Added: Tuesday, 7 December 2010 Contributed by . CGHS A group of 81 hardy cyclists enjoyed close to ideal conditions for the 18th annual Sale to Lakes Bike ride held last weekend.
The group, under the guidance of first time organiser Renee Heath, traversed the scenic East Gippsland countryside on Saturday and Sunday (November 20 and 21), riding some 185 kilometres on the first day from Sale to Lake Tyers then undertaking the reverse trip on Sunday.
According to one of the veterans of the event, Shirley Mowat, this year was a wonderful ride.
“Everyone was so friendly, I think the event has great organisation, great food and provides an excellent atmosphere to have fun and socialise. The ride was superb, especially on the ride home on Sunday with tail winds,” she said.
Once costs are finalised, the ride is expected to raise several thousand dollars for the Central Gippsland Health Service, to add to the more than $100,000 raised since the ride was first held in 1993.
The most recent donation was $12,000, which helped purchase a new piece of equipment for theatre.
Ms Heath, who works with the Wellington Primary Care Partnership and Central Gippsland Health Service as a Health Promotion Officer, said this year’s event would add to the overall tally.
“The group of riders and the support crew who play such an important role seemed to enjoy it and we’re hopeful of continuing next year,” she said.
Ms Heath particularly thanked Mary and Les Jackson, instigators and long term organisers of the event, who provided assistance and advice as well as taking part in the ride.
Next year’s ride has been tentatively booked for the weekend of 12 and 13 November. “We have set the date early so as to encourage more people to take part and begin training and fundraising sooner rather than later,” Ms Heath added.
She may well be one – after spending her first year as organiser making sure everything went as smoothly as it had in previous years, Ms Heath is hopeful of saddling up herself next year.
Caption: One of the groups of riders included, from left, Shirley Mowat, Lorraine Duck, Mary Jackson, Julie Cowling, Jan Roberts, Pam Griffiths and Cathie Wake.