Heat foils cyclist's 330km endurance challenge

EARLY STARTS: Andy 'Hubcap' Handyside began his 330km challenge at Kilkivan before the sun rose.
EARLY STARTS: Andy 'Hubcap' Handyside began his 330km challenge at Kilkivan before the sun rose. Contributed

A 330-kilometre adventure ride may not be many people's idea of a good time, but endurance cyclist Andy 'Hubcap' Handyside thought it was the ideal way to spend a spare Thursday.

The 34-year-old's spontaneous challenge aimed to connect the Kilkivan Kingaroy Rail Trail with the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, and finish within 24 hours.

However, he was forced to abandon his quest at Esk due to heat exhaustion.

Mr Handyside said he was disappointed at stopping but promised he would be back in winter, and hoped to inspire others to explore the trails for themselves.

"It's a good flow-on from these adventures I do that it gets the name and image of the trail out there as a great piece of local infrastructure," he said.

"It maddens me that people don't do more of this stuff in south Queensland - we've got the perfect climate for outdoor things about 300 days of the year.

"It's a really safe and fun way to enjoy our regions and you can just hop on a bike or a horse, or grab a backpack and go for a walk.

"Just remember to keep cool!"

Though the exertion later proved too much for him, Mr Handyside said the ride had initially been "quite serene".

"I liked the solitude, and being out and about with no sign of civilisation as far as I can see, apart from the obvious corridor I was riding down," he said.

"I didn't come across other people for the first 30km... but it's always nice to come across others of the trail doing their own thing and enjoying it."

President of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Users Association Paul Heymans said now Mr Handyside had 'thrown down the gauntlet', he hoped more challengers would rise to the test.

The association is planning a number of cycling events in 2018.

See their Facebook page for details.

Topics:  brisbane valley rail trail cycling endurance sport kilkivan kingaroy rail trail somerset

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