First across the line in what was a challenging training ride for these experienced riders were, from left, Dwaine Weston of Traralgon, Jason Strickland Traralgon, Clem Fries Phillip Island, Ben Challis ex-Leongatha now Narre Warren, David Gafa Traralgon and Matt Vanint Melbourne. m734617

There was plenty to do at the 7th annual Bass Coast Cycle Challenge in Inverloch last Sunday with a number of running distances also offered for adults and children. m724617

Among the drivers in the billy cart racing at the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge were Emma, Simon and Erin. m844617

There was time to take in the coastal scenery for these two riders participating in the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge. m744617

Giving the thumbs up to a great day at the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge was one of the day’s organisers Deb Rielly with Captain Koala and Rob Higgins of the Inverloch CFA Brigade. m764617

THE wind and some of the most challenging climbs in Bass Coast and South Gippsland added the degrees of difficulty to the 2017 Bass Coast Cycle Challenge but it wouldn’t be a challenge otherwise.
And once again, in glorious sunshine, the 7th annual family-friendly event was an absolute triumph for organisers.
Event director Gavin Slavin of Inverloch couldn’t have been happier.
“The weather was great and it all went off perfectly,” said Gavin afterwards.
“There were a lot of smiling faces around and everyone really enjoyed themselves.”
In a cycling crazy world, the event has really helped to put Bass Coast on the map and this year, 630 riders turned up to take part.
They entered for the showpiece ride over 121km, with 14 climbs including the 250m high Mt Misery climb, the 85km ride which features eight climbs including Mt Misery, the 53km ride which is a great ride for intermediate riders, the 40km ride also for intermediates and even the 14km and 7km family rides.
The fun family ride followed a 14km loop from Inverloch’s main centre to Eagles Nest and back. For the kids 12 years and under wanting to do something shorter, there was a free 7km loop.
“We also had 80 runners enter the various distances, 50 kids trying out the billy cart racing which was fantastic this year up the main street and back over the finish line, and lots more for everyone to do with the bubble soccer, jumping castles and all the rest.
“We get enormous support from the community; from the SES, police, CFA, Lions, Rotary, scouts, BUGS the bicycle users group and many more; they’re great.”
The proceeds from the day, including the $155 entry fee for the main ride, goes to a worthy local cause funding a driver-cyclist road safety awareness course through every secondary school in South Gippsland and Bass Coast, last year with 2000 kids put through the program.
“It has grown every year to the point where we are now at a sustainable, manageable level around 650 riders.”
Of course bike riding is on an all-time high worldwide and the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge is catering to the local and visiting interest in the event with participants enjoying the chance to take in the magnificent scenery through the hills and down by the Bunurong Coast.