Hay-on-Wye’s not just about books – it’s about bikes, too. The Hay Festival kicks off just a month after the town’s annual Bike Fest (this year two events even shared the same site manager, who skilfully oversaw construction of the Bike Fest hub as he sowed the first seeds of the Hay Festival village on the outskirts of town).
Now – if you’ve ever tried inching your car through the crowds of bookworms during festival week, you’ve probably pondered better ways to travel. Thankfully, there is one – and it’s pedal-powered. Hay’s narrow streets, one-way system and notoriously over-subscribed car park are perhaps best navigated from the perch of a velocipede. The straight, 1-mile jaunt from town to the festival site is a breeze on two wheels, and on-site stands installed by the local bike shop offer a secure place to leave your steed while you absorb some food for thought at one of the talks. What’s more, you don’t even need to bring your own bicycle – Drover Cycles have a massive hire fleet covering everything from road bikes, to leisure bikes, to top-end mountain bikes. For the pedal-shy, they even have the latest electric, motor-assisted cycles. The store is throwing itself into this year’s festival with gusto. Hidden around Hay between the leaves of bike-related tomes in the town’s second-hand bookshops, they’ll be leaving a stack of money-off vouchers redeemable during festival week. There 10x£5 and one £25 golden ticket up for grabs.
On Monday 26th May Drover is organising a free but ticketed afternoon led ride, with a pit-stop at a beautifully-restored, 18th century water mil or saddle up on Wednesday 28th May and join the local cycling club, Velo Hay, for one of their weekly evening outings, leaving Drover HQ on Forest Road at 6pm.
Contact the shop on 01487 822 419 to book a slot on their led ride, or to arrange bike hire. For more info visit the Drover Cycles website.