23.09.2012: Bike Life Festival

Sunday’s Bike Life Festival attracted a colourful crowd of cyclists and cycling enthusiasts as part of Manly Council and the Manly Environment Centre’s program of activities celebrating Bike Week.

posterbikelifefestival

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The day began with the Manly Warringah Cycling Club leading a bunch of over 30 riders who rode parts of the historic Ten Mile Track linking Manly to Pittwater– the longest cycling path in the world when it was built in 1911. Riders arrived at Winnererremy Bay where they were greeted by Pittwater Council’s General Manager Mark Ferguson and local councillors.

"It’s 111 years ago that the longest cycle track in the world was built with 1,000 cyclists descending on this bay," said Mr Ferguson.

"While it’s hard to imagine what Pittwater was like back in the early 1900s, one thing is for certain, cycling is a growing pursuit and today’s event is a significant testament to that.”

After a hearty breakfast supplied by local council, riders mounted their machines and rode through the glorious sunshine back to Manly Lagoon where hundreds of families had gathered to participate in a series of rides and activities including the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by Manly MP and NSW Treasurer Mike Baird and Manly mayor Jean Hay.

Earlier that day, more than 150 cyclists took part in a colourful "retro ride". Resplendent in cycling outfits from different eras and many mounted on vintage bikes, the cyclists set off from Manly Art Gallery, and snaked through local streets before arriving at Manly Lagoon Park. Later, over 50 bike riders led by the Manly Police cycling brigade rode the cycling tracks around Manly Lagoon and along the Manly beachfront in another display of cycling solidarity and fun.

Back at the lagoon, there was plenty on offer. The more energetic could pedal on stationary bikes, supplied by Magnificent Revolution, and generate power for the local musicians up on the centre stage. Kids had the chance to improve their bike skills through a program conducted by AustCycle’s Lisa McHarg. Cycling and art combined in the work of Artists with Easels, a local group of artists who captured the day’s events on canvas.  Local cycling retailers including Specialised, Fixed Wheel and Bicycles On Line offered bike check-ups, helmet fitting information as well as the opportunity to ride some of the latest bikes on display.

In the sea of lycra, vintage costumes and bikes of all shapes and sizes, were dozens of volunteers wearing T-shirts with the message ‘Move Mindfully in Manly’. That's the message from Manly Council's new cycling campaign which comes with free safe cycling tips and giveaways.

There was a historic display tent, set up by Manly Environment Centre, which gave a detailed and fascinating history of cycling in our area.

There was plenty of coffee and snacks and sausage sandwiches, supplied by the Lion's Club, and at the end of the day the winner of the big bike raffle was announced. Congratulations to Yukari Isawa who won the fabulous $1000 Focus 10-speed bike and helmet package.  The bike, gorgeous in its coloured yarn stockings, had been seen all over Manly in the last few weeks.

Manly resident and ride participant Janne Seletto said the day was a huge success.

“Manly has the perfect topography for cycling," Janne said.

"In Manly, and all over Sydney really, more and more people are getting on their bikes and events like today really highlight that trend."

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