LOCAL groups are being asked to show their community spirit and give the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride a warm welcome when it comes through Gippsland from November 25 to December 3.
Travelling 517km, the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride provides bike riders with a fully supported, bike riding camping holiday.
More than 3000 riders from Victoria, interstate and overseas will gather at Tidal River at Wilsons Promontory for the start of the event.
After a day exploring the Prom, the riding will start on Sunday, November 26, with overnight stops at Foster, Yarram, Seaspray, Bairnsdale, Maffra and Glengarry, with a finish in Trafalgar.
Rebecca Lane, Bicycle Network’s general manager – Events, encourages community groups, schools and families to get involved.
“It’s a fun event for everyone. No matter if the ride camps overnight in your town, stops for lunch or simply rides through, you can be part of the event,” Ms Lane said.
Locals are welcome to come and check out the event campsites, and cheer participants across the welcome line as they arrive.
“It might be as simple as posters on your fence or windows, having a town mascot welcoming the riders, holding a street party, or if you’re a school group you might like to bring children to cheer the ride as it passes through town,” Ms Lane said.
“It’s also a great opportunity for local shops, cafes and businesses to get involved with offers for riders.”
RACV Great Vic riders say community spirit is their favourite part of the event and that they love the hospitality that makes them feel like locals when they stop in for the night.
And towns that make an impression with riders benefit from return visitation, with Bicycle Network research finding that 70 per cent of riders return to a town along the route within a year of the event with their friends and family.
To register to ride in the event (there are three, five, and nine day options), or for tips and examples on how you can welcome riders to your town, visit www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/rides-and-events/racv-great-victorian-bike-ride
Registrations close on Friday, November 24.

Great Victorian Bike Ride: road closures

ROAD users should expect some traffic disruptions and reduced speeds as the Great Victorian Bike Ride’s 3000 participants travel through South Gippsland on Sunday, November 26 and Monday, November 27.
Visual message boards will be placed at key locations prior to event.
On Sunday, November 26, Meeniyan Promontory Road (near Soldiers Road) to Tidal River will be closed in both directions from 6.30am to 12.30pm, with a traffic marshal placed at the commencement of the road closure. Entry into Wilsons Promontory National Park will open at 12.30pm.
There will also be traffic disruptions and reduced speed along the Foster-Promontory Road and Fish Creek—Foster Road (from Fish Creek turn off to Foster) from approximately 9am to 2pm on Sunday.
On Monday, November 27 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, and crossing the South Gippsland Highway.
From approximately 7am to 12.30pm on Monday, the following roads will be affected: Creamy Valley Road, Toora-Wonyip Road, Woorarra Road. The South Gippsland Highway from Welshpool to Yarram will be affected from approximately 8am to 3pm.

Welcome riders to Foster

COME and join the celebrations and welcome participants of the Great Victorian Bike Ride to town at the Foster Street Party on Sunday, November 26.
There will be food stalls and entertainment along the main street throughout the day, with sections of the street closed to traffic.
The rear car parks parallel to the main street will still be accessible.