A SCHOOL pasttime is now a sporting passion for a group from Terang.
The Terang HPV Racing Team is making its way in the world of human-powered racing.
Team manager Bowen Kemp and former classmate James Aitken wanted to take their racing further after finishing year 12.
They’re now competing in endurance races in their carbon-fibre vehicles across Victoria and South Australia.
Kemp and Aitken, along with Adam Rowe, Lachlan Meade, Charlotte Abbott and Tom Anderson, race in Crank It Too.
Ben Dennis, David Brennan, Harrison Smith, Mark Smith, Tyler Smith, Isabella Picone, Liam O’Connor and Jesse Cook team up in Crank It which competes in a lower trikes class.
“We also have a large family-based support crew that comes to races to assist in ensuring our riders are well maintained throughout the races and to assist with pit changes when needed,” Kemp said.
Kemp, 20, said the rise of the Crank It outfits had been surprising but pleasing, with the community throwing its support behind the unique sport.
“I've have been racing these vehicles since I was 15 with the Terang high school but once I graduated from year 12 James Aitken and myself, who were heavily involved in the sport through year 12, missed racing so we started our own community team in 2017,” he said.
“Initially we were in it for the social side and the enjoyment of racing but after seeing how well we raced last year we decided to step up our game this year by purchasing a new full carbon fibre and cevlar trike to really push ourselves to see how far we could go with this.”
The investment is already paying dividends with Crank It Too climbing up the ranks in round one of the Victorian HPV Series at Casey Fields on the weekend.
“This time last year we finished 29th out of roughly 75 trikes compared to 12th out of 90 trikes this year, just to show our improvement over 12 months,” Kemp said.
“The mixed community category requires at least one girl on the team and there are no age restrictions on the team.
“To finish 12th the team and supporters were all shocked, to say the least. We try to train fortnightly but with everyone having jobs and study commitments it makes it challenging. Only two of the riders on the team actually have a bike riding background so we are all very motivated to hit the gym a little bit harder and get on the bike more to try and crack that top 10.”
The Terang team is expanding its schedule in 2018 with races in South Australia.
“We compete wherever we can that's not too out of our budget and distance,” he said.