A Community Bike Ride from Tathra to Bega later this month will showcase the vision and potential of the ambitious plan to build a permanent track between the two towns.
Over $3 million in State Government funding earlier this year has turned the idea into a reality.
“We’ve been talking about this for a long time so to secure this funding was a dream come true, but we need to keep fundraising,” says Robert Hartemink, ‘Lead Rider’ of the Bega Tathra Safe Ride Committee.
On Sunday, September 24, rolling road closures starting at 9am from Lawrence Park Tathra will give riders a chance to experience the journey without the normal pressure of traffic – and the perfect way to wrap up NSW Bike Week.
“This will be a great family day, only the brave and keenest of riders can tackle this course normally, the speed and the closeness of cars and trucks is just too much for most,” Mr Hartemink says.
“I can’t wait to see families enjoying our beautiful countryside without that stress, not only on September 24 but whenever they choose to ride once we complete the track.”
Planning and design work for the new track is in full swing led by Bega Valley Shire Council.
“Council are keen to get as much bang for buck as possible, we are hoping to get as far as we can with the $3 million,” Mr Hartemink says.
“In the meantime we’ll push on with fundraising chipping away at each kilometre until it’s done.”
Entry fees for the ride are part of that effort but Bega Valley Legacy will share in the funds to support their work with families affected by war.
“When we finished this track it will be such a community asset – fitness, fun, sustainability, tourism, and we’ll get a taste of that on the twenty-fourth,” Mr Hartemink says.
Entries are now open and the number of riders is starting to build as word spreads.
“For those who haven’t taken part in a mass ride before this will be a real thrill, there will be a real community spirit, everyone will be looked after,” he says.
The Tathra Sea Eagles AFL Club are preparing a hot breakfast and espresso coffee for riders from 7:30am, and the money will go towards the Clean Energy for Eternity solar panel project at Lawrence Park.
The finish line is the Bega Showground, with riders expected to arrive before 11am.
A bus donated by the Tathra Beach Country Club will get you back to your car at the start line.
Bega Tathra Safe Ride Secretary Doug Reckord adds, “This is a new event for the region and I really hope people are bitten by the riding bug and get a group together and register quickly.”
Tathra Beach and Bike have chipped in with a $500 voucher for the purchase of a ‘Specialized’ bike from their store. All riders will be in the draw for that fantastic prize.
“We are hoping the first section of track will be done in the first half of next year, and to keep the momentum going it would be terrific to see a big community turn out on September 24,” Mr Reckord says.