Orbital Festival

Orbital Cycling Festival Report


Orbital Cycling Festival Report


Words by Mark Tearle


August 2013


The Orbital Cycling Festival by bikesoup.cc, bringing all the fun of the fair to Goodwood, because what Goodwood needs is a cycling Festival and that is a fact.




I must admit that I was late to the party – Goodwood is but an hour from me and though the Orbital Cycling Festival had appeared in my periphery view a few weeks prior it was not something that fully drew my attention straight away, which is a great shame as this is the kind of thing that could keep you fully engrossed and entertained on an idle weekend.


Spanning a full weekend, opening late afternoon on Friday 26th through to early evening on Sunday 28th July, an adult day pass on the Saturday crossing palms at £12, a youth pass at £8, with under 13’s free of charge, or a full weekend for £24 and £13 respectively, with discounted family tickets available and camping from £49 per pitch.


Reasonable pricing and not too prohibitive in these days at the tail end of austerity, but you know, the bike market remains buoyant and the Orbital Festival held a lot of promise as a great weekend with a ‘what’s on’ and attractions list as long as your arm plus an interesting array of industry traders in the ‘paddock expo’ area.


Entry to the various races and events was in advance by purchasing a festival entry pass, which obviously gained you access to the rest of the festival for the day or the weekend with an additional entry charge for the race or event of choice. A sliding scale of entry fees that may have seen racing numbers suffer as a result.


I had a pass for the Saturday and got to Goodwood reasonably early with my friend Gavin, who had ordered a day pass via the Orbital Cycling Festival website the night before but there was no obvious sign posting to the place for collecting the wrist band so we had to ask the first marshal we found.


Gavin received polite instruction and went off in search of the registration desk. I’m not sure if you could turn up and pay on the day; I’ve not noticed that mentioned anywhere and there didn’t seem to be a set-up to be able to do this, but I could be wrong.


It was still early but footfall numbers seemed muted, perhaps as a result of the ghastly weather forecast or, as suggested above, the additional cost of race entry. The weather as it happened remained bright and warm throughout the morning and well into the afternoon, with the predicted storms not arriving until about 4pm, though punter numbers remained sluggish throughout the day, though there was quite a buzz around the racing arena.


Gavin and I spent most of the day drinking coffee, mooching about the trade stands and chatting with various people we know, we watched some of the Brompton Eliminator racing and directly after eating a bacon sandwich (Gavin) and a pint of Dark Star Hop Head we perched ourselves on the Rollapaluza Brompton’s for a spinoff!




By the way ‘Look Mum No Hands’ £4.50 for a pint of Dark Star is extortion! Anyway, if you ever get a chance to ride the Rollapaluza rollers do it; it’s the best fun this side of Christmas I reckon.


Look Mum No Hands


I’m told that numbers picked up considerably for the Sunday, with the draw of the Brompton World Championship – 4 laps of the famous Goodwood Motor racing circuit with a Le Mans style start – the win was taken by Michael Hutchinson, with Isabel Hastie the fastest female.  Full results and other information can be found here: Brompton World Championships 2013 Results



Watching that short film above makes me REALLY want a Brompton.


There was so much to see and do, including the highly skilled exploits of the Animal Action Sports tour with Martyn Ashton of ‘Bike Party’ fame (you know, that fellow who does skill stunts on a Pinarello), Blake Samson and free runner Luke Madigan – they make it all look so easy…


Martyn Ashton


As an inaugural event I believe the weekend went well. I am impressed with the full inclusiveness of the events; men, women and children all having fun and it’s always a pleasure to look at new shiny bike things. Pricing around the events needs to be considered for next year, with perhaps British Cycling ranking attached to the races so that those who are a little more serious about their racing have something to compete for beyond the spot prizes.


Enough of me teaching people to suck eggs… The Orbital Cycling Festival is a very welcome addition to the cycling calendar and I really do hope to see it return in 2014 bigger and better.


Orbital Festival Website

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