The Weekly Advertiser

Foundation set for cycling plan

CYCLING:  Climbing the Natimuk Cemetery Road.

WIMMERA RIDE: An Arapiles Cycling Event on Saturday attracted 69 cyclists from across Victoria and raised more than $1000 in fees and donations for Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce. A 123-kilometre circuit involved 43 riders. A team of 26 volunteers ran the event, directing cyclists, manning rest stops and supervising the administration. Organisers anticipate the ACE Ride will continue in 2019 and have thanked the various agencies involved. Riders are pictured cycling along Natimuk Cemetery Road with Mt Arapiles in the background. 
Picture: MARK RADFORD.

The Wimmera is at the heart of a comprehensive and collaborative plan to establish much of western Victoria as a national cycling magnet.
The region appears set to play a critical foundation role in a 10-year cycling master plan that embraces a departmental ‘Grampians’ area stretching from Bacchus Marsh to the South Australian border and deep into the Mallee.
Wimmera Development Association has created and launched the plan on behalf of 11 councils, with government funding through Regional Development Victoria.
The concept is geared towards exploiting tourism opportunities generated from an estimated 50,000 visitors a year drawn to the region through cycling.
The plan includes a 10-year pipeline of regional projects, covering various cycling disciplines including mountain biking, road cycling, touring and recreation.
The master plan includes a full economic business case for three key projects, including one in Hindmarsh and another in Ararat municipalities.
Wimmera River Discovery Trail, stretching from Dimboola to Lake Hindmarsh, is in Hindmarsh Shire and an Ararat Hills Mountain Bike Park is in Ararat Rural City.
The third business case involves further investment in cycling infrastructure on a Goldfields Track between Ballarat and Bendigo.
Wimmera Development Association executive director Ralph Kenyon said economic modelling in the business cases meant the projects were ‘shovel’ ready for government investment. He added that expectations were the master plan would trigger an additional $10-million investment in business services to accommodate tourism growth.
Mr Kenyon said plan development had been a ‘fantastic’ collaborative effort of councils in the Grampians RDV region and was an example of what could be achieved when organisations worked together ‘while looking at a bigger picture’.
“This project gives the Grampians a 10-year plan to guide a more strategic approach to the opportunities for cycling tourism across the region,” he said.
“We’ve seen what cycle tourism can do in reviving towns like Forrest in the Otway Ranges, and Derby in Tasmania, where riders from all over Australia flock to ride the incredible mountain bike trails.
“Our project has created a road map to attract the investment that is needed to grow a new tourism product in our region.”
Regional branding
Mr Kenyon said as well as the master plan, there had also been work to develop a regional brand to support promotion of the projects and the region as an emerging cycling destination as the product took shape.
He said following the launch, participating councils would have summary documents as well as a comprehensive project breakdown to help with further product development, grant applications and-or training opportunities.
“It is expected individual councils will engage with their local cycling groups and committees to plan and implement many facets of the regional report,” he said.
A full report is available at www.wda.org.au.

Rider Number 1, Ian Moore from Warrandyte in Melbourne led off the Riders.  Ian was the first to Register in August.   Ian’s number is:0418 398 660

Rider Number 1, Ian Moore from Warrandyte in Melbourne led off the Riders.

Riders gather in Sawyer Park on Saturday morning.

Riders gather in Sawyer Park on Saturday morning.

The entire October 10, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=67756

Posted on Oct 10 2018

Posted by on Oct 10 2018. Filed under FEATURED, News, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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