Cycle Challenge could be just the beginning
WARNING: Cycling can be addictive.
Having spoken to Deane Scadding about May's Central Coast Century Challenge Cycle Ride, it seems only right to warn other prospective entrants that they might find themselves unable to stop at just one event.
Deane, 64, had been associated with the Challenge since its 2001 inception, marshalling as part of Terrigal Marine Rescue.
When he left the Rescue in 2015, he decided to try hopping on a bike himself. He got out his 20-year-old Max Trax mountain bike, oiled it up and started training with an eye to the 20km event.
When that went "pretty well” he found himself signing up for Sydney's Chris O'Brien Lifehouse 200km cancer ride in November the same year.
On wife Chrystal's advice, he did get himself a proper road bike for the event - even if it was second-hand with straight bars.
After that, you'd think taking on the 100km Challenge locally last year wouldn't seem too tough, but Deane said having completed it "I had new respect for the word challenge!”
He's signed up for the same distance this year and advised anyone thinking about taking on any of the challenges - 20km, 50km or 100km - they should be training that distance every week for several weeks in the lead-up to the event.
"It's a great atmosphere,” Deane said. "You get out there and do the kilometres and challenge yourself and your body.
"Some people just want to go along for the ride and smell the roses, but there's a lot of people like myself who are more competitive and want to push and do better than they did the year before.
"It's completely up to the individual how they cycle, but there are a lot of benefits to cycling.”
Deane regularly trains three days a week, with distances ranging from 15-44kms, and steps that up in the lead-up to a race. (He now also has the Lake Macquarie and Coffs Harbour 100km events under his belt.)
But he said the main thing was just to give it a go.
"You've got to start somewhere, so, if you've been away from riding for a while, you might start like I did on the 20km.
"It depends on your fitness level and your equipment as well, but there are plenty of people and clubs who will help you on your way.
"After a ride, you have a shower and you just feel a million dollars. It must be all those endorphins running through you.
"But nothing beats good health and cycling is less stress on your body than running for instance, its great aerobic exercise, gets your lungs and heart pumping and builds your muscles.”
WHAT: Central Coast Century Challenge Cycle Ride
WHEN: Sunday, May 21
WHERE: All rides start and finish at Mt Penang Gardens, Kariong.
WHO: Open to all levels. Roadside assistance and stops along the way.
100km - for experienced and fit cyclists, includes steep hills.
50km - Moderate ride for over-16s with some hills. Popular with seniors.
20km - Quieter roads for families and under-16s (accompanied by an adult), or those starting out.
Kids' Challenge - for 4-12s.
COST: For entry costs, start-times etc, go to www.centurychallenge.com.au. Major beneficiary is Coast Shelter.