Thursday October 5, 2023

Annual bike ride a cycling success

The annual Great East Rail Trail Ride was held on Saturday, September 23, for its eighth year.
The event saw 76 participants ride the 100km+ from Bairnsdale to Orbost over three days, it’s a spectacular event that showcases the region’s beautiful country side and the collaboration with local businesses, bringing people from interstate including Tasmania and NSW.
Event manager and owner of Snowy River Cycling, Michelle Perry, said it was an absolute privilege to be able to bring an event like this together.
“Collaborating with other local businesses and showcasing our beautiful region is something I’m very passionate about and then to do that with so many amazing people that a deep value for all the things we are offering here, great food, transport, nature and a riding itinerary that they can feel comfortable with 30km a day knowing that we are there to support them if needed at any time,” Ms Perry said.
“The team is super friendly, they go the extra mile to provide a great service and their local knowledge is evident.
“We had Race Day Medical enroute as our first aid responders as well as a support bus for those that just want to take a break.
“Enroute we had four-five support riders throughout the three days, event manager, route manager, as well as luggage and campsite managers. It really is a team effort and such a fantastic team to work with.”
Accommodation was booked out in both Bruthen and Nowa Nowa for this event, with 23 Easy tents booked - some riders booked early and booked the Glamping upgrades at Mingling Waters, others loved the retro caravans at Nowa Nowa Caravan Park.
Day one started in Bairnsdale, where riders travelled to Nicholson River Winery for lunch, an amazing roast lamb dinner at Bruthen Inn followed by trivia hosted by local trivia guru, Graham Millward.
Eighty-two-year-old rider, Joan, said “That roast at Bruthen Inn was as good as my mother’s, and that’s saying something”.  On day two, participants were greeted by Orbost Rotary, who provided hot and cold breakfast options accompanied with a coffee from Flat Bickie.
For those wanting to add a bit more kms or a challenge to their day, they could opt to ride the Lakes Discovery Trail as an extra sweat option.
Arriving in Nowa Nowa for The Local Metung’s delicious gourmet toasties there was plenty of time to explore, enjoy a massage from Penny from Mind and Body Marlo, a kayak or a SUP from Sarah at Venture Out or take part in Liz’s Biek maintenance workshop which was a big hit, particularly for women looking to find their independence and confidence to fix their own bikes and take their new found skills back to their cycling groups.
In the evening participants had lamb ragu baked spuds by The Local Metung while listening to Ben Cawood rock out all the classics.
Day three was a 40km day bound for Sailors Grave Brewing for lunch in Orbost to enjoy a kranskie and tasting paddle, relaxing to Olivia Lay music before being transported back to Bairnsdale.
The East Gippsland Rail Committee and their volunteers were acknowledged for their tireless efforts in clearing the trail in preparation for this event.
“The feedback has been so positive that I cant wait to run it again and work on getting it back to its capacity of 120 riders, I’m even looking to run an additional event an, Autumn Great East with a little twist,” Ms Perry said.
“One rider emailed in afterwards passing on her appreciation and said that ‘it really was one of the best mini holidays I’ve had’”.
To keep informed follow socials Great East Rail Trail Ride.

IMAGE: Founder of the Great East event, Liz Mitchell, with volunteers Brooke Davis and Bree Kenny.

East Gippsland Rail Trail

PO Box 1283
Victoria 3875

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