HUNDREDS of unicyclists will descend on Horwich this summer when the town hosts the UK’s first National unicycling road race.
The milestone event is taking place as part of this year’s Festival of Racing, between June 12 and 16.
For the first time, the annual festival, which in the past has involved a number of Olympians, including Jason Kenny and Laura Trott, will include unicycles thanks to the intervention of a Bolton GP.
Dr Julian Page, who works at Crompton Health Centre and is a member of the Union of UK Unicyclists, contacted the festival organisers to suggest the race.
The father-of-two, from Bromley Cross, said he thought the festival was a great opportunity to have a road race in England.
Dr Page, aged 52, and his 18-year-old daughter, Claire, have been riding unicycles for about four years and are both planning to take part in the race.
They will use 36-inch wheel unicycles for the seven-mile race.
Dr Page said: “Riding a unicycle is a challenge and I think it is the hardest skill I have ever learned.
“I think the older you are the harder it is. But it is good fun and has great health benefits.
“Having a road race at the festival will be great publicity for unicycling and will make more people aware of the sport.”
Races president Barbara Ronson, said: “We have had some interesting races in the past, but this one looks like a unique opportunity.
“Hopefully, our one-wheeled competitors will add a new dimension to the event and add to the carnival atmosphere on the day.”
Kris Abraham, chairman of the Union of UK Unicyclists, which has more than 500 members, said: “This will be our first official road race and whoever wins the race in Horwich will be the British road racing champion. I think as soon as people find out there is going to be a race there will be quite a lot of interest.”