Wollombi Wild Ride calls on local riders to fill the gaps

A participant in the 2019 Wollombi Wild Ride.
A participant in the 2019 Wollombi Wild Ride.

After a three-week postponement and a few course and capacity changes, the 12th annual Wollombi Wild Ride will finally take place on Saturday, September 26.

Event organiser Paul Humphreys, from Hunter Valley-based sports event company H Events, said the mountain bike event will have a substantial COVID-safety plan in place.

Mr Humphreys said the event - which drew 400 riders last year - has reduced its participation numbers to comply with gathering rules, and recently needed to reject almost 30 percent of the field, due to the Community Sports Health recommendations that non-regional riders cannot participate.

"It is frustrating that tourism is being promoted in NSW, however we can't accept any participant from outside our defined region," he said.

"I understand why, but it does make it difficult to administer.

"We are calling on Hunter, Newcastle and Central Coast riders to step up and fill the gaps left by us rejecting other non-regional riders.

"It has been a tricky balance to keep the event going but with the help of the local Wollombi and Laguna community and our major sponsor Quarry Mining, we feel the event can be staged in a COVID-safe manner and still be an enjoyable healthy activity".

Mr Humphreys said the Wollombi Wild Ride has always been popular as a challenging but achievable event for riders that are less attracted to the more treacherous tracks and jumps that many 'bike parks' provide.

Staged from the back paddock of the Wollombi Tavern, riders will take on mostly gravel roads or firetrails, with plenty of solid climbs and descents in the 30km and 64km rides.

A more modest 13km ride is also on offer for novice or family riders. All courses meander through Undercliff Winery.

The 64km ride will depart Wollombi Tavern at 8am, followed by the 30km at 9.15am and the 13km at 9.30am.

Limited spots still available for riders exclusively from the Hunter, Newcastle and Central Coast area. Register at theautomatedclub.com/hevents/enter/WILDRIDE2020.

For more information, visit wollombiwildride.net or contact H Events on (02) 4934 8138.