MOUNTAIN bike enthusiast Rian Sinclair has promised no rider will get lost or stuck in the bush on his watch. He wants everyone to achieve what they set out for and to enjoy every moment in Ballarat Cycle Classic on Sunday.
Stepping up as an ambassador is incredibly personal for Rian, whose wife Tash died with an unknown and aggressive cancer a fortnight ago.
Rian wants to do something positive amid his raw pain and does so with the inspiration and encouragement of their three children, aged 11 to 16.
Tash fell sick fast in September and there was not enough time to properly diagnose her.
It was in talking with some mountain bike friends that Rian approached Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute to be an event ambassador, wanting to encourage people to sign up with every cent supporting the Institute's work in Ballarat.
"(Being a Classic ambassador) also about not wanting other people to suffer her fate," Rian said. "...That's what FECRI's about, helping out so people like Tash have some chance of survival."
That's what FECRI is about, helping out so people like Tash have some chance of survival.Rian Sinclair
Rian has been involved with the Classic in the past, helping out his mates from club M.A.D.E. MTB who run the fat tyre challenges.
He knows the trails near White Swan Reservoir and felt the bush was where he could help best.
Three-time world mountain bike champion Jessica Douglas, a childhood cancer survivor, will also be on course as an ambassador. Ms Douglas said she had not long known world-class cancer research was being made in regional Victoria, not far from her home base in Geelong.
This is something important to Rian as well, who said Ballarat should be proud to have incredible research undertaken in this city along with great treatment facilities and support for cancer patients at Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre.
Mountain biking is a fast-growing participation sport but one Rian said could be enjoyed by riders of varying ability. His key advice was to have a capable bike, pack lots of water and to bring a sense of adventure.
Plus, at the Classic there was lots of help and advice on hand.
I just encourage people to click on the link and donate or get out there and make a difference.Rian Sinclair
"It's a challenging course - not extreme but not leisurely. A civilised challenge," Rian said. "Some of the shorter distances almost anyone could do, really."
The Classic offers mountain bikers a 30-kilometre, 40km and the extreme 50km courses. Events start at Lake Wendouree and head out to the Yarrowee Trail then out to the Golfields Trail to White Swan Reservoir and back. The 50km ride adds in extra gnarly hills and little-known trail.
It is undulating fun.
There is also the 28km family adventure ride out to Gong Gon Reservoir and back.
"I just encourage people to click on the link and donate or get out there and make a difference," Rian said.
Mountain bike events start 7.45am with the adventure ride from 8.30am.
To enter and for more details, visit ballaratcycleclassic.com.au.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.