Glorious day to conquer 5 peaks

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After weeks of rain and a series of cancelled outdoor events, Canberra turned on the sunshine for the 2014 Rotary Rides 5 Peaks Challenge and 335 people rose to a clear day and the promise of a fantastic ride.

Almost 300 people pre-registered for the popular event, taking a gamble that the weather would finally come good. They weren’t disappointed. By the time the first riders left Stromlo Forest Park at 7.30am, the sun was shining and the temperature was around 12 degrees, rising to almost 20 at 1pm.

Most riders elected to do the longer 110km route and all five of the peaks – Mt Stromlo, Mt Pleasant, Red Hill, Mt Ainslie and Black Mountain. John Barlow rode a tandem with his pilot, Andrew Stevens. Along with another tandem pair, they rolled into the finish at around 3pm.

“We got a round of applause as we crossed the line at Stromlo Forest Park. Mt Ainslie sure was a challenge but Andrew was speechless when I found a few power surges to get us up the mountain. What a great day!” said Barlow.

Peter Longland also conquered all five peaks but had a special goal in mind:

“I set out to Mt Ainslie without stopping and I did it!”adding “What a beautiful place Canberra is.”

Rotary volunteers once again organised what must be the best rest stops for any cycling event in the whole of Australia. At two locations riders could replenish their water but also fuel up on a seemingly endless supply of homemade lamingtons, slices, biscuits and cakes.

Said Craig Greening on Facebook:

“Can we do it again soon? Best mid-ride snacks. Great variety and superb quality. Friendly vollies too!”

Woden Rotary nominated two event beneficiaries – Lifeline Canberra and Australian Rotary Health. A final figure is yet to be calculated but so far around $10,000 has been raised. If you haven’t made a donation yet and would like to, please follow the links.

We’re also keen to get your feedback so we can make the Rotary Rides 5 Peaks Challenge bigger and better in 2015. If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to complete this online survey. We want to know what you have to say.

As for next year, a provisional date has been set – Sunday 27th April 2015. Mark it in your diary now!

Photo by Mark Walker Photography

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