Volunteers make the wheels go round

Lynch pins: many cycling events wouldn't happen without volunteer help. Photo: Bicycle Victoria

Lynch pins: many cycling events wouldn't happen without volunteer help. Photo: Bicycle Victoria

There would not be clubs and organisations if it were not for volunteers, people that freely give and give again, going the extra mile getting satisfaction out of seeing others enjoyment.  Cycling in Bendigo has a wonderful background of volunteers supporting and making events possible.

The Bendigo International Madison runs off a committee of volunteers that work tirelessly all year to prepare for the annual event. The Bendigo and District Cycling Club, Bendigo Mountain Bike Club, Bendigo Triathlete Club, Bendigo BMX Club all have positions for volunteers and welcome people that are able to shoulder the load of running events. The clubs host their own club championships, weekly events and open classics that draw visitors to the Bendigo Region from across the state and interstate.

On 20 September the Bendigo Mountain Bike Club is hosting Golden Triangle Epic Australian Marathon Championship which is an Australian Title ride for the coveted jersey rights. The race central will be set up like a small village with an anticipated temporary population exceeding 1,500 on the day. To accommodate this influx of riders and supports there is a need for an army of volunteers. Would like to help out and make the Bendigo hosting a memorable event? Please call Murray Willett 0448 990 721.

Bicycle Victoria is also calling for volunteers for Australia’s largest bicycle holiday – The 2009 Great Victorian Bike Ride. The volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs from catering through to medical, route marshals, luggage and providing information. Kylee Elkington, Bicycle Victoria’s Volunteer Coordinator, said: “Volunteers make the Ride happen – without them, there would be no Great Victorian Bike Ride, it is that simple.”

In 2009, the volunteers will be looking after 5,000 cyclists who rushed to take part in the legendary ride which this year features the Great Ocean Road. Ms Elkington said volunteering on a major event such as the Great Victorian Bike Ride was a great way of meeting new people and developing life-long friendships, you have a whole heap of fun getting involved in a fantastic event. Volunteers get to learn new skills, work in a team with lots of camaraderie.  This can lead to career opportunities and valuable experience in the event industry.

“It has to be a win-win for the volunteer and Bicycle Victoria. Beginning as a volunteer myself, I appreciate the amazing satisfaction you get when giving back to the community.  For others it is an opportunity to develop new skills. Others volunteer on the ride to share the experience with family and friends that are riding”, she added.

Volunteers get all their meals included (except Rest Day lunch), volunteer uniform.  Bicycle Victoria also provides free transport to and from the event (conditions apply).  “We find many volunteers treat it as a holiday, even though they must help, this is because it is literally “A week in another world,” Ms Elkington added.

The volunteer roles are diverse. Some of the areas include:

  • Catering – involves serving the food that our professional chefs prepare.
  • Route Marshals – ensuring our riders are headed in the right direction as they cycle each day.
  • First aid – Doctors, nurses and physiotherapists help make up the medical team.

How to sign up as a volunteer: Go to  www.greatvic.com.au and follow the links to volunteering.  Apply directly online or call Bicycle Victoria on 1800 616 600. The website also provides a description of each volunteer team. It provides an outline of the roles and tasks expected of you if you join that team.

Organised by Bicycle Victoria, the 546 kilometre cycling holiday will feature the dramatic rock formations of the Twelve Apostles, pass through the Otway Ranges forests, and slow down for a swim at world-famous beaches like Lorne, Anglesea and Bells.

The cycling holiday starts on Saturday 28 November with the first day as a loop ride from Portland to Cape Bridgewater and back to Portland. Overnight stops are planned for: Macarthur (29 Nov), Port Fairy (30 Nov), Port Campbell (1 Dec), Apollo Bay (two nights 2 & 3 Dec), Anglesea (4 Dec), and Queenscliff (5 Dec). The ride ends in Geelong at Eastern Park on Sunday 6 December.

Bicycle Victoria is a self-funded community organisation that was established in 1975, and since then Bicycle Victoria has been dedicated to getting More People Cycling More Often.


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