Friday, March 1, 2013

Race the Train to Maldon

It's full steam ahead for the inaugural Goldfields Steam Train Challenge scheduled for Sunday 21 April in Castlemaine.
The event will provide cyclists of all abilities the opportunity to race (competitively) or ride (socially) alongside the historic Victorian Goldfields Railway (VGR) steam train between Castlemaine and Maldon. The 17.6km route for both events will utilise the existing dirt trails and tracks that run alongside (or in close proximity to) the broad-gauge branch-line.
The 'Race' will start in Castlemaine and finish in Maldon and will provide competitive cyclists an opportunity to beat the train or beat their mates. And with the added incentive of a cash prize pool for category winners who beat the train, this is sure to result in some action packed racing.
The 'Ride' on the other hand will afford a more leisurely pace as cyclists travel in the reverse (and slightly easier) direction from Maldon to Castlemaine. Participants in the 'Ride' can also travel in style and comfort to the start line in Maldon on the same train the 'Race' competitors are racing. What better place to watch the race unfold?
Meanwhile spectators and supporters looking to soak up the atmosphere at a lower heart rate are encouraged to book a passenger seat on any of the train services operating throughout the day.
Event organiser Paula Ewing is proud to launch this event in her hometown of Castlemaine, and delighted to be able to offer so many ways for people to get involved.
"I love the riding opportunities available in the Mt Alexander Shire. Whether it's road cycling, leisure riding or mountain biking there is no doubt we're spoilt for choice.
"This event is a way for me to introduce people to the off-road connectivity between Castlemaine and Maldon and also help showcase the historic Victorian Goldfields Railway which is a remnant of the extensive branch line railway system that served rural Victoria from around 1880 through to the 1970's.
"Whether you're in it to win it, a casual cyclist, a lover of trains, or just keen to get out and explore the landscape then this is the perfect event to get involved in," said Ms Ewing.
Ms Ewing also acknowledged the generous support of local businesses in helping get the event off the ground.
"Without the support of KR Castlemaine, Waller Realty, Maldon & District Community Bank Branch and The Bike Vault, this event would not be possible.
"My sincere thanks also to Board and volunteers of the Victorian Goldfields Railway for allowing us to race the train. I can't wait to see who wins!"
Event beneficiaries include to the Victorian Goldfields Railway and local branches of the CFA.
Entries are now open and if you enter before March 25 you will go into the running to win a Cannondale Trail SL3 29er valued at $1400.
Full details at

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