In just over a decade, the Eurobodalla Bicycle User Group (EuroBUG) has grown from a handful of keen cyclists into one of the shire’s most active sporting groups.
EuroBUG’s Guy Brantingham said the group caters for all levels of recreational cyclists, with twice-weekly rides.
“The pace varies from ‘stop and smell the roses’ to ‘what roses?’,” Mr Brantingham said.
“The Monday rides see a bigger turnout, typically 30 to 50 riders, with three different paced groups.”
Mr Brantingham said even the fastest riders enjoyed an all important coffee stop.
“The rides vary from 25 to 60 kilometers; they take up most of the morning,” he said.
Mr Brantingham said the Wednesday rides were more relaxed, typically about 15 kilometers, with lots of stops, and 15 to 20 riders.
Mr Brantingham said EuroBUG was keen to encourage new riders, especially those making a late entry or return to the sport.
We also see cycling tourism as an economic driver for the shire
“We have more than 30 different routes in the Eurobodalla: from coastal tracks and beach rides, to the hills and rivers in the hinterland,” he said.
”Riders do need mountain bikes – road bikes are not suitable for the unsealed roads we ride.”
Last year over 190 different riders joined EuroBUG rides.
Mr Brantinghams said EuroBUG was a vocal advocate for cyclists in the shire: “Cycle paths, roadside signage, and wider road shoulders tend to top our list.”
“We also see cycling tourism as an economic driver for the shire,” he said.
Mr Brantingham attended a council meeting to encourage a more active approach to cycle tourism, and suggested a cycling brouchure be produced. The resulting pamphlet shows 13 signposted routes.
“People will have seen the blue signposts for these scenic routes all across the shire,” Mr Brantingham said.
“The routes are also available online and are interactive: you can click on a route and it brings up a GPS site with the route mapped.”
The pace varies from ‘stop and smell the roses’ to ‘what roses?’
In addition to the local rides, EuroBUG regularly hold rides out of the shire, with regular trips to Vicotria – along the rail-trails – a trip to New Zealand, and even an extended trip along the Loire Valley, in France.
“We do have a committee but I do a fair bit of the work,” Mr Brantingham said.
Mr Brantingham said his wife Liz was an important part of the organisation, encouraging women to the group, which has a 60:40 gender split, in favour of men.
“If you want women to come along it seems to work better when they can interact with a female organiser,” he said.
“And of course, due to the weekday rides, most of our riders are retirees or part-time workers. But we are still growing.”
For a list of cycle routes, see: eurobodalla.com.au
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