Kilkivan to Toogoolawah -240 km
From 6.00 am until 8.00 pm
At KKRT Trail Head
Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Users Assoc / email@example.com
On 23 Feb 2019 the Road Record Association of Australia wrote on their Facebook page:
“Today is the 80th anniversary of Les Cecil's famous Kingaroy-Brisbane record. The word "epic" gets used a lot nowadays but riding over 240 kilometres into a headwind on dirt roads, through two severe storms, hitting 48 miles per hour down the Blackbutt range, crossing more than half a dozen flooded creeks, and beating the mail train by over two hours, now that is epic!
It was such an extraordinary achievement that 80 years later, Les Cecil's record of 8 hrs 45 min still stands, along with a dozen others he set in the golden age of road records.”
I knew about Les Cecil because I was charged with retrieving his Jubilee Bicycle from Murwillumbah for the Toogoolawah History Museum and of course he was born in the local town of Toogoolawah.
The Facebook post by Road Record Association of Australia set me thinking – why not organise a challenge ride to commemorate Les Cecil’s epic adventures?
If we were to replicate much the same route, it would all be bitumen, but by combining the KKRT and the BVRT plus the connecting route between Kingaroy and Yarraman, we could get pretty close to replicating the conditions of his great rides, complete with waist deep creek crossing.
Not quite the full 240 km, so we'll add a couple of detours to bring it close.
Logistics will be a bit of a challenge, but participants will be permitted a support crew since Les Cecil was followed by a vehicle.
Following the code of the Tour Divide, this challenge event will be “based on the purest of wagers: the gentlemen's bet or agreement. Nothing to win or lose but honour."
The only prize will be the satisfaction of a podium place and all finishers who complete the course in under 8 hrs 45 minutes will get a commemorative cycling shirt designed for this event.
Participants are expected to be self-sufficient, but there will a safety team shadowing the event to give assistance if required. There will be designated food bag drops at locations TBA.
Mobile phone, GPS, adequate water, a basic first aid kit including snake bite bandages, a puncture repair kit and basic tools, and light-weight, warm clothing will be mandatory.
This is an event for experienced and fit long-distance cyclists only. Some sections of the course will pose significant navigational challenges. It's unsuitable for anyone who has not had recent experience of riding 200 - 250 km off-road in a single day.
We’ll organise optional transport for people and bikes from Toogoolawah to Kilkivan in the afternoon on Friday 7 June, but you will need to make your own overnight accomodation arrangements.
What: Les Cecil Commemorative Ride – Kilkivan to Toogoolawah – 240 km
When: 6.00 am to 6.00 pm, Saturday 8 June 2019
Where: Kilkivan to Toogoolawah
Cost: $95 (optional transport from Toogoolawah to Kilkivan on 7 June @ $45)
If you plan to stay overnight on Friday night, it would probably be a good idea to get your accommodation booked well in advance: