Hampshire villagers will exchange golden bicycle pump to mark Olympic Games

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A GOLDEN bicycle pump will be passed from village to village to celebrate the Olympic Games next year.

Instead of an Olympic torch, parishes in East Hampshire are planning to pass on a shiny cycle pump.

East Hampshire District Council and CTC, the national cyclists’ group, are organising the community relay race, which will cover the length and breadth of the district.

To get the wheels turning on this idea, the council wants to recruit cycling enthusiasts who can attract participants and generate interest in their own parish.

Training events will be held to help volunteers lead the rides.

Sarah Walker, the council’s cycling development officer, said: ‘In 2012 we are aiming for an event where each parish would organise a group cycle ride to another parish.

‘The next parish would cycle to another and so on.

‘Ideally this event would be a circular ride and mirror the passing on of the Olympic torch, or in this case a golden cycle pump, which would be awarded to the parish who had gained the greatest participation.

‘We want to find a cycle champion in each parish who would be trained to lead rides and to engage with local people.’

Training events are being held on Monday, May 23 and Tuesday, May 24 and Monday, June 27 and Tuesday, June 28.

To find out more about the event, which is funded by the Big Lottery, contact Sarah Walker on 07775 595998 or sarah.walker@ctc.org.uk.