Tom Simpson Retro Ride and Cycling Festival 2023
Friday 15th, Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th September 2023
Friday evening dinner, with guest speaker and social from 6pm.
All-day Saturday Cycling Festival events from 9am onwards.
Retro Ride starts 10am on Sunday, with presentations after.
The Tom Simpson Retro Ride grew so rapidly in its first two years, by popular demand and following suggestions from our wonderful participants the third edition was expanded to 2-days to incorporate a Retro Cycling Festival on the Saturday. The 2022 festival had an outside cyclist’s market, an exhibition of wonderful retro race bikes and other cycling memorabilia inside Harworth and Bircotes Town Hall. There were also films shown inside the Town Hall, an interesting tech talk by Richard Hallett on the science and art of steel frame building, and really entertaining interviews with former pro riders; national champions Russ Downing and Sid Barras, world champion Mandy Jones and winner of eight stages in the Tour de France, Barry Hoban. The whole day was run off in a warm, relaxed, joyful atmosphere.
Russ and Mandy joined everybody on the Retro Ride next day, which went off in perfect weather. After the ride there was a Best in Show competition for individuals and for teams riding the same brand bike, with judging by experienced show judge and our trophy sponsor, Bill Barrowcliff. Prizes for the competition were then presented by Bill who was helped by Helen Hoban and Tom Simpson’s daughter Joanne.
Russ Downing and Mandy Jones both said they will take part in the 2023 Tom Simpson Retro Ride and Cycling Festival. Other former pros, and some current ones will also be on the Retro Ride. Barry and Helen Hoban will be there helping, as well as Joanne Simpson. We’ve got more former pros and ex-champions to entertain you in the Town Hall and throughout the Saturday Cycling Festival. There will be new films, a bigger and better cyclist’s market, and although the 2022 display of retro bikes and memorabilia was incredible, it will be even better in 2023.
We’ve also acted on some feedback from participants who attended the whole weekend in 2022. They arrived in Harworth or surrounding towns and villages on the Friday, and felt it would be good if we added something extra to bring people together on that Friday evening. So this year, and for the first time, we have a dinner and social event at Harworth and Bircotes Town Hall on Friday evening, 15th September (please note - the dinner and social event is now fully booked). Catering is by the Harworth and Bircotes Foodbank, who the proceeds from the Friday evening will go to. The foodbank has an initiative in which skilled chefs cater for events on their behalf, and the money they make from the events helps the foodbank do its essential job in the community. The Friday evening event will be a dinner, nothing too formal, a noted speaker to entertain you, and we’ll all be able to have a good old chit-chat afterwards.
Entry for Sunday’s Retro Ride also covers admission for the ride participant and one other to all events inside the Town Hall. The Friday evening dinner and social is an extra option, so if you want to attend the dinner and social you book it as a separate item on the entry page, which you get to by selecting ‘click here to enter’ below. There is also a non-ride ticket option you can select if you want to come to the Cycling Festival events in the town hall, but not do the ride. You could also just book tickets for just the dinner if you wanted to. Please note dinner tickets are ‘per head’ one ticket per person.
The event is organised by the Simpson Cycling Club and Cycling Legends Events, with any profit going to the Tom Simpson Memorial Fund, which as well as caring for Tom’s memorial stones, awards annual cash grants to young cyclists living in the South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire region. Previous recipients include Ben Turner, who now races on the World Tour for the INEOS-Grenadiers team, George Wood and James Hawkins who are making great progress with the Cycling Sheffield elite team, and the multi-British BMX champion Ava Brown.
The Retro Ride starts and finishes at Harworth and Bircotes Town Hall. Some of Saturday’s Retro Cycling Festival events and the Friday dinner and social are in the Town Hall and in its car park and grounds. The Town Hall address is Harworth & Bircotes Town Hall, Scrooby Road, Bircotes, Doncaster, DN11 8JP. Sunday’s Retro Ride starts and finishes outside Harworth & Bircotes Town Hall. There will be food and other refreshments stalls on site on both days. There is free water and food for riders at the start of the Retro Ride, and food station with water and cakes at around halfway (a bit over halfway for the middle-distance ride).
Tom Simpson grew up in Harworth and started cycling there. The route runs through quiet pastoral countryside on roads Tom used for his training rides. These roads were where he discovered his ambition to become a world class professional cyclist, and where he first raced. The Retro Ride offers two distances to choose from; the 50-kilometre middle-distance and the 84-kilometre longer ride. They both explore the quiet lanes of North Nottinghamshire, with short dips into North Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire. The routes are mostly flat, with some rolling sections and one steep climb. The rides share most of the same roads, with the middle-distance only missing the northern section of the longer route. You can choose which route you ride on the day.
All photos courtesy of Andy Jones
The Tom Simpson Retro Ride & Cycling Festival is sponsored by Premium Motorhomes of Doncaster
Premium Motorhomes is a Doncaster based, family run company that has been providing the absolute best in luxury high-end motor homes for over 10 years. Check out their website: www.premiummotorhomes.com/