OCTOGENARIAN Neil Sinclair says from his experience, the best piece of advice he can offer to anyone out riding in Ballarat Cycle Classic on Sunday is to pace yourself.
Mr Sinclair, who is almost 83 years old, will once again tackle the 100-kilometre road ride and said the best way to enjoy the event was to be consistent - not too fast but not too slow.
"There are always a lot people about and a lot of excitement - it's a carnival," Mr Sinclair said. "There can be a tendency to go like hell at the start but you need to know your normal riding pace and go with that because there are some really big hills coming up."
Mr Sinclair said his pace had needed adjusting since he first took up cycling seriously about 25 years ago. A former runner, Mr Sinclair said the principles to big events were similar.
To tackle the 100km course this year, Mr Sinclair has invested in an e-bike to assist him up climbs.
Riding is about health and, importantly, a social exercise for Mr Sinclair who enjoys the post-ride coffee culture.
Also spurring him on in the Classic is supporting Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute director George Kannourakis, who treated his brother until he died with cancer.
Every cent from registrations supports FECRI's work. The focus for this year's event is on launching a breast cancer research project.
Competitive cyclist Craig Lee said knowing the cause behind the ride offered him perspective. Mr Lee is preparing to ride the new SPUD100, a 160km (100-mile) event.
"There are going to be times when you're not feeling great and it's not easy to manage going up those hills," Mr Lee said. "That keeps things in check."
Mr Lee said men and women at the front of the 100km last year set a frantic pace and he expected a fast, challenging ride in the Spud100 for those who sought it.
Whether it be the distance road ride or laps of the lake, Mr Lees said the great part about the Classic was seeing so many families and friends getting outdoors and having fun being active.
Ballarat Cycle Classic events are not races, rather the focus is on participation.
For more details or to enter: ballaratcycleclassic.com.au.
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