Funds and friendship: Cyclist Tim Canny said the Ballarat Cycle Classic brings serious and recreational riders together, connecting the community. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Up for the Cycle Classic challenge?

January 17, 2021 BY

ROAD or mountain bike riders, runners and walkers are invited to take part in this year’s many Ballarat Cycle Classic events which aim to generate funds for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute.

Ballarat Sebastopol Cycling Club president and BCC committee member Tim Canny is preparing to ride 160 kilometres as part of the Spud100-Mile on Sunday, 21 February.

Cycling the course in 2020, he enjoyed the challenging length and said that’s “the best thing about it.”

“I do a lot of riding around the 100-kilometre mark, but 160 is out of my comfort zone. It’s a long way and a long time to spend on the bike for five or six hours,” he said.

“You can’t just turn up and do it, it’s something you have to prepare for. Having an event and challenge like this to aim for keeps me motivated and driven in my training.

“Anyone who’s a bit of a weekend warrior, doing 100-kilometre rides, it’s a great opportunity for them to step it up and see if they can make the full distance of 160 kilometres.”

Mr Canny said the Spud100-Mile can seem deceiving when looking on a map, but there’s plenty of climbing involved.

“We have a lot of little hills around Ballarat, so there’s not a whole lot of flat sections; it’s not easy. Some of the hills are long, some are steep, but it’s a good ride because of its variety and great scenery.

“For the riders that haven’t been here before, it will do a lot to sell Ballarat as a destination,” he said.

A new edition to the Cycle Classic is the FulGaz Virtual Ride, making the fundraiser more accessible to those that can’t hit the road locally.

One hundred, 85, 60 and 50-kilometre road rides will run, alongside 50, 40 and 30-kilometre mountain bike events.

A six-kilometre lake ride and 28-kilometre adventure trail will be fun for families, while runners might enjoy the 16-kilometre course or 21.1-kilometre half-marathon.

A simple six-kilometre on-foot lap of Lake Wendouree is another easy way to get involved.