Time to gear up for the Tour de Hills! 

TIME to gear up for the Tour de Hills!

Registration is open for the 19th annual Tour de Hills, sponsored by the Hills News and The Australian Hotel & Brewery, on Sunday, March 2.

The charity event, run by the Castle Hill Rotary Club, raised $95,000 last year for various organisations including Hear the Children Early Intervention Centre, Police Legacy and Rural Fire Service.

Click here to be taken to the Tour de Hill's website.

Rotary's chairman of the Tour de Hills organising committee Mike Blair said the event is for everyone.

"This is a community event and not a race," he said.

"The prizes aren't for first place but people who raise the most money get rewarded instead."

This year's main beneficiary is the Macquarie University's motor neurone disease research department, run by Dominic Rowe.

The fatal disease is rare and affects the central nervous system with most sufferers dying three or four years after onset.

Mr Blair said Rotary agreed to choose Dr Rowe's research as a beneficiary because his wife's uncle died from it.

"And we wanted a charity who don't already receive government funding," Mr Blair said.

News editor Heloise Reece said she is thrilled the paper is sponsoring the event for the 12th time.

"I did stories on Tour de Hills when I started at the News as a journalist and it's now more exciting we're part of the naming rights for such a worthwhile community event," Ms Reece said.

New sponsors The Australian Hotel & Brewery will host the event with all races leaving from and finishing at the venue.

Marketing manager Kylie Murphy said this is a "well enjoyed family fun event".

"We are very proud to be a sponsor of Tour de Hills and to host the start and finish line," she said.

"The Rotary Club does such a wonderful job organising this event with hundreds of riders and it's a great fund-raiser."

Whether you're a serious rider or if cycling is more of a weekend pastime, participants can chose from four courses: 15, 30, 50 and 90 kilometres.

The shortest route is recommended for families and less experienced riders. Most of it is on a dedicated cycleway through woodland and around a lake.

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