Gloucester cyclists to take on the Thunderbolts Adventure 2019

Selfie: Tim Clark snaps a quick picture while training with Nick Fell, Mark Beech, James and Raymond Saunders. Photo Tim Clark.

Selfie: Tim Clark snaps a quick picture while training with Nick Fell, Mark Beech, James and Raymond Saunders. Photo Tim Clark.

It's all about the challenge and the social aspect.

That's why Gloucester resident, Tim Clark is looking to take on the Thunderbolts Adventure 2019, which will see 100 gravel bikes and their riders complete a 227 kilometre circuit from Gloucester over the Barrington Tops to Moonan Flat and back.

For the third year in a row, organiser Graveleur has set a challenge for gravel riding enthusiasts to come to Gloucester for the event.

Gloucester's James Saunders, an avid cyclist who enjoys endurance rides, competed in the events inaugural year, along with his twin brother, Raymond.

The ride took place over one day, with riders leaving Gloucester in the morning, riding up over the Barrington Tops to Moonan then returning Gloucester a slightly different way.

According to James, it was a hard slog, filled with a bit of love and hate. There was a bit of hate while riding (and for a week after) but a lot of love when he finished it. His brother, Raymond, on the other hand didn't finish.

"This year my goal is to get my brother to finish the ride," James smiled.

And he may just be in luck, with the ride changing to spread the kilometres across two days, Saturday April 13 and Sunday April 14.

Riders will leave Gloucester at 8am on Saturday, camp out in Moonan Flat and ride back to Gloucester on Sunday.

"It makes it more of a social ride," James said.

A concept Tim can get on-board with having chosen to take up cycling for a bit of fitness, as well as the chance to meet new people.

"Previously I was pretty lazy and enjoyed sitting on the couch, drinking beer," Tim admitted.

"Then I thought maybe it was time to do something."

All this training will help him prepare for the Gloucester Mountain Man Tri Challenge on Sunday September 8, 2019.

Tim was due to compete last year, but missed it due to unforeseen circumstances, so he's determined to take it on this year. Something James is fully supportive of, having competed in the events for several years, finishing in the top five at last year's event.

Joining Tim, James and Raymond on the non-competitive Thunderbolts Adventure, are fellow Gloucester cyclists Mark Beech, Mike King and Nick Fell.

The event features gravel riding on a bike which is a hybird of a mountain bike and a road bike.