MOUNTAIN biking specialist Phil Orr wants you to be ready for some ups and downs. Maybe a bit of mud.
Orr said a novice could ride around the Reach4Research Ballarat Cycle Classic mountain bike course and not feel scared. But it was still a good challenge for those with experience.
He said the key was to choose a distance that would challenge you most.
“The first part of the course starts out with some flowing turns, a few nice cambered bends as well so you can allow the bike to roll through the corners without worrying about your tyres slipping,” Orr said.
“It descends for maybe two minutes, you get down the bottom and then it slowly meanders its way back up to the top. It’s a good short loop but it’s still challenging.”
Orr, who represented Australia in world XC championships, has been named ambassador for the 10th annual Cycle Classic mountain bike events.
Increasing in popularity each year, the Classic offers four distances (25-kilometres, 33km, 40km or 50km) on a circuit with a start and finish at Lake Wendouree. The course has four drink stations and mechanical support for riders.
Orr said now was the best time to start training for the February Classic and a good chance to launch the New Year with some challenging riding.
The Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club president has more than 30 years’ cycling experience and still enjoys racing in high-level endurance and marathon cross-country races. But at the Classic, he just wanted to see people having a go.
“The circuits are not about speed, but this is a fun participation event,” Orr said.
“It will be a great day to discover the amazing forests and single track trails around Ballarat, and in doing so support the great work at the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute.”
Cycle Classic will also feature road cycling events – taking in part of the national championship course in Buninyong – a family lap of the lake, a pet walk and a run.
Every dollar from registrations directly supports research at Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute, a homegrown not-for-profit organisation based in Ballarat Tech Park Central.
To register and see the course maps and profiles, visit www.reach4research.com.au. Gove Cycles, in Doveton Street North, will host training sessions for the mountain bike course weekly on Wednesdays from January 11, leaving the store at 6pm.
Orr’s top tips to prepare for the mountain bike challenge
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