Toby and daughter Ellena tandem cycled their way around the 40km loop. tm11_4619

Patrick and dad Dean had been training along Beach Road ahead of the cycle challenge. tm10_4619

Turning up in high spirits were Ken and Jane Fennessy with Marcia Lewis. tm09_4619

‘Mad cyclist’ Toby Pickering brought along his family to the 40km ride, with daughter Ellena and wife Kim. tm08_4619

Warm friendships were made ahead of the 40km event, here with Michael Claven, Henry Heyden, Frank Cisuarda, Anne
Nunan, and Anne Gilbert. tm07_4619

The 2019 Bass Coast Cycle Challenge cycling kit is stylish and highly visible. tm12_4619

ON the road, safety was the major concern.
The mission of the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge (BCCC) doubled as they raised funds for the RYDA program and carried out their annual cycle route through wet and windy condition.
With over 450 participants completing the ninth annual BCCC event at the weekend, it seemed the typical South Gippsland weather didn’t deter cyclists.
Visitor attendance was impressive with many cyclists coming from as far as Bendigo, Sandringham and Trafalgar.
From San Remo, Anne Gilbert – a cyclist with the Phillip Island Bike Rider User Group – was well prepared for the event.
“It’s my second time riding the challenge, last year was a bit warmer, but I’ve got the wet weather gear so it should be fine,” Anne said prior to the event.
Due to the imminent weather forecast, ride distances were reduced. The 121km event was scaled back to join the 85km event and the 53km event was united with the 40km loop.
Addressing the start of the 40km event, Ken Barnes encouraged the participants to take their time and enjoy the supported ride.
“It is wet and it is windy, but that’s what cycling is sometimes and for the cause of the ride, the RYDA program, it’s crucial us and young drivers can operate safely in all conditions,” said Ken.
With the money raised funding the road safety education program RYDA, senior program advisor Catherine Smith says the BCCC support is invaluable to many young learning drivers.
“The education young drivers receive whilst in the RYDA program means they are safer drivers when they are learning and while they’re on their Ps,” Catherine said.
“Learning doesn’t stop once drivers have completed their 120 hours,” she said.
Catherine says the program is focused on behavioural change and with the support of BCCC has educated over 2000 young drivers.
“It’s important drivers have experience in all conditions. Riders can be harder to see in wet weather, but cars still need to give riders at least a metre to pass safely,” said Catherine.