Saddle up for weekend's Cycle Challenge
CHOOSING correct tyres, carrying plenty of food, and above all - enjoying the spectacular views.
This is the advice of Coffs Harbour cyclist Dan Alock for riders taking part in the 2015 NAB Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge.
Dan will be one of more than 800 cyclists testing their stamina on the region's most scenic routes this weekend, with sections accommodating all age groups and experience levels.
The top-placed participant in last year's 100km ride said he's not surprised to see the support of the event - now in its fifth year - continue to build.
"The popularity of the sport is growing in Coffs and it's great to have something like this on our doorstep," Dan said.
"The journey can be a bit bumpy in parts and people may find it different to a ride on a highway, but Coffs Harbour is such a great area to cycle in."
Beginning in 2010 by the Coffs City Rotary Club, the event has increased in numbers from just over 200 to almost 900 in the space of five years.
With perfect cycling conditions predicted, organiser Judy Smith said this weekend's event is on track to be one of the most popular yet.
"Cycling is become more and more of a participant sport, and we have included additional rides this year for recreational cyclists," she said.
"We have entrants from 110 postcodes and I think the location is one of the reasons it's so popular - it's a beautiful ride offering spectacular scenery."
While the inter-state entrants are expected to provide a boost to local tourism, Ms Smith said it's the strong local contingent that keeps the event on track.
"The biggest majority of participants are local residents and if we didn't have that support we wouldn't be able to hold the event," she said.
"There is something for everyone - the best part is just about taking part and having fun."
All funds raised will support local charities, adding to the $95,000 that has been donated since 2009.
The NAB Cycle Challenge Hill Climb will be held today from Coramba and on Eastern Dorrigo Way towards George's Goldmine.
Tomorrow, the main rides will depart the education campus on Hogbin Dr.