Take the two-wheeled option to Straw Bear Festival

Sustrans rangers leading the way to historic Cambridgeshire festival

Things can get a bit strange in the Fens at this time of year

 Local people are being encouraged to travel in a healthy and environmentally-friendly way to this year’s historic Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival in the English country of Cambridgeshire.  They can do so by joining a guided family bike ride organised by Sustrans volunteer rangers.  


The origins of the festival are lost in the mists of time but after a 70 year hiatus it was revived in 1980, since when it has gone from strength to strength. During the festival a man dressed as the eponymous straw bear processes through the town stopping at various places for refeshment, accompanied by over 250 dancers, musicians and performers from all over the UK, as well as local townsfolk and visitors. 

This year,  rangers who help the sustainable transport charity Sustrans look after the cycling and walking routes in the area, are meeting at 10.30am on Saturday January 12 at the Key Theatre and will guide riders along National Cycle Network Route 63 to the festival at Whittlesey ( the modern day spelling of the town’s name). The ride will give anyone new to cycling or less confident in the saddle, an opportunity to enjoy beautiful views en route to the festival with rangers leading the ride at a leisurely pace.  

Cyclists will also be able to try out the newly-surfaced path which runs from near the ShanksMillenniumBridge into Whittlesey.   Nigel Brigham, Sustrans East of England Director, plans to join the ride with his family and says: “I am looking forward to the ride; it is a much more attractive way to get to the festival than going by road and at least a mile shorter so we should have plenty of energy to enjoy the celebrations and pedal home.  Cycling to the festival is a great active way to start the New Year, and you won’t feel guilty about enjoying the refreshments on offer when you get there!” 


Riders are advised to wear suitable clothing and check the roadworthiness of their bike before setting off.  Children are welcome, but will need to be with a responsible adult.  Riders will be expected to make their own journey home after the festival.  The ride is weather-dependent.  For more information on the ride please contact Nigel Brigham on 01733 319981.