Rural economies gear up for bike ride boost

Dozens of Victorian rural centres will benefit economically thanks to this year’s RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride event, with an expected 4000 riders and another 500 support staff taking part.

The RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride (26 November to 4 December) is Australia’s largest fully supported cycling event and involves riders of all ages, who will travel more than 500km in nine days.  

RACV General Manager Mobility, Gordon Oakley said the ride provides significant value to all of the local communities the riders travel through.

“We know there is a direct positive economic impact on the local economies as the riders spend on average $35 a day. That equates to around $140,000 a day being spent across a number of Victorian rural economies.

“This event also puts some of these tiny communities on the map, as 80 per cent of riders from past events have indicated they would return to a town they had visited on the Great Vic Bike Ride and take at least one person with them,” he said.

Mr Oakley said the event has evolved into a must-do experience for cyclists of all levels and ages.

“This year, the ride begins in the spectacular Grampians, taking riders through to the Great Ocean Road with its extraordinary coastal views, before finishing in Geelong.

“It has an educational aspect, as well as providing a physical challenge for riders who pedal an average 75 kilometres per riding day”, he said.

Mr Oakley said the RACV Warmest Welcome program is also part of the Great Victorian Bike Ride experience.

“It’s a competition open to schools, clubs and community groups who we encourage to line the route with welcome banners and posters, or any other creative welcome they can think of, to cheer on riders as they pass by.

“Those involved in past rides have told us the thing they enjoy most is the community spirit they experience as they travel through country Victoria.”

Mr Oakley said for the first time the ride would welcome electric bikes with charging facilities provided at each campsite.

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Written by Molly Ennor, RACV Public Affairs, 9790 2997
October 14, 2016