A swarm of cyclists will close in on Wollongong this Sunday 5 November after embarking on a massive scenic trek from the city to raise money for research and support people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
The annual MS Gong Ride is entering its 41st year, with 10,000 participants set to take on the challenge of either the 82-km or 54-km route into the Illawarra.
With a fundraising goal of $3 million, all the proceeds of the ride will go towards leading not-for-profit organisation MS Plus in its bid to find a cure and support the more than 33,000 people living with the condition.
“For 41 years eager cyclists have taken on the unforgettable MS Gong Ride to help fight the devastating disease that is multiple sclerosis,” MS Plus CEO John Blewonski said. “We have come so far but still have so long to go.
“The MS Gong Ride fundraising ensures MS Plus services are available to directly benefit those living with MS and enables us to continue our research – leading us to more effective treatments for MS while the search for a cure continues.”
The 82-km course kicks off in staggered starts at Tempe Recreation Reserve between 6 and 7:30 am and will head south past the 54-km course start point at Preston Park in Engadine.
From there all cyclists will head through the Royal National Park and across the Sea Cliff Bridge before crossing the finish line at Lang Park in Wollongong.
Road and lane closures will be in places around the start and finish lines with reduced speed zones being implemented and clearways in force along the course.
From 5 am to 2:30 pm in the north of our region, McKell Ave, Lady Wakehurst Dr, Sir Bertram Stevens Dr and Otford Rd will all be affected, with access to the Royal National Park only possible via Farnell Ave.
Lawrence Hargrave Drive from Stanwell Park to Thirroul will become a 40 km/h zone from 6 am to 3 pm.
The speed limit along Squires Way and George Hanley Drive between Fairy Meadow and Wollongong will also be reduced to 40 km/h between 7 am and 2 pm.
In Wollongong, sections of Bourke Street, Cliff Road and George Hanley Drive will all be closed from 5 am to 4:30 pm with sections of Hector Street, Marine Drive and Hinton Street remaining inaccessible to traffic until 7 pm.
Special event clearways will also be put in place around the Illawarra from 5 am to 3 pm throughout Coalcliff, Scarborough, Coledale, Austinmer, Thirroul, Bulli and Bellambi to Wollongong.
Many streets surrounding Wollongong Station will also become clearways from 5 am to 4:30 pm.
For the majority of the course riders will be sharing roads with general traffic but motorists are urged to allow for extra travel time and to check Live Traffic NSW for any real-time updates.
For the full list of clearways and closures visit the Transport for NSW website.
To donate or find out more about the event see the MS Gong Ride website.