The fourth annual Newcastle to Dungog Charity Bike Ride, the region's most challenging and scenic cycling event, will start at Newcastle Foreshore on Saturday, October 26, to raise funds for HMRI medical research.
The 90-kilometre route wends its way through four local government areas ‚Äì Newcastle, Port Stephens, Great Lakes and Dungog ‚Äì before reaching the forested foothills of Barrington. For safety, it is marshalled by Rotary Club of Newcastle volunteers.
Organisers are expecting more than 200 riders, catering for everyone from elite racers who average more than 35km/h through to “tourers”, “cruisers” and “charleys”.
Tim Owen AM MP, Member for Newcastle, will flag the lead riders away from the new starting point of Customs House at 6.30am before jumping onto his own bicycle.
“I got a taste of it last year when I rode part of the way and I'm looking forward to getting back out on the road,” he said.
“The 2012 ride raised $12,000 for HMRI, which went towards funding a proactive smoking cessation program that has the potential to make a huge impact for the health of the community.”
“It's great to see a fitness activity like this helping people to quit smoking.”
Upon crossing the finish line at Dungog's Jubilee Park, riders will be greeted by Rotary members manning a barbecue.
Event spokesman Ian Bourne said that a train service provided in previous years was unavailable.
“Riders have to make their own way home,” Ian said. “The fitter guys will ride back to Newcastle while others will be met by family members for a picnic then pack their bikes onto their cars.”
“The course passes through beautiful countryside that riders don't often see, so it's really worth the effort.”
“This really is a unique event in the Hunter.”