Grab your bike and helmet and head out to the Junction Hill Criterium Track this Saturday for the annual Clarence Valley Ride for Youth cycling challenge.
Not even the global pandemic could stop professional endurance athlete Morgan Pilley from returning to the Clarence Valley from his home in Italy, to continue to ride in support of the cycle challenge.
Morgan said that he and two others, Michael Powell and Skye Schatzman Sear (The New School of Arts Neighbourhood House Inc), started this event off in 2015, with the aim of raising funds and awareness of youth mental health in the Clarence Valley.
“All funds and all initiatives that come from this event goes directly into local youth mental health initiatives, so this really is a local event,” Morgan said.
“This year was quite unique with everything that’s been going on around the world, so earlier on it was a bit touch and go as to whether we could actually have it and that’s why we’ve only just recently announced it, because we had to get everything passed with NSW Health and Council with new restrictions with COVID. But in the end, we were quite happy that we were able to pull it off,” he said.
For the past 12 years Morgan has been a professional cyclist and professional mountain biker and this year saw his transition into full time running; changing over to trail running and ultra-running.
“This was meant to be his first full time season of it and with everything getting cancelled due to COVID, of course that didn’t happen,” he said.
So, this year Morgan will be doing a mix of riding and running, for an amazing 24 hours and is encouraging the community to get involved by joining him for a lap or two or even challenge yourself by going the whole distance!
“I’ll be starting off on the bike and then between 5pm – 6pm on the Saturday I’ll jump off and run a few laps, so if anyone’s keen to come out and run a few laps with me they can. I’ll probably be running for about four or five hours,” he said.
“Anyone can take part, even if they don’t have a bike – you could have scooters or rollerblades or even walk it or run it,” he said.
“It’s all about participation and anyone of any age can come out and join in. It’s quite a social event.
“You can go as hard and as long as you want.
“We’ll be going for 24 hours – literally all night, so even if you want to come out at three o’clock in the morning and have a chat as well, it’ll be good.
The Clarence Valley Ride for Youth will kick off at midday this coming Saturday November 14 at the Junction Hill Criterium Track, Cnr Carrs Peninsular Road and Back Lane, Junction Hill. The event will continue throughout the night and finish at midday on Sunday.
This will be a COVID safe event and as such, strict hygiene and physical distancing measures will be in place.
Registration can be done online or at the event.