Wagga Wagga is a small city in New South Wales. It’s an important agricultural and transport hub, located almost the same distance from Sydney as it is from Melbourne. In only its second year, the Gears and Beers community cycle challenge has become an important fixture on the city’s calendar, attracting riders from all over the state and the country to participate in its range of events. From 15km participation rides to the gruelling 130km Rapha-sponsored ‘Dirty 130’, this cycling, craft beer and cider festival was the perfect destination for an RCC Transfer ride.
In stunning and at some points sweltering sunshine, members from RCCSYD rolled out from Bowral, west of Sydney, on Friday to commence their epic journey. Riding through picturesque country towns like Bundanoon, Marulan, Breadalbane, Gunning and Dalton, they encountered the full spectrum of New South Wales, rolling over lush green hills and hammering along deserted, windy, dirt roads while surrounded by incredible scenery and Australian wildlife. 188km later, and the riders arrived in the small town of Yass. For a few of the group it had been their longest ride to date, and high fives were duly exchanged. Their personal longest-ride records wouldn’t last however, as a 200km route was planned for the following day.
Saturday took riders through the scenic towns of Harden, Cootamundra and Junee, passing some of the stunning canola flower fields the region is famous for. After what seemed like endless pavé sectors, the weary group rolled into the township of Wagga Wagga, hugs and well-deserved beers and their achievement. The Dirty 130 race was yet to come, but after two long and hard days in the saddle, it seemed far less daunting when compared to the challenge just completed. As the members went back to their routines on Tuesday, following a weekend that few would consider routine, the scenery, the journey, the friendships and the camaraderie will surely remain with the riders well into the future. Below is a selection of images from the ride.