THE Great Victorian Bike Ride wraps up on Sunday after generating a massive economic boost for the North East.
Destination Rutherglen executive officer Alexander Campbell said the tour was overwhelmingly positive for the town, which hosted cyclists for a rest day on Thursday.
She said 3500 cyclists camped at the Rutherglen Showgrounds.
“There was the obvious economic benefit and also the positive feedback from cyclists and organisers on the variety of things on offer for them to do,” she said.
“Landcare tours and canoeing tours were maxed out.
“Rotary and Lions clubs did cooked breakfasts for the cyclists, which sold out.
“There was a big economic benefit to the local services clubs.”
A Bicycle Network spokesman said riders spent between $20 and $40 a day, injecting about $90,000 into local communities daily.
“More than 60 per cent of riders say they will return to the region the event visits within the next 12 months, and almost 50 per cent of those said they would bring an additional guest with them,” he said.
Ms Campbell said Rutherglen retailers and eateries benefited from the ride stopover.
“Valentine’s bakery was really popular and they were well prepared with egg and bacon rolls and coffee,” Ms Campbell said.
“The op shop did two or three months’ trade in one day.”
Cyclists left Rutherglen on Thursday morning headed for Yarrawonga.
It has been four years since the ride last visited parts of the North East and Murray route.
Riders ranged in age from toddlers to 80-year-olds.
Bicycle Network general manager – events, Rebecca Lane, said road users would notice the extra bike riders and asked them to be mindful on the roads.
“With more than 3000 bike riders, including over 1200 school students taking part in the event we do ask other road users to plan ahead and allow extra time if they need to travel on the route,” she said.
The 2019 Great Victorian Bike Ride will cover 600 kilometres over 10 days through the Limestone Coast, Great Ocean Road and the Great Otway National Park.
The 36th annual event will be the longest ride in its history.