A GROUP of enthusiastic cyclists has helped raise funds for a worthy cause during the 2018 Arapiles Cycling Event.
A total of 69 riders from across the country set off from Horsham’s Sawyer Park on Saturday morning towards Natimuk. Of those, 43 riders chose the 123 kilometre circuit, while 26 took the 53 kilometre circuit.
The event raised more than a $1000 through rider fees and donations, which will support the Wimmera Drug Action Task Force. Riders came from all around the Wimmera, as well as Melbourne, Sydney and Mt Gambier.
Course director Leigh O’Connell said the event was a great success.
“We had group of more than 10 riders come up from Melbourne who absolutely loved it,” he said.
“People were coming up to me at the end asking when the next one would be on. We had a tremendous amount of help from Horsham Rural City Council and borrowed our signage from Horsham Cycling Club.
“We were lucky that we had a great day – no break-downs, no injuries and beautiful weather. It was a great day and all credit to Mark (Radford) who puts in a huge amount of hours to get this thing off the ground.”
He said the track to Natimuk was a fantastic ride for all cyclists.
“There were a lot of visitors, so it’s good for the tourism of Natimuk; a few of them might have had coffees from the cafe on their way through,” he said.
Wimmera Drug Action Task Force so-ordinator Sally Pymer said she was grateful for the event’s support over the last four years.
She said money would help the task force provide education to the community about the harms of drugs and alcohol.
“We’re hoping to do some parent information nights, so this money could possibly be put towards that,” she said.
“It will be around educating parents about the supply of alcohol and being a good role model. People seemed to be really positive at the ride, knowing that the money raised would be going towards the task force. A lot of people were also donating extra, which was great to see.”
A team of 26 volunteers ran the event, directing cyclists, managing rest stops and supervising the administration. Organisers hope the ride will be held again in 2019.