FOUR thousand cyclists will be riding through the region as part of the Great Victorian Bike Ride.
Beginning in Lakes Entrance on Saturday, November 24, the bike ride will finish on Phillip Island on Saturday, December 2.
In Wellington Shire, the riders will stop overnight in Wellington Shire at Briagolong on Monday, November 25 and Rosedale on Tuesday, November 26. Riders will leave the campsites between 6.30am and 9am each day, with most arriving between noon and 5pm at the next campsite.
Rosedale will welcome the Great Victorian Bike Ride with bands, market stalls, an art and craft exhibition and demonstration, jumping castle, photo booth, horse and cart rides, shuttle bus, vintage and speedway cars, sausage sizzle and theatre presentation.
Activities will be centred around the Prince St Reserve from 10am to late and locals and families are invited to join in the fun. Shops will be closing later than normal with many also offering discounts.
Rosedale Neighbourhood House co-ordinator Bodye Darvill said the town was really getting behind the ride.
“We have the primary school, chamber of commerce, Lions club, neighbourhood house, the Men’s Shed, local businesses, the tourism group, the football and netball club and many more involved,” she said.
“We want to show what a fantastic town Rosedale is and how much we have to offer visitors – whether they’re bike riders or locals.”
The art, stitchery and craft exhibition will feature the work of local people and will be open Sunday from 10am to 3pm, as well as Monday. Demonstrations of spinning, knitting and other crafts will be under way and the public are encouraged to join in.
Bicycle Network Victoria, along with the Victoria Police, VicRoads, the Department of Transport and local councils, are appealing to motorists to be aware of the increase in cyclist and vehicular traffic in your area and seek an alternate route where possible.
With 4000 bike riders, including 1200 school students, taking part in Australia’s largest one-week cycling holiday, Bicycle Network Victoria event manager Darren Allen appealed to motorists for their co-operation and patience.
It has been five years since the ride last visited parts of the 2012 route. The event is in its 29th year.
“The bike riders range from babies being towed in trailers to over 80 years of age,” Mr Allen said.
“Some will be very experienced cyclists while others will be saddling up for their first great bike ride.
“They will stretch along the road for up to 50 kilometres each day.”
Mr Allen said it would be quicker to take an alternative route while the ride was passing through the region.
“If this is not possible please give cyclists 1.5 metres clearance when overtaking, be aware of oncoming traffic and that cyclists travel at 15-35 km/h,” he said.
Local roads impacted by the Great Victorian Bike Ride:
Sunday, November 25 – Bruthen to Briagolong via Lindenow South: Omeo Highway, Eastwood Rd, Howitt Avenue, Wy Yung Rd, Wy-Yung-Calulu Rd, Settlement Rd, Windmill Rd, Main Rd, Fernbank-Lindenow South Rd, Stockdale- Ferndale Rd, Freestone Creek Rd and Briagolong Rd.
Monday, November 26 – Briagolong to Rosedale via Maffra and Heyfield: Briagolong-Maffra Rd, Johnson St, River St, Traralgon-Maffra Rd, Tinamba-Seaton Rd, Heyfield-Upper Maffra Rd, Tinamba-Glenmaggie Rd, Heyfield- Jamieson Rd, Glenmaggie Rd, Heyfield-Seaton Rd, Lyons St and Duke St.
Tuesday, November 27 – Rosedale to Traralgon via Balook: Moore St, Cansick Rd, Willung Rd, Gormandale-Stradbroke Rd, Willung South Rd, Grand Ridge Rd, Traralgon-Balook Rd, Traralgon Creek Rd, Shakespeare St, Liddiard St and Davidson St.