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Waterfront New Town Waterfront for a taste of Paris Brest Cake

The Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) cycling race it wasn’t but for 14 DIER and DPIPWE Bicycle User Group (BUG) riders who braved cool, gusty headwinds from Mawson Place in Hobart out to New Town, the PB cake was the real deal.

A pastry chef along the PBP route is credited with making the first Paris-Brest dessert, a celebration cake to honour the event. For BUG riders last Friday, Jackman and McRoss recreated multiple versions of the sweet treat, a circle of choux pastry filled with whipped cream, fashioned to resemble a bicycle wheel.

At the DIER Bicycle User Group’s invitation, several DPIPWE BUG riders joined a lunchtime ride to help promote and support efforts that two DIER employees are making toward the PBP 21-25 August 2011

DIER cyclists Craig Hoey and Scott Dickson comprise half of ‘750M’, a group of four friends formed to participate in this year’s 1,200km PBP using 1930s cycling technology. This year marks the 80th since the four friends’ cycling hero-Sir Hubert Opperman-clinched victory in the 1931 PBP.

"We decided to celebrate Oppy’s 1931 PBP victory using bikes similar to his,"said Craig. "Finding and refurbishing the bikes has been terrific fun and very rewarding. Riding machines with only three gears has been a major challenge, especially for guys familiar with the luxury of 18 or so!"

"In order to qualify for the PBP," said Craig, "each cyclist must ride a series of timed distance events, between 200 and 600km". The 750M riders achieved all their qualifying rides in Tasmania, including Hobart-Swansea-Hobart (300km) and a 400km loop incorporating Swansea, Lake Leake, Campbell Town and Hobart.

The friends aim to finish cycling’s oldest and continuously held endurance event in 80 hours. "We’d like to complete most of the journey in daylight hours but inevitably some after dark riding may be necessary" said Craig. PBP riders can register in one of several time categories for the event, between 80 and 90 hours. Competitors (‘randonneurs’) carry a card that must be stamped at control points along the route to verify they have achieved a leg within the specified time.

A key aim of the friends’ PBP experience will be raising funds for the Oncology Children’s Foundation. On Friday’s social ride, participants donated about toward 750M’s charity of choice. For more about 750M’s PBP endeavour, see pp16-17 of the RACT Magazine’s June/July 2011 issue