Richard Hawkey is gearing up to conquer a huge journey for the 10th time.
The Point Cook cyclist will once again take on the Great Victorian Bike Ride, an annual regional ride that spans 10 days and more than 600 kilometres.
Participants in the November event can choose from five-day and 10-day riding options to complete the journey from Robe, South Australia, to Torquay through coastal and forest landscapes including Limestone Coast, the Great Ocean Road and the Great Otway National Park.
Hawkey, 75, said he is riding up to three times a week in training for the ride, which starts on November 22.
“It’s fantastic being able to ride around on the country roads and look around at the sites on a bicycle instead of driving along – there’s nothing quite like it,” he said.
He took up riding by necessity as a youngster but does it for leisure now.
“My mother didn’t hold her driver’s licence until I was about 19, when I could drive on my own, so I used to ride to school when I was a kid,” Hawkey said.
“Now the kids just don’t do it – they get taken everywhere in the car.
“Father Christmas brought my wife and I bikes in 2006 and we decided it was fantastic riding around town … I ended up joining a Council of the Aging riding group that year.”
The longest leg of the Great Victorian Bike Ride will be about 100 kilometres and Hawkey said his goal is to “keep up with the kids”.
“I just need to get up each morning and ride,” he said. “Just being able to do it is a big accomplishment for me.”