25 years of PedalFest in Dungog

For two decades the second weekend in September meant one thing in Dungog - PedalFest.

This year with the world still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent limitations on gatherings the 2020 event was not held.

However given excellent weather and a confidence that social distancing could be maintained, a group of cyclists opted to gather on Saturday for the traditional PedalFest ride around Fosterton Loop.

Among the group were veteran riders who had been involved in the organisation of PedalFest from its inception in 1996: Kerry and Richard Horrocks from Clarence Town, Allen Shrimpton from Alison and Ken Rubeli from Bandon Grove.

"We were part of the organising team for twenty years and then the role was carried on by Dungog Rotary," said Mr Rubeli.

"Hopefully the full PedalFest event can come back in 2021 and we can be participants again."

VIDEO: Watch the riders set off in 2018.

In its busiest year, Pedalfest's 23-kilometre ride around Fosterton Loop, with a stop at the Williams River crossing, attracted more than 600 riders.

This year there were just a dozen riders.

Mr Rubeli said the special feature of the day was encounters with reptiles out in the warm spring weather.

"First there was a blue-tongue lizard by the roadside, so relaxed that we could gently pick it up for a close look," he said.

"Then there was a bearded dragon sunning itself on a fencepost. Slowly approached they just stay perfectly immobile - and so we could pass it around from person to person, and then put it back on it post."

With mountainbikers flocking to the Dungog Common, the Shire of Dungog is becoming well known for its landscapes offering a special appeal to recreational cyclists.

While PedalFest's 25th celebration was a small one, the stage is set for perhaps the biggest PedalFest yet in 2021.