Bike rides are big and the first Pedal the Peel cycling event next month looks set to wheel plenty of riders in.
It will be held on Sunday, October 21 and chief pedal pusher Terry Robinson said the Rotary Club of Tamworth First Light initiative was designed for the whole community, not just the fit, sports-minded athletes.
“The motivation behind it is to create something for the whole family to enjoy, that irrespective of their fitness level, anyone can become involved in,” Mr Robinson said.
“So many events out there are so competitive, and that can put some people off who feel they might not be fit enough to complete the course, which is why we’ve devised a variety of courses.”
With a starting point of William Cowper School on Tribe St, the family course is 15km, where cyclists ride out to the Moore Creek Hall, stop for some refreshments and then cycle back. This can be a fully escorted tour, with the group riding between two vehicles with flashing lights, or cyclists can ride at their own pace.
The 55km course could appeal to regular cyclists who ride two or three times a week. With the same starting point, the route takes them along Moonbi Gap Rd to Moonbi, Tanglewood Rd and Limbri Rd to Kootingal, Sandy Rd, Porcupine Ln, Daruka Rd and Forest Rd and back to the starting point.
“The serious cyclist will find the 115km course a challenge, but I’m sure people, particularly those from outside the region, will enjoy it as it shows off some of our most picturesque countryside,” Mr Robinson said.
“Four local charities were chosen to benefit from the rides – the Tamworth Adventure Playground, the SES, Tamworth Salvation Army and Billabong Clubhouse – and when you register you have the choice of who your registration dollars are directed to, giving each participant true ownership of the event.”
Mr Robinson said it was a fundraiser as well as a fun event, with the cleverly named Blue Edge cycling team, mirroring Australia’s Green Edge team that competes in the Tour de France; and even one bloke cycling in a kangaroo suit – so the more innovative, the better.
“You can be as competitive or as non-competitive as you like. If you want to ride hard, you can, and if you want to ride with your kids, you can do that, too,” he said.
Upon completion of the course there will be a celebratory atmosphere back at William Cowper School with live music, a cake and slice stall to build up those carbs lost on the journey, tents, a jumping castle, tables and chairs for relaxing and safety talks from police and firies for the kids.
There will also be a bike track for the littlies – who may have been too small to attack the family ride– to tackle .
“Now’s the time to do it if people want to get involved, as a lot of people give up cycling in the winter,” he said.
“I’d like to get 500 riders, but I’m not sure if that’s achieveable, so we’ve kept the registration fees low to make it more affordable.”
Mr Robinson hopes to attract riders from outside the area and has sent the website link – www.pedalthepeel.org.au – to a number of cycling organisations around the state.
His aim is to raise $20,000, but even half of that would be a great start to what he hopes will become an annual, fun event for all the family.
Entry is open to individuals, families and business organisations. He’s hoping for some friendly rivalry among the business community, with firms issuing challenges to their counterparts across the city. Local offices of Eversol, Forsyths and NAB are sponsors.