With the Black Saturday anniversary a little more than a week away, the town of Marysville is also preparing for the 2010 Ventou Marysville Lake Mountain Challenge on Saturday February 20.
Organised by CycleSport Victoria, the recreational cycling ride passes through many of the towns badly affected by the tragic Black Saturday bushfires including Marysville, plus Buxton, Taggerty, Alexandra, Eildon, Thornton and Narbethong. In May 2009, the event attracted over 1,500 cycling enthusiasts from across the state, with a total of $38,225 was raised and donated to the Victorian Bushfire appeal.
And like last year, the 2010 ride will once again help the areas devastated by the Black Saturday bushfires with $10 from each entry donated to the CFA and SES.
A number of new courses have been introduced in 2010 with options to climb and descend down Lake Mountain, and all courses featuring a combination of flat sections, rolling hills, challenging climbs and scenic views.
And CycleSport Victoria is pleased to announce five-time Olympic cyclist Shane Kelly OAM and Marysville GP Dr Lachlan Fraser as the 2010 Event Ambassadors.
After the tremendous success of the 2009 ride, Dr Fraser is looking forward to this year’s event.
"I love to join in any community event to show my support for the area and last year the Challenge let people show their support for the area and they had a fun time as well," said Dr Lachlan Fraser, who regularly runs the course as training for the Challenge.
"I encourage everyone to hop on a bike, try and spend a little time training, but it is a social and casual day out and I am looking forward to talking to people during the ride on the day.
"It is a challenge for many, but with some training, I am sure all will make it up the Lake Mountain climb, which is a great place to visit,” said Fraser.
Likewise Shane Kelly is pleased to be back in 2010.
"Taking part in this ride is the littlest thing I can do, to help the recovery and rebuilding and I encourage everyone to come along on the day and take part,” said the four-time world champion adding, “It is not a race, but it is a challenge, but I am sure all cyclists can complete one of the distances with even just few rides in preparation over the next three weeks.”
"Many times up that last bit I felt like getting off and calling it a day, but I thought hang on, what I was going through is nothing compared to what I am sure people here in the fires and afterwards had been through.”
"I brought a group of eight of us from Melbourne and we made a great day of it, chatting to many cyclists along the way before we all enjoyed the atmosphere with food and music at the top of the climb,” he added.
Stephanie Morton, a Buxton resident, is also returning for her second Challenge event.
"I did this ride last year because of everything that happen with the bushfires and it inspired me to ride," said Stephanie, who currently cycles twice a week, adding "So I will definitely be back this year to hopefully make it up the mountain again as although it is hard, it is so rewarding when you do it."
The event gets underway at 8.30am in Murchison St, Marysville.
Event Highlights Fully supported ride including medical and mechanical support and refreshment stops Event village with live entertainment for the whole family Course well sign posted, marshaled & traffic managed to ensure safety of all participants On course photographer to capture those memorable moments Your chance to ride on quiet country roads Opportunity to test yourself on the Lake Mountain climb