Racing: Under 13 riders at last month’s Merv Dean One Day Event, part of the club tour named in honour of the gifted cyclist and BDCC member for some 50 years. Photo: DION JELBART

Cycling club builds skills and connections

July 29, 2021 BY

YOU don’t have to be one of the city’s next champion riders to join the Bendigo and District Cycling Club, but you can learn from them.

Despite boasting a range of current and ex-professional members, BDCC race organiser Darren Casey said the club’s focus in on sharing the varied benefits of cycling with the community.

“The club is about your general punter bike rider,” he said.

“The other main thing is participation, it’s about comradery. The beauty of cycling, especially when you ride in a group, is it’s a real social, mental health connection.

“It is a very social club. I’ve got friends for life.”

Casey said the club taps into Bendigo’s large pool of cycling talent to educate and build the confidence of all riders from juniors to seniors.

“We try to give the newcomers a chance and we’re lucky that there are experienced riders that will help them or coach them.

“The key to the club is development with our junior riders, the girls and the boys, and that naturally progresses into the senior ranks.

“The Bendigo club is so diverse that we have a lot of girls as well which is great to see. We are a very strong female orientated club.”

Casey said BDCC offers opportunities for members to participate in a range of different cycling events, usually averaging 50 to 80 kilometres in length.

A growing interest in gravel riding, particularly amongst newcomers picking up cycling as a form of lockdown-friendly physical activity, has prompted the club to schedule a race later this year.

“That’s why we’re putting on a gravel race event in November to cater for that new, different league of people or a different type of person that maybe is interested but they don’t want to go out on the road and race,” Casey said.

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