An unprecedented number of cyclists, comprising current and former students of the College, have participated in the Old Paradians’ Association’s Annual Bike Ride.

The 40-kilometre ride, which began at the Preston Campus and took in the old East Melbourne and Alphington Colleges, ended by at Bundoora on what was Parade’s well-patronised Open Day.

Of the 36 cyclists who participated, half were current Parade College students. Twelve more cyclists were Old Paradians, five of them fathers to current students. One of them was Peter Dynes (1984), pictured here with (from left) partner Liz, sons Will (Year 10) and Edward (Year 8) at the finish line.

Another father of a former student rode, along with two international guests of Old Paradian cyclist and team leader Dino Rebellato (1978).

Three former students of the ‘Old Bluestone Pile’ – Paul Davies (1966), Peter Gilmartin (1968) and Bernard Flinn (1962) – completed the ride; the latter joining the race at a checkpoint in front of the building on Victoria Parade where he completed his final year of schooling in 1962.

Also participating in the race was Parade’s cycling royalty – the back-to-back Melbourne-Warrnambool champion Nathan Elliott (2008) and the National Under 19 men’s madison titleholder (and Year 11 student) Nathan Bof – who not surprisingly barely raised a breath in completing the ride.

“What a great way to spend a Sunday - perfect weather, even better company and a memorable trip through the years visiting the Parade campuses, past and present,” Paul Davies said.

“I have to say, that as one of the older Old Paradians the bike ride reinforced to me what a first rate leisure pursuit cycling is. It really enabled Paradians from 10 to 70 to do something together and thoroughly enjoy themselves.

“It didn’t matter whether you were a dual Melbourne to Warrnambool winner, an old guy like me or a young person on a borrowed bike, we all felt equal and enjoyed eachother’s company.”

I’ll certainly be back for future bike rides and can only wish that they become stronger and take on a life of their own.