The Mirror News

GET READY FOR THE RACV GREAT VICTORIAN BIKE RIDE 2017

• Bruce Beatson has done the RACV Great Vic Bike Ride 5 times.
• Fiona Neuwirth and Jess Klar inspired and informed the 30 attendees.

BICYCLE Network presented to around 30 people at a community information night held at the football/netball club social room on Wednesday June 14.

It was an extremely informative session and left everyone who attended with a lot to think about.

This is a great opportunity for the community to hear about the event and to start thinking about how they might showcase their town,” said Danielle Todaro, Tourism Development Officer at The South Gippsland Shire.

“This 9 day event is simply a holiday for bike riders,” said Event Manager, Jess Klar. “We provide everything they need and get their luggage from A to B.”

The event will be happening from Sunday November 20 to Sunday December 3.

There will be overnight stays at Wilson’s Prom, Foster, Yarram, Seaspray, Bairnsdale, Maffra and Glengarry. The finish site is Trafalgar.

It’s the first time the ride has started at Wilson’s Prom. Foster will be the second stop.

Corporate Relationship Manager, Fiona Neuwirth, told the gathering just how important it is for their riders to feel welcome.

That will not be a problem if the last ride through Foster is anything to go by.

There will be anywhere from 3200 to 4000 riders as well as 350 volunteers and around 50 from the bicycle network team. There are also around 100 contractors.

“We have found that on average each person will spend $35 a day. That’s around $100,000 into the local community every day,” said Jess.

Adam Wallace from the Exchange Hotel has big plans, as do the various clubs in the towns.

Bicycle Network want to give back so there is the opportunity for a variety of fundraising activities.

Local identity, Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks plans to have the South Gippsland Shire Brass Band playing. Last time the ride came through they played and did very well out of it. They didn’t charge but simply handed round a hat.

Other activities suggested were sausage sizzles, market stalls, burgers, cake stalls, massage and hair washing.

The route opens at 6:30 am each morning and riders must be gone from the campsite by 8:30 am at the latest.

Bruce Beatson, a local who has done the Great Vic Ride 5 times, said that from experience he thinks the riders will start getting into Foster at around 1pm and that because of the fact it’s the first day they will be relaxed and will want quite a feed.

There’s really no campsite like a RACV Great Vic campsite – it’s a pop-up town with everything the riders need.

Campsites are typically located on recreation reserves including ovals and surrounding parkland. The local councils regularly maintain campsites as the local communities use them throughout the year. Specific campsite information will be available closer to the event.

“The food provided is very nutritious but we find that the riders love to eat at the local restaurants for a little variety,” said Jess. “They want to engage, they want to know who the local café owner is.”

The stats show that 74% of the riders say they will go back within 12 months and will bring their families with them. The long-term benefits are enormous.

Bicycle Network is looking for a local person to head up the community involvement and would also welcome volunteers.

They encourage community organisations to let them know what fundraising activities are planned so that they can let their members know.

They can be contacted on 1800 639 634.

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