Ride for health

PUTTING foot to pedal is both fun and healthy, so organisers of the 11th annual Shellharbour Bike About have thrown down the gauntlet to the community who don't usually cycle, to give it a try.

The joint initiative of Shellharbour City Council, Heart Foundation, Lake Illawarra PCYC, Illawarra Bicycle Users Group (IBUG) and Illawarra Road Safety Group takes place during NSW Bike Week on September 16.

There are three options including a short course (eight kilometres), suitable for young families and less experienced riders, the long course (10 kilometres) for more energetic cyclists and a combination of both (18 kilometres) for enthusiastic cyclists.

IBUG chairman Werner Steyer said the ride was family friendly.

"We want to encourage children and those not used to cycling to take up the habit," he said. "It's also a chance for the cycling community groups to get new members."

Shellharbour Mayor Kellie Marsh said the city needed to show its children an active lifestyle.

"We want the community to get out there and try a new activity," she said.

"This day attracts families and people from throughout the region to exercise, have some fun and take in the natural beauty of Lake Illawarra."

Mt Warrigal's Amanda Andrews isn't an active cyclist, but said her interest had been sparked by children Harvey, five, and Emily, two.

"They love to ride, they've got me interested in it," she said.

All courses start and finish at Reddall Parade, Lake South. The day ends with a festival from 10am-1pm at the Lake Illawarra PCYC.

Registration forms are available from council's administration centre and libraries, www.shellharbour.nsw.gov.au.

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