2021 Perth – Laverton Cycling Classic
After months of preparation and fundraising, the Perth-Laverton Cycling Classic finally took place for the 18th – 25th of September.
Day 1 saw our team assemble in Bayswater ready for an 8am departure. From there they headed north on the cycle path to Muchea, where they were greeted by the lovely ladies from the local CWA. After an amazing country morning tea, it was back on the bikes, heading out to Toodyay for lunch, then on to Goomalling.
At the end of 159.5km, the riders were very glad to see the Goomalling Caravan Park for their first night on the road. Dinner that night was supplied by the Silver Possum BnB, and our riders were met by locals Harold, William and Basil, who were kind enough to share some of the history of the area and their personal stories.
Sunday morning saw our riders back on the road, leaving Noongar Country and heading through the lakes area, into Badimia Country. After nearly 145km in the saddle, they arrived at the Dalwallinu Caravan Park. Thanks to Bev Slater, Daryl Fogarty, Drew Belle & Ashley Fogarty of Badimia for hosting dinner and sharing your community stories. It was a special evening for our riders and the opportunity to learn about Badimia country.
By Monday morning, some of our riders were feeling the strain of so many kilometers on the bike, but they all set out again for the next leg, a slightly shorter day, 122km from Dalwallinu to Charles Darwin Reserve. Charles Darwin Reserve is a rehabilitated station owned by Bush Heritage Australia. Dr Jessica Stingemore spoke to us that evening about the history of Charles Darwin Reserve, and the research and rehabilitation work that they are conducting. You can read more about Charles Darwin Reserve and contribute to their work here: https://www.bushheritage.org.au/places-we-protect/western-australia/charles-darwin
Tuesday’s distance from Charles Darwin Reserve to our next campground in Mt Magnet was 233km, a big ask for most of our group. The riders were given the option of a high speed 87km motopacing session to Paynes Find, or getting shuttled to Paynes Find via bus. A group of 12 of the stronger riders took up the motopacing challenge, completing the leg in around 3 hours.
After a short break at Paynes Find, the rest of the group joined back into the peloton and headed on up to Mt Magnet.
After a big day on Tuesday, on some of the riders had a sleep in on Wednesday morning, while others headed out to the Granites for a cultural tour. We’d like to thank Warren Walsh & Raymond Little of Badimia for showing us around their country and the newly built visitors trail.
From Mt Magnet we headed East out to Sandstone (154.19km), where we were accommodated at the Sandstone Recreation Centre. Dinner was a barbeque cooked on the huge wood barbeques by two of our riders, Johann and Chris. What a fantastic meal!
From Sandstone our group rode 152km on to Leinster, where we were met by Kado Muir and his group from Tjiwarl Aboriginal Corporation to talk about their culture, their love for their country and the important work that the Tjiwarl corporation are doing.
One of the projects they spoke about was the Reclaim the Void project where they want to make and stitch together 60 000 blankets to cover an abandoned open cut mine just out of Leinster. You can read more and contribute to the project here: https://www.reclaimthevoid.com.au/.
Leinster to Leonora on day 7 was 135.58km and included passing the 1000 km mark. What an effort!
That night we camped at the Leonora caravan park, and you could feel the excitement building for the final push into Laverton the next day…
Day 8… The final leg! 124.42km from Leonora to Laverton, where we were welcomed into the LaverFest celebrations with a smoking ceremony, speeches and the presentation of the Spirit of Pakaanu award. The Spirit of Pakaanu award is voted for by the riders and support crew for the person (or people) who went above and beyond to help teammates along the course of the ride.
This year our deserving joint winners were rider Johann Botha and support crew member Linda Thuijs.
That evening some of our team took the opportunity to blow up some steam and watch the AFL Grand Final at the Laverton Sports Club.
On Sunday our team was free for a bit of a rest day, with a group heading over to the Youth Centre and Laverton School to inspect and maintain the bikes, and install puncture guards to protect against the dreaded ‘Double Gee’. This was possible thanks to the support of a Maccas Junior Sports Grant.
Others took the opportunity to participate in the ongoing LaverFest celebrations, with a community cultural introduction in the morning, and tours of the Lynas Rare Earth and Granny Smith gold mines in the afternoon.
After a sleep in for some and recovery rides for others on Monday morning, we were taken out ‘on country’ on a cultural experience by several members of the Pakaanu Aboriginal Corp.
This involved some of the group heading out kangaroo shooting, while the rest were shown how goanna and kangaroo tail are prepared, and shown some of the local bush tucker and medicine in the area.
That evening we were joined by Marty and his Mum from Pakaanu, who spoke to us about the work they are doing, and their vision for future generations. We’d like to thank Pakaanu Aboriginal Corp for making such an amazing experience possible.
The youth program was run on Tuesday, split into two groups with the younger children in the morning and the older children in the afternoon. Under the guidance of PLCC and Veris Racing rider Sabine, they were taken through a series of exercises focusing on bike skills and handling. This was followed by a trip out to the famous ‘Scramble Track’ where they were essentially allowed to run wild and just enjoy the freedom that cycling brings.
The youth programs were only possible with the assistance of the local youth services, run by Bunz and Loz.
There are many partners and sponsors that made the 2021 Perth – Laverton Cycling Classic a success and allowed us to raise in excess of $100 000 towards the future of the Laverton Cycling Project.
These include our major partners, SMEC, who are in their third year of involvement, The Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA, who have come on board this year, and we look forward to working with for many years to come, plus Rinnai, who have supported the ride from the early years.
Other partners include AngloGold Ashanti Australia, Goldfields Ltd, Veris Australia, Cashmanagement, Bond Junior Cycling, Oral7, Euroz Hartleys Foundation, Pedal Mafia, Exercise Institute, Pharmacy 777, R&D Speedshop and Infocrank. Special mention also to Specialised Reline Services (SRS) for the use of the bus, C & R City & Rural Settlement for the use of the support van, and Telstra Shop Wanneroo, who provided high quality internet to ensure our amazing photographer Maree could provide us with her amazing photos and content while miles from anywhere.
Most of all we need to thank our riders, for committing to riding 1200kms and raising such an awesome sum of money.
We’re looking forward to a bigger and better ride in 2022!
Stay tuned for the updated route and the opening of applications for 2022 riders.