A bumper weekend for bike riding in Newcastle begins at 6.30am on Saturday, October 25, when up to 200 lycra-clad cyclists depart Nobbys Beach bound for picturesque Dungog.
The annual Rotary Newcastle-Dungog Charity Bike Ride has previously raised over $45,000 for medical research while encouraging physical activity. With late entries being accepted, organisers are expecting an impressive peloton comprising elite racers through to social riders.
The route wends its way to the foothills of Barrington via four local government areas – Newcastle, Port Stephens, Great Lakes and Dungog. Rotary Club of Newcastle members serve as marshals and man a drinks stop near The Bucketts Way turn-off.
Members of the Dungog club then welcome riders upon arrival at the town’s Jubilee Park, providing a much-appreciated barbecue. There is ample parking for family and friends who wish to drive up.
“It’s always great to see so many cyclists doing their bit for medical research through HMRI,” event spokesman Ian Bourne said. “It’s a challenging ride in parts, but the course takes in scenic countryside that riders don’t often see.”
From Nobbys it follows the Industrial Highway and Maitland Road, crosses Hexham Bridge then follows the Pacific Highway to The Bucketts Way. From there it’s on to Limeburners Creek Road before finishing with a gradual climb to Dungog.
The event coincides with Bikefest activities and precedes a shorter Crowne 2 Crowne ride the following day.
Support from the Dungog ride last year co-funded a smoking cessation project titled “Quit-STAIR” being run by Associate Professor Christine Paul.
Building on Quitline telephone support, it is trialling a more proactive ‘stepped’ approach using successively more intensive cessation treatments.
Tobacco use is responsible for more than 5 million deaths per year globally.
Entry fee for the Rotary Newcastle-Dungog Charity Bike Ride is just $55 plus optional donation to HMRI via online registration. More details at www.newcastledungogbikeride.org.au
HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.