Today was the day that the 500 Mile Fairtrade Bike Ride came through Hay-on-Wye.
Three cyclists did the 60 miles from Bridgnorth (or perhaps a bit more than 60 miles when they got lost/went the pretty way in the small lanes). Ray, who is 68 years old, did the entire 60 miles, with his two beautiful young assistants doing 30 miles each and sharing the driving of the support vehicle.
We had quite a gathering to greet them to Hay: Roger Williams, the MP; Mary Fellowes the Mayor; Fiona Howard the headmistress of the Primary School (which was the first Fairtrade primary school in Wales); Peter Lloyd, a previous mayor and member of the council; Mike Like, another councillor; George the Town Cryer, who gave the official welcome; Jo Eliot of the Fairtrade group, who organised the event, and Lady Matilda de Breos (who built Hay Castle in the 12th Century).
Also there were the contingent from Drover Holidays led by Anna Heywood and her husband, who are doing the 60 miles from Hay to Ammanford tomorrow, with a brief stop off at Brecon, which is the other Fairtrade town on the route. One of the cyclists for tomorrow was also representing the Co-op this evening - he came straight from work in his official jacket, which was nice because the Co-op kindly donated the wine for the evening. All the snacks were either Fairtrade (from the Co-op) or local produce, which was Tyrell's Crisps. We had three well known local buskers, led by Briar, to sing the Proclaimers hit 500 Miles with Fairtrade words, and Tim from the Transition Towns group. Sally (and Poreg the dog), who support the Fairtrade group in Hay, came along too. If I've missed anyone out, I apologise - it was quite packed in the Council Chambers, anyway).
Kirsty Williams, our AM, was unable to attend as she was somewhere in North Wales, but sent her good wishes.
The official scroll was signed by the Bridgnorth cyclists and handed over ceremonially to Anna, who will sign it along with all the other cyclists who get to Ammanford tomorrow evening, and pass it on to their cyclists for the next stage, which will be down to Cardiff and the finishing line.
Tomorrow, the Hay contingent will depart from Drover Holidays, near the main car park, at 9am, with as many people with bikes who wish to join them for a little way. Apparently Ammanford are putting on a circus skills workshop to greet them in the evening.