FREE WHEELING: Cyclists congregate for History Rides Again on Sunday morning at Memorial Park, the final event of the Grafton Festival of the Bike.
FREE WHEELING: Cyclists congregate for History Rides Again on Sunday morning at Memorial Park, the final event of the Grafton Festival of the Bike. Lesley Apps

Organisers on home stretch for Festival of the Bike

GRAFTON'S Festival of the Bike slipped into low gear on Sunday when it held its final event for the five-day program.

Around 30 pedallers congregated at Memorial Park under perfect blue skies to partake in the History Rides Again heritage trail, the leisurely pace of the event attracting riders of all levels of experience.

Co-organiser Sammy Lovejoy said for a young festival there had been a "good turnout" at the events this year.

"It all helps to get the ball rolling for next year's festival. We're building up to the big one which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Grafton to Inverell."

She said about 50 people came along to the Grafton gallery to watch Cadence (short animation film) and Sunday's ride attracted more than double the number they had last year.

Sydney cyclists Andy Wise and Lyndsey Munks made the special trip to Grafton to join in the festivities, Mr Munks making his impressive journey by bike from Lithgow. "He timed it so he could be here today," Mr Wise said.

Local cycling enthusiasts also supported the festival in various ways.

Avid collector of all things cycling Peter McLennan hosted an open house to share his passion for retro bikes and help promote the fledgling festival.

The long-time cyclist raced during the 70s, 80s and 90s and has been collecting and restoring bike from those eras for the past six years.

He has amassed around 50 full bikes and 100 frames along with hundreds of parts, transforming his garage into a "bike shop" you might have wandered into during that era.

"Some guys create a bar in theirs but I don't drink. I enjoy preserving the history of the bikes I used to ride when I was younger."

Among the bikes is a 1986 model that he "won a few Sydney races" on and some impressive looking imported models from America and Europe including a Swiss-made Italian Gerber and an attractive Italian model that he took up to Brisbane to race.

"Some guy kept hassling me to sell it to him. He kept offering me more and more money but I told him it wasn't for sale."

 

Peter McLennan with some of the many bikes frames he has in his collection.
Peter McLennan with some of the 100 bike frames he has in his collection. Lesley Apps