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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Jun-Jul
44 | www.probussouthpacific.org PROBUS INTEREST GROUPS Bill Norquay caught the cycling bug a few years ago but was surprised to find no cycling group in his Combined Probus Club of Oakhill-Dural. So he started one. “Our Probus club is very activity-conscious,” he says. “When I first joined I was amazed there were so many groups. We’re so lucky with about 30 different activity groups – from tennis to croquet to golf.” He mentioned that the club should have a cycling group to another member. To Bill’s surprise, the next month he was asked what he’d done about the cycling group. “That got the ball rolling,” Bill laughs. A relative latecomer to cycling, Bill took to it quickly after a simple introduction. “It wasn’t until six or seven years ago that a friend took me to Olympic Park and lent me his spare bike. I came home and said to Noelene, ‘Look, we’re going to buy bikes. This is it!’ “We were 65 years of age at that stage but after a couple of weeks we rode from Strathfield to Botany Bay and back, and were completely buggered.” These days Bill leads a group of up to 15 twice a month around the cycling tracks of Sydney. While they regularly can be seen peddling around Sydney Olympic Park’s 35km of pathways, the group has also ventured further afield, along Parramatta River, around Drummoyne’s bays, and as far away as Botany Bay and the Central Coast. Bill says the rush that comes from the physical activity is matched by the joy of getting out and about and exploring different parts of the city and its harbour. “You get that exhilaration,” Bill enthuses. “It’s hard work getting up and over the hills, but I love the exhilaration going down!" Ride on! Other members seem to enjoy Bill's routes too. People say: “Gee I enjoyed that. I’ve been to places I hadn’t been before. I didn’t know Sydney had so many facilities and so many tracks around the bays.” Bill checks out each of the routes before taking the group out to make sure there are toilet and rest stops along the way, and to check safety conditions. Each ride covers a minimum of 20km over two or three hours and avoids roads in favour of bike tracks wherever possible. New members are welcome and Bill insists you certainly don’t have to be Lance Armstrong to fit in. “There are people of different abilities,” he says. “My wife peddles along at the back, but we’ve got our mobile phones to communicate. Make tracks Kings Park, Perth At 4.06sqkm, Kings Park is the largest inner-city park in the world. It boasts spectacular views of Perth’s CBD and Swan River, as well as plenty of shared paths. Mount Wellington, Tasmania What better way to see Hobart than from above as you wind your way down from the summit of Mount Wellington? Two-hour tours take you down its wide roads, all the way to the bars and restaurants of Salamanca Place. Port of Melbourne, Victoria Learn about the history of Port of Melbourne on a 13.6km self-guided bike tour beginning at Victoria Harbour in the Docklands. Instructions can be downloaded from the Port of Melbourne website. W: www.portofmelbourne.com The cycling group at Oakhill-Dural Combined Probus Club has only been riding for a few years, but has traversed much of Sydney and even the Central Coast. Richard Cann reports. Sydney Olympic Park, New South Wales Very little traffic and more than 35km of wide, smooth bike paths through wetlands, parks and the Olympic site make a great oasis for inexperienced cyclists. GET OUT!
Active Retirees Aug-Sept