HOW else would keen cyclist Tom McDonald celebrate his eightieth birthday on Friday than by taking off on an 80 kilometre ride?
The Bomaderry resident will set out from Nowra at 5am with his friends from the Shoalhaven Bicycle Users Group (BUG) before riding to Berry and back and then out to Greenwell Point and back.
Mr McDonald said cycling is a lifelong passion of his and he couldn’t think of anything else he would rather do on his birthday.
“I did my first two week ride 69 years ago when I was still living in England,” Mr McDonald said.
“I have always ridden and whenever I had the opportunity to ride I was always on a bike.
“I’ve lived in Australia for 40 years and in the last 20, since my retirement, riding has been my number one pastime.”
Mr McDonald said only a few years ago he embarked on a 2000 kilometre cycling trip from Byron Bay to outback Victoria.
“I’m a social rider and I like to do long distance touring,” he said.
“I just love everything about it. It’s fun, great exercise and good company.
“I’ll be able to do this ride on Friday quite easily, but it’s important to leave early this time of year to avoid getting stuck in the heat.”
Mr McDonald said his favourite ride was along the Great Ocean Road, but apart from big trips, he makes sure he rides his bike every day.
“I even ride my bike to the shops, but I always take the long way,” Mr McDonald said.
“I do between 150 to 200 kilometres every week,” he said.
At the end of the 80 kilometre birthday ride, the riders will finish at a local cafe sometime between 11am and noon for a well deserved meal and final birthday celebrations for Mr McDonald.