Within Market Harborough and the surrounding area there are 2 major family friendly cycle tracks.

The Brampton Valley Way. A 17 mile disused old railway line from Market Harborough to Northampton. There are 2 long dark tunnels along the track so a decent front light is needed for safe passage through.

The other is the Harborough arm of the Grand Union Canal. A 5 mile hard packed canal towpath ride to the Foxton Locks junction.

The River Welland springs-up on the west side of the town, and flows straight through the town centre and then East into the Welland Valley through rolling scenic countryside on the edge of the Rockingham Forest. In the summer, the valley is a hive of activity with cyclists young and old riding the local lanes. The area lends its name to 2 of the local cycling clubs. The Welland Valley Cycle Club and the Rockingham Forest Wheelers. The Welland Valley Cycle Club is the one based in and around Market Harborough and is a family cycling club. With the Whizz Kids section catering for children under the age of 16 (and sponsored by George Halls Cycle Centre), it holds lots of traffic-free activities for the youngsters and then the main cycling club caters for all abilities at all levels and covers every aspect of cycling.

Lots of the local villages have their own small unofficial cycling clubs too, where the village locals will meet up during the summer months, go for a 1 – 2 hour cycle ride ending up at the village pub for an evening light meal and liquid refreshments.

Please let me introduce myself. My name is Neil Holman, I am the current owner of George Halls Cycle Centre, the oldest bike shop in the town and one of the oldest in the country. We can trace our heritage back to 1897 when the shop opened as St Mary’s Motors Cycle & Motorcycle department. I have worked here since 1985 and owned it since 2004.

As well as running  my own business I also run the local mountain bike club, CATS MBC, that was formed in 1997. I co-ordinate and run the local mountain bike cross country series. The FNSS (Friday Night Summer Series). This is the oldest series in the UK and the 2nd oldest in the world, only beaten by 1 year by the UCI world series. I organise 1 or 2 cycle orienteering events a year too for the Midlands Mountain Bike Orienteering Group.

Neil Holman
Author: Neil Holman