CYCLING in the Limestone Coast has suffered some disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as opposed to some other sports, there is still the chance to keep in touch.
Many members of the Mount Gambier Cycling Club have been enjoying the chance to train in a small group – now limited to two riders – or simply enjoy the open air and ride solo.
Club races have all been put on hold at this stage, with president Dean Zeven stating even the time-honoured 100 Mile Classic is in doubt for this year.
“Things are pretty much on hold at the moment,” he said.
“The 100 Mile Classic is not going to go ahead in May, but we are hoping we might be able to do it in August, a week before the National Road Series comes into Mount Gambier and Victoria.
“If things go well and we can run it in August we will, otherwise we might have to leave it until next year.”
Zeven said the problem would be if the pandemic clears up in time, most other cycling clubs will look to cram their events in before the end of the year, which would leave little time for races in the country regions.
However, Zeven said he hopes the club’s hill climb up through the Valley Lakes – Crank the Crater – could be run late in October, but it would have to wait until the all clear is given by the government.
“With the whole climate at the moment, we do not know what will go ahead,” he said.
“With all the restrictions in place you cannot run anything at the moment.”
Those missed events will also include such races as the Soldier’s Memorial and all-but the opening round of the spring series.
Zeven said the Australian Junior Indoor Track Championships have also been cancelled, with Limestone Coast riders Tess Wight and Niel van Niekerk missing their chance to represent the region.
“Tess and Niel were all geared up ready for that,” Zeven said.
“We have canned track training, but they are still getting out riding in case it changes.”
However, despite the setbacks, Zeven said there was still plenty of activity with club riders.
“I went for a ride out the forest on my mountain bike Sunday, so we are all still active and doing stuff, just trying to keep the groups to a minimum,” he said.
“A lot of people are doing solo training at the moment.
“We can still get out and about into the open air, away from a bit of traffic and ride to our heart’s content, enjoy the solitude of it.
“It is a bit different than usual, but is still fun.”
Zeven said there had been a couple of different messages from Cycling Australia, which leaves the sport up in the air at the moment.
“First Cycling Australia said that everything was cancelled until April 28, then they had a later message come out which said everything was put on hold until further notice,” he said.
“They are just leaving it open ended now.
“They have put restrictions on groups riding, which would be down to two now.
“Half of the fun is after a ride at the coffee shop, so it changes the culture a bit.”