The Mirror News

Foster all geared up for bicycle invasion

• Dana Hughes, Anne Miller, Shelley Brewer, Ros Griggs and Kate Pulham wearing specially designed T Shirts to celebrate the completed Streetscape in Foster and the upcoming Great Victorian Bike Ride.

THE RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride is about to descend on Gippsland, beginning in Wilsons Promontory National Park.

This exciting, long running event will showcase the highlights of Gippsland to participants.

Everyone is invited to join in the celebrations at the Foster Street Party on Sunday November 26. There will be food stalls throughout the day and entertainment.

The Exchange Hotel has organised bands from Foster Secondary College from 2pm then from 4-10pm local bands will be playing.

They include Fiona Curram, Grand Ole Factory Band, The Acquaintances and Midnight Possum.

“We will have an outside bar and places for people to sit and enjoy the day,” said Adam.

Food will be available all day along with wine tastings.

The Bowls Club is hosting barefoot bowls with the bar open for nibbles and drinks.

Toora Football/Netball Club is doing a seafood BBQ and the Historical Society will have a museum stall at the street party.

SG Hospital Auxiliary will have a cake stall and Manna Gum are hosting ‘The Crepe Escape’ with crepes made by Noelle Bonnin.

The South Gippsland Shire Council will have a Visitor Information Stand and the SG Brass Band will be playing music as the cyclists arrive.

Great Southern Ukes will provide ukulele music and Foster Primary School are making and selling lovely postcards that the riders can post off while they’re away on the ride.

On the Monday morning Foster Swimming Pool will provide an Egg and Bacon Breakfast at the football oval.

Ten years ago, when the Great Victorian Bike Ride last came through, Foster was voted the most welcoming town. Foster is looking to claim that prize again.

Sections of the main street in Foster will be closed to traffic, however the rear car parks parallel to the main street will still be accessible.

Visitors need to be aware of heavier traffic heading to the Prom on Saturday November 25, as the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride participants and support crews will begin to arrive on that day.

Large coaches and trucks have been arranged to transport the riders and their equipment to lessen any impact on carparking availability across the Wilsons Promontory National Park.

Therefore, only day entry will be available on Saturday November 25, as all campsites and accommodation at Tidal River are fully booked.

On Sunday 26 November, the 3000+ riders and support crew will depart from Tidal River in the morning.

Visitors are asked to be patient as the Wilsons Promontory Road/Meeniyan Promontory Road to the Fish Creek/Foster turn off is closed in both directions from 6:30am until 12.30pm to allow safe passage for all cyclists.

People will need to plan their visit accordingly to avoid any unnecessary delays.

The bike riders are from across Australia and overseas with over 2,500 riding the full route (539 kilometres), 300 riding the first five days from Wilsons Prom to Bairnsdale (25 Nov 25 – 29 Nov, 328 kms) and 300 riding the final three days from Bairnsdale to Trafalgar (1- 3 Dec, 211 kilometres).

There will be more than 250 volunteers and 150 support staff. Without the volunteers there would be no ride.

Bicycle Network, along with the Victoria Police, VicRoads and local councils are asking local road users to be aware of the increase in bike traffic, changed traffic conditions and extended travel times. They advise local road users to seek an alternate route where possible.

At times there will be speed reductions, the presence of traffic controllers and Victoria Police.

All traffic treatments, including the Wilsons Promontory road closure on Sunday November 26 have taken into consideration the safety of all road users.

Rebecca Lane from Bicycle Network said, ”We are working with local authorities including councils and Victoria Police to implement a number of changes to traffic conditions to minimise the risks for all road users,”

“With more than 3,000 bike riders, including over 1,100 school students taking part in the event we do ask other road users to plan ahead and allow extra time if they need to travel on the route. We’d like to thank locals and visitors for their cooperation and patience during the event,” Ms Lane added.

”The bike riders range from toddlers being towed in trailers to over 80 years of age. Some will be very experienced cyclists while others will be saddling up for their first RACV Great Vic. They will stretch along the road for up to 50kms each day,” Ms Lane added.

There will be a number of road closures

Sunday 26 November·

  • Meeniyan Promontory Rd (near Soldiers Rd) to Tidal River will be closed in both directions from 6.30am to 12.30pm.
  • Entry into Wilsons Promontory National Park will open at 12.30pm.
  • A traffic marshall will be placed at the commencement of the road closure
  • Visual message boards will be placed at key locations prior to event and on the day of the event.
  • There will be traffic disruptions and reduced speed along the Foster-Promontory Rd and Fish Creek—Foster Rd (from Fish Creek turn off to Foster), from approximately9.00am to 2.00pm.

Monday 27 November

There will traffic disruptions and reduced speed from Foster to Yarram, including the following roads from approximately 6.30am to 10.30am.

  • Station Street
  • Lower Franklin Road
  • Port Franklin Road
  • Lower Toora Road
  • Grip Street
  • Victoria Street
  • Stanley Street

Crossing the South Gippsland Highway, including the following roads from approximately 7.00am to 12.30pm

  • Creamy Valley Road
  • Toora-Wonyip Road
  • Woorarra Road

South Gippsland Highway from Welshpool to Yarram approximately 8.00am to 3.00pm.

Just some of the statistics from the ride, show that over 33 years:

  • 19,200kms have been ridden through 136 towns
  • 186,500 litres of milk have been consumed by riders since 1984, and
  • 284 camp sites have been set up

60,000 kilograms of luggage are loaded onto trucks each day with 50 semi-trailers and 200 vehicles to support the ride.

There are 7 shower trucks providing 100 showers as well as 8 toilet trucks and a fleet of portaloos along the route.

Around 1,000 litres of beer and wine are served from the campsite’s RACV Café de Canvas each night, and that’s not counting the local pub.

The youngest registered participant on this year’s ride is a 2-year-old girl. The oldest rider is over 80 years old.

One rider, Harry Sheldon has taken part in every RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride since the beginning in 1984.

Over 20 veterans and serving Defence Force members will be donning jerseys featuring the red poppy and the village of Passchendaele on the ride. The group are part of VetRide, an organisation dedicated through cycling to the welfare of all service and ex-service personnel of the Australian Defence Forces

Mark Doble, who is fundraising for Legacy, will be riding a Velomobile. It is called the ‘Green Rocket’. The Trisled rorovelo is a recumbent trike which looks more like some sort of weird motorised vehicle than a pedal powered one

For more information about the Great Victorian Bike Ride please visit: www.greatvic.com.au  or phone Bicycle Network on (03) 8376 8888.

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