanes and byways via Framlingham, Cromer, King’s Lynn the Vale of York, across the Scottish border into Fife and through to journey’s end.
“I used to run a bat rescue centre at my home and had hundreds of them to care for but I developed an allergy to their food so had to give it up and I needed a big adventure so took on the ride to Aberdeen.
“It was wonderful and everywhere we stopped Raisin was mobbed by people. We had so much fun. And then I linked up with some people back in Bury and the idea for the rickshaw developed.”
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The Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw was set up as a new charity with trustees Libby, councillor Ann Williamson and Sam Reid.
Funding to purchase the rickshaw and for running costs, which comes to £7,000, for the first year has come from six town and borough councillors’ locality budgets ... David Nettleton, Trevor Beckwith, Jo Rayner, John Augustine, Sarah Stamp and Julia Wakelam.
Libby said: “We’re now looking for volunteer riders who can spare a couple of hours a week to pilot the rickshaw. It has an electric-assist motor to help with the pedalling, so you don’t have to be a super strong cyclist.
“Bury’s such a beautiful town and cycle-friendly too, so it’s perfect for this project, especially as we’ve got permission to ride in the Abbey Gardens and the Arc as well. The rickshaw will be quite a sight - it’s going to be great fun for passengers and riders alike.”
The Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw project is based on the Cycling Without Age scheme that originated in Copenhagen and is now popular in many towns and cities all over the world.
It will offer free rides around the town to people experiencing limited mobility/and or social isolation. The idea is to give people an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and interaction with the rider and passers by.
“Our rickshaw is a specially adapted tricycle that carries two passengers at the front, giving them an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and interaction with others – the rider, and passers-by. Passengers will be picked up from their home or day centre and taken for a slow and chatty tour of the town,” added Libby.
For more details to book a ride or volunteer see www.bserickshaw.org.uk or call 01284 339449.