Manly Bike Life Festival – Fast and Fun

Cyclo-Cross and Sydney’s booming cycle culture on display

Sunday, 22nd September saw the Manly Bike Life Festival, held at Manly Beach Lagoon Park. The event was a showcase of Sydney’s growing cycle culture. Hundreds of people came to experience the community-based festival, which included activities for all-ages and encouraged non-cyclists to get involved.


Activities included the Retro-Ride, live music powered by pedal power, bike maintenance workshops, bike testing and free kids bike tune-ups. From E-bikes, to Classic bikes to Unicycles, everything was available for test. In the afternoon, the crowds grew in support of the Cyclo-Cross racing.

The pedal-powered live music was just one of many activities for the family: the pedal-powered live music was just one of many activities for the family
David Rome/Future Publishing

Pedal powered live music – just another activity for the many attending families

As has been seen with the growing culture of Cyclo-Cross in the USA, it’s a form of racing that’s accessible for the local community to participate and spectate. This same vibe was seen at yesterday’s event with the Inaugural NSW State Cyclo-Cross Championships taking place in conjunction with the children’s racing. Cyclo-Cross is quickly becoming a key discipline for many competitive cyclists and the turnout to yesterdays race was a clear sign of things to come.

Gary harwood of local manly warringah cycling club shows off the scenic setting: gary harwood of local manly warringah cycling club shows off the scenic setting
David Rome/Future Publishing

Picturesque setting for the Inaugural NSW State Cyclo-Cross Championship

Over 100 adults took to the relentless hard and fast grass course, which included a beach section, while 50 children raced a shortened version of the course. The elites racing saw Linsay Gorrell put in a dominant performance to take the title as Women’s State Champion ahead of Heidi Kahl and Lizanne Wilmot.

While in the men’s, it was a three person battle between regular fast guys – Garry Millburn, former Olympian Sid Taberlay and Nick Both. In the end, it was Nick Both that showed his strength and rode away from his rivals with three laps to go. Millburn recovered from an earlier puncture to catch up to Taberlay with 300 meters to go, however Taberlay held onto second with Millburn in third.

Nick Both of Team TORQ was pleased to take the win from such a strong field. Nick was very supportive of the events effect – “today saw plenty of people that wouldn’t come and see a race otherwise, so a really great atmosphere for all”.

This past weekend also included South Australia’s Cyclo-Cross State Championship, for further details of how this event unfolded, be sure to check out Port Adelaide CC Cyclo-Cross.

Australia’s booming Cyclo-Cross scene is a clear sign of growing cycle culture and the new discipline looks to take hold much like it has within the USA.


Be sure to check out the full photo gallery (top right) for how the event unfolded.