THE message was clear ahead of Saturday’s Tathra Wharf to Waves bike ride.
As more than 100 cycling enthusiasts gathered at the Tarraganda fire shed, event organiser Richard Gallimore swiftly reminded everyone “this is not a race”.
Gallimore’s pre-ride safety briefing has become well-known to Wharf to Waves cyclists.
However, the message must have got through as there were no serious injuries reported on the weekend.
At 5pm, riders set off on the 25 kilometre journey from the Tarraganda fire shed to Tathra, via Dr George Mountain.
There was an excited vibe outside the fire shed in the lead-up to Saturday’s ride.
The majority of the 100 plus cycling enthusiasts who started the bike ride also crossed the finish line.
However, two competitors arrived at the Tathra Surf Life Saving Club via a car, one due to a flat tyre and the other with a tyre missing altogether.
In his pre-ride briefing, Gallimore said it was important to reinforce the safety message.
“Repeat after me – this is not a race,” he said.
“We have had accidents over the years and I have to reinforce that this is not a race.
“Every time you see someone cheering, there’s been an accident.
“Every time you see a witches hat, there’s been an accident.
“I don’t want any more accidents – I just want to be cautious.”
While the participants accepted Gallimore’s message, it didn’t stop them from setting their own pace.
The first arrivals at the surf club set an almost record time of around 45 minutes, while others rode at a more leisurely pace and completed the course in just over two hours.
Moods on the course varied too, with some very stern riders blitzing their way through Tathra, while others were happy to smile and wave at the camera as they enjoyed the scenery along the track.
Local clubs included large contingents of riders from the Tathra Mountain Bike Club, and members of the Bega Valley Blue Veins.
The Tathra MTB riders all proudly donned orange jerseys for the event and used it as a stepping stone to the club's signature annual event, the Tathra MTB Enduro later this year.