With proceeds from the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge going to the RYDA Road Safety Education Program throughout Bass Coast and South Gippsland, program coordinator Catherine Smith and day manager Ben Langan were delighted to be out promoting this worthy cause at Inverloch on Saturday.

And they’re off, more than 600 of them, in the eighth annual Bass Coast Cycle Challenge in superb conditions for riding around the green rolling hills of Bass Coast and South Gippsland. m384618

Former Australian road race champion and stage winner of the Giro d’Italia and Tour Down Under, Dave McKenzie was one of the celebrity riders in the 121km circuit of the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge last Saturday, making a special appeal to the crowd for a wheel or two to help him around the course.

THEY came in their droves for the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge and Family Festival last Saturday morning at Inverloch.
And with ideal riding weather and fantastic scenery in the green, rolling hills of Bass Coast and South Gippsland… they’ll be back again.
Around 600 riders turned out for the 8th edition of the event and many of them came with family and friends and stayed on to add further to the local economy.
It could hardly have been any more successful, and it’s all for a good cause.
“By entering this event you provide the means for our local kids to receive driver/cycling awareness education through the RYDA program run by the not-for-profit organisation, Road Safety Education Australia, and the L2P charity program,” said event co-director Gavin Slavin on behalf of the BCCCFF committee.
“Thanks to you and past riders, we’ve put over 2000 high school students in the local area through this program, making the roads safer for us all.”
Program coordinator Catherine Smith said eight local secondary schools in Wonthaggi, Phillip Island, Korumburra, Leongatha, Foster and Mirboo North had received rider training through the program with a further 400 students at Leongatha set to receive support later in November this year.
Together with other RYDA supporters, Catherine was handing out wrist bands with the RYDA motto ‘My Life, My Choices’ reflecting the healthy lifestyles messages of the program.
“Event day was a great success,” said Gavin.
“Inverloch was a buzz with activity and cyclists of all ages and abilities made their way along the beautiful routes, which included the Strzelecki Ranges and the coast road.
Plenty of families enjoyed the 14km family ride to Eagles Nest and the 7km kids loop; and there were many smiles during the billy cart races and the Pimp My Bike contest, where a new bike was up for grabs courtesy of Wheel Heat in Wonthaggi.
“The demographics of the BCCCFF is always fascinating. Our youngest rider (in one of our cornerstone rides) was 11, while our most senior rider was 80. We saw over 140 riders enter in age categories of 60 and above, with one male and female in this age bracket winning $250 prize money donated by the Gippsland Lifestyle Magazine.”
He thanked the major sponsors including Pentana Solutions, Wheel Heat Wonthaggi, Lions Club, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Carman’s Bars and other supporters including Body Torque, Gippsland Lifestyle Magazine, Bass Coast Barracudas, Coastal Crewzers, Bass Coast Triathlon Club, Lynton Clay Photography, Noel Fenn and Carbon Mafia, Dave McKenzie, Felicity Dales, Scouts, Beach Box Café and the volunteers for setting up, packing away, helping with the food and also at registration.