Offering the benefits of altitude and steep climbs, the Snowy Mountains has long been well known among competitive cyclists and coaches Australia – wide as a great training ground.
But more and more , the region is also attracting groups of cyclists of all levels and ages, who are drawn by the sheer challenge of riding hills on smooth and well constructed roads through the beauty of the National Park.
For local riders, it’s the equivalent of cycling Heaven. And while Jindabyne Cycling Club (JCC) members might have what they consider the honour of being able to ride through the Snowy Mountains whenever they like, they look forward to the club’s annual Round the Block Training Ride each year with huge excitement.
Usually ridden over three days from Jindabyne to Adaminaby to Khancoban and back to Jindabyne was altered this year to an out and back ride, due to Cabra-Khancoban Rd being closed between Tooma and Khancoban due to tree risk following a bush-fire.
The ninth annual event held at the weekend attracted 40 participants to a "Half the Block and back again’’ event which saw them ride 320km through some of best cycling country in the world based out of Adaminaby.
Club president Gary Pearson said it was a hugely successful weekend despite the last minute change of route, offering riders a mixture of mountain climbs and rolling plains.
" Every rider was tested each day and then enjoyed the company of fellow enthusiasts each evening at Adaminaby,’’ he said. "of the riders were locals with the rest from the Merimbula Pambula area. Finishing all the riders gathered at Parc cafe Jindabyne to examine there feats and excitedly plan for next year's 10th anniversary ride.’’
Gary thanks long time club member and Vice President Andrew Harrigan for organizing the ride and also Lyn Mutton and Ursula for driving support vehicles.
For first time Merimbula rider Mike May, the event was well organised. "It was very well organised event and there are some great people in the club. I rode 310km and 5000m elevation gain. Returning home on day two was a challenge as we had already done a fair bit of climbing to get to the 1/2 way point. Day two was easily the hardest ride I have done. I would like to do it again."
Club member Tina Jones, who has recently returned from a cycling tour of Thailand said the ride had challenged her. "I actually rode all the way to Cabramurra I rode about half the way back and I’m ok with that because I wasn’t planning on riding the whole thing anyway. Time was my problem. I’m slow on climbs and this ride is the most climbing I’ve ever done. But the scenery was stunning and everyone was so supportive.’’
Also on the ride was JCC secretary Sheryl Rotondo. An endurance cyclist, Sheryl moved to Jindabyne a year ago and set up a Australian Alpine Cycling retreats to help cyclists experience the riding country she fell in love with. We offer similiar to the Block ride in the area for groups, ‘’ she said. More information about the rides offered can be found at www.australianalpinecyclingretreats.com.au
SECOND STATE TITLE FOR GEORGIA
Meanwhile, JCC junior member Georgia Gardner collected the second state championship medal of her new cycling career, winning the under 13 ACT criterium championship at Stromlo last Thursday night.
Georgia in only her second bike race rode a tactical and strong event at Stromlo tonight heavily marked by the local rider she beat in the road race last Saturday, to win the title by six bike lengths in a solo sprint.
She kept safe out of the wind for the 15 minute plus two laps race on the purpose built criterium circuit at Stromlo then attacked on the final uphill corner, gained a gap and gave it 100pc to the line. Unfortunately the u15 events were cancelled so teammates Gabi and Zac were unable to race.
Got a child keen on road cycling? Get in touch with club coach Karen Forman 0425675555.