AN epic experience on this year’s Great Vic Bike Ride is just what Dromana cyclist Rose Benton needs as she eases back into the sport after a break.
Benton is tackling her first Great Vic Ride: the nine-day Ride the Art Silos and the Grampians, Saturday 27 November to Sunday 5 December.
The 537-kilometre route is being billed as an “exceptional mix of scenery, art on a grand scale, wildlife, wineries and the awe-inspiring Grampians National Park”.
The 37th ride will start in Rainbow and progress through Rainbow, Brim, Horsham for two nights, Halls Gap for two nights, Dunkeld and Pomonal and finish at Great Western.
Highlights include the grain lands of Rainbow, Grampians National Park, art silos which are part of Australia’s largest outdoor gallery, a loop ride out of Horsham to arts hub Natimuk, a visit to Pomonal which is famous for its spring-time wildflowers, Seppelt Winery and the grain lands of Rainbow.
“The Great Vic Bike Ride will be my entry point to get back into bike riding,” said Benton, who is an experienced rider having ridden the 235-kilometre Peaks Challenge in the High Country three times. “In recent times I have had a few crashes and not been riding.
“The Great Vic Bike Ride has always been on my bucket list so I thought.”
Benton said the Mornington Peninsula was a “mecca” for bike riding. “Whether it is a flat ride along the coast to Point Nepean or the challenge of Arthurs Seat.”
Those who can’t get away for the week can join the first five days from Rainbow to Halls Gap or the last three days from Halls Gap to Great Western.
More than 3000 people from across Australia are expected to take part.
“The ride will show people a different side to the Grampians, with both the riding and off-bike experiences showcasing something new,” Bicycle Network’s general manager of events Rebecca Lane said.
“The Great Vic has visited western Victoria and the Grampians previously, however, this time we’re extending to new areas of this spectacular region, with the event giving riders a great taste of the small communities and the local produce the area is famous for.
“After a year on ice, we’re excited to get our pedal party back on the road.”
Organisers say a COVID Safe plan will follow all Victorian Department of Health guidelines. This includes special start and finish line procedures, physical distancing and hygiene measures at all event sites.