ANYONE who has done the Port Macquarie to Gingers Creek route in the car know how challenging that stretch of Oxley Highway can be.
Nineteen-year-old cyclist Brandon Conway has managed to go one step further over the last three years.
He has packed the bike in the car, been driven to Long Flat and then ridden the 140 kilometres back to town down the mountain.
“I started doing it in mid-2015 when I started cycling because I knew that was the volume they did in the Tour de France so I had this crazy thought that I’d try it myself,” Conway said.
The teenager started when he first took up cycling to simply “get miles in the legs” and the training paid dividends.
“You can really get used to lasting that distance through the race,” he said.
“In the under-23s the races can be anywhere between three and five hours so it’s a matter of putting that intensity into that sort of time.
“It takes pretty close to four and a half hours which depends a lot on the winds and the conditions, how much water you have and how fresh you are.”
All that hard work was worth it last weekend when he won the under-23 state road cycling title at Mittagong.
I thought they were going to swamp me at any moment so I couldn’t believe I had enough time to walk my bike across the finish line.Brandon Conway
“It was my first state title in the under-23s which is beyond what I thought I was capable of and showed if you work hard for all these years it really does pay off,” he said.
Conway claimed victory by almost two minutes and even had enough time to soak up the winning feeling as he walked his bike across the finishing line.
“I wish it was a bit easier that’s for sure, but it was nothing like I was ever used to for that race,” he said.
“There were 29 riders that started and there were huge attacks (throughout the race) and sheer pressure also with the conditions we had in the race.
“It brought us down to about four riders including myself in the end.”
Conway was thankful for the amount of time he had put in leading up to the championships.
“I was pretty exhausted and kind of scared because even though my team director said from the car that I had a minute 50 seconds on the rest of them I knew how exhausted I was,” he said.
“I thought they were going to swamp me at any moment so I couldn’t believe I had enough time to stop in front of the finish line and walk my bike across.”
It was a remarkable achievement for the teenager with city riders normally dominating the event.