THERE HAS been many times where Anne Taylor has said to herself "I should just do it" and commit to riding a Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic.
And this time around the 48-year-old finally listened to herself and wholeheartedly committed to riding in a race synonymous with her home town of Warrnambool.
After witnessing Peta Mullens, Taryn Heather and Rebecca Wiasak cross the famous finish line on Raglan Parade with the men's peloton last year she knew it was now or never.
"The next day I started training with a group of cyclists and one of the riders said 'why don't we train for it'," the Port Fairy Cycling Club member said.
"We started with three girls and I am the only one that doing it. The other two did the Warrnambool to Melbourne (charity ride).
"Every year I was like 'I'm going to do it' and then I'd never get through winter. I then decided to get a coach (Ben Carman, who is also riding for Nero Continental) that would help keep me on track."
Twelve months later and Taylor is ready to do make her dream become a reality when she races in the 267-kilometre 104th edition of the time-honoured event.
But there was a chance for her almost 30 years ago but the criteria for racing at that time restricted her from riding.
"When I was 18 I trained with female riders from Warrnambool and I should have done it then but I wasn't a pro (cyclist)," she said.
Australia's oldest and the world's second oldest, behind Belgium's Liège-Bastogne-Liège, one-day race has always been an event at the heart of her family.
Her brothers Craig and Steven and brothers-in-law Mark and Bill McLaren have all completed a 'Warrny' and the connection goes further back to before Anne was born.
"I think my dad has seen every finish since he lived in Warrnambool and I have seen every one since I was born," she said.
Cycling has been a big part of her family's life with daughters Ashleigh, a former junior Australian champion on the track, and Stacey Hocking both taking up the sport.
Taylor hopes her local knowledge will help make the ride slightly easier to complete.
"It's handy having local knowledge of it as it doesn't seem as far," she said.
"I feel more comfortable knowing the roads so I can just concentrate on aiming for each of the towns along the route."
Taylor is also riding in Sunday's elite/support women criterium.
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