Cyclists leave for heritage tour

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Preparations for the Victorian Heritage Celebrations are in full swing with the Penny Farthing and Vintage Cycle Tour heading away yesterday.

The 26 strong group, 23 of whom will be bikers, will make their way from Blenheim to Hanmer Springs, before heading to Oamaru for an official welcoming on Tuesday November 11.

Penny farthing and vintage bikes will be used for the 260km cycle trek which will include going over the Lewis Pass.

Tour organiser Michael O’Brien said the trek should be plenty of fun.

“We are all looking forward to it, and it will be awesome to experience some new sights on the trip and hopefully the weather plays its part.”

They are away for about six days and Mr O’Brien said he’s happy with the turnout for this year’s trek.

“Some years we’ve had more, some years we’ve had less, the ones who are going this year are real enthusiasts so it will be a lot of fun.”

Parts of the track are quite rugged and will force most of the riders into the van, but Mr O’Brien said there are some who won’t.

“We have a few people who are pretty keen to cycle the whole way, so we’d love to see how they get on.”

Participant Wendy Simpson said it’s a great way to promote the trip.

“With us all dressed up we get people asking all about the costumes and it leads them towards Oamaru,” she said.

The cycle tour ends outside Oamaru’s Forrester Gallery on Tuesday November 11 at 5:15pm. Participants will receive a civic welcome from Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher and a greeting from Oamaru Victorian Celebrations chairman Kevin Malcolm.

Next day the Heritage Celebrations will begin and continue through to Sunday.

So far tickets have sold out for couple of events, but people are urged to get in quick by either ordering them at the Oamaru i-Site or by purchasing them online at vhc.co.nz.

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY

READY TO RIDE: The participants in this year’s Penny Farthing and Vintage Cycle Tour left from The Victorian Precinct yesterday morning.