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25 October, 2021

Tour de OROC  postponed to March

The biennial Tour de OROC, which was due to arrive in Armatree last Monday, has been delayed due to COVID-19.

By Supplied

Committee member Mathew Dickerson said the event had expanded well beyond what he thought was possible.

“I first ran the event in 2013 and it was just a once off.

“I wanted to kick start fundraising for the Macquarie Home Stay and said, “how about this crazy bike ride. Sometime later someone came up to me and told me I should do it again.”

The six-day ride raises funds for the Macquarie Home Stay, a crucial facility for patients travelling and staying in Dubbo for medical care.

Mr Dickerson said this year’s ride had already raised more than $80,000 and had adjusted its target from $100,000 to $150,000. Riders must raise $2000 to participate, with 30 riders taking on the challenge this year.

The decision to postpone the event rather than cancel was difficult, with the committee struggling to agree on new dates.

"We didn’t have the choice to go back a month or two. There was a significant amount of debate to arrive at the final date.”

The ride was moved to late March, with Mr Dickerson saying this was the best they could do to replicate weather conditions the ride would have had in October.

“It’s a balancing act to get to the point where we’ve got enough hours in the day to ride, while also not making it too hot.

“Middle of January would be fantastic, there’s lots of hours in the day, but we’d fry people.”

All but one of the riders scheduled to ride last week are available to still participate in the event in March. Mr Dickerson was impressed by how quickly spots booked out.

“It’s pretty hard to get involved in. You need to pay to be in it, then fundraise, and go through 11-12,000km in a few days. It’s a big ask. What’s been interesting this year is people have come out of the woodworks. I think after being locked inside they’re keen as mustard to get involved.”

Gilgandra looks forward to welcoming the tour to town next year.

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