OFF TO LEYBURN: Three riders in their 70s, Merv Newnham, Bob Finch and Ramon Rodrigo, at the Warwick Showgrounds at the start of the Warwick to Leyburn ride in the Cycle Queensland Adventure Tour.
OFF TO LEYBURN: Three riders in their 70s, Merv Newnham, Bob Finch and Ramon Rodrigo, at the Warwick Showgrounds at the start of the Warwick to Leyburn ride in the Cycle Queensland Adventure Tour. Gerard Walsh

Cyclists flock to Leyburn in Cycle Queensland Adventure Tour

CYCLING: Ramon Rodrigo is originally from Spain and has traded a sideline seat at some of the world's top cycling events for a leisurely ride in the Cycle Queensland Adventure Tour.

"I have watched the Tour de France," the Hervey Bay resident said.

This week, he is one of more than 500 riders taking part in the first adventure tour on the Darling Downs since 2009.

The ride started in Toowoomba and the participants camped for one night at the Allora Showgrounds and two nights at the Warwick Showgrounds before leaving yesterday for Leyburn.

Of a small group of nine riders assembled by the Daily News for a photo, three were more than 70 years of age.

Bob Finch is from the Sunshine Coast and on his eighth adventure ride, two in Western Australia and six in Queensland.

"We all reckon it was cold camping at the Warwick Showgrounds but great when we thawed out." Townsville rider Merv Newnham said his mate in Dalby encouraged him to go in the ride.

"I cycle 200-300km a week, the Toowoomba leg of the ride is the toughest so far, we rode into a headwind."

Event director Jason Robilliard said with staff, contractors and volunteers, there were 750 people on the tour.

"This is the first ride on the Darling Downs since 2009. It is held in a different area of the state each year," he said.

"The number this year is about average, the aim is to get more people cycling.

"We have spent two nights in Warwick, the area has so much to offer."

On Tuesday, riders had the choice of three tours, one to Queen Mary Falls, a Food and Wine Tour to the Granite Belt and the Heritage Trail Tour to Southern Downs Steam Rail and Glengallan Homestead.

The longest ride on the nine-day 560km tour was 98km from Allora to Warwick which included stops at Goomburra and Junabee halls, adventure tours don't take the shortest routes.



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