A-Z of the Great Victorian Bike Ride

Cyclists pedalling down a road

You'll never walk alone: the WARBYs keep an eye on everyone during the Great Vic Bike Ride

A is for Australia’s largest cycling holiday. It’s also for age and those who reckon they are too old to go on a cycling holiday.

B is for Bicycle Victoria. With over 40,000 members, it is Australia’s largest and fastest growing cycling organisation. B is also for Bicycle, if you haven’t got one borrow a friend’s bike, or buy a second-hand one.

C is for clothes. Lycra will be everywhere, and for most cyclists nothing gets between them and their lycra. C is also for Cadel Evans, one of many to have ridden a Great Vic.

D is for distance. There are 590 kilometres to ride. D is also for the preparation DVD you will be sent.

E is for entertainment. There are bands, movies, our own radio station BYK FM and a daily newspaper, the Good Oil.

F is for fitness. After a week on a bike you will feel fit. F is also for food. All meals except lunch on the rest day are provided.

G is for granny gear. It’s what you use for the steepest hills. G is also for the Goulburn River Explorer – if you are looking for a shorter option then join the ride for the last three days.

H is for Helmets. For the students from Alice Springs it means dot painted helmets. Graham Buckley, who rode the first GVBR in 1984, has been bringing Aboriginal students since 2003 when he brought Rowan McNamara.

I is for the international participants. Last year people came from the UK, NZ, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Thailand and USA.

J is for just for fun and joining in on the ride.

K is kids. The ride attracts over 50 school groups who help make the event a cross section of society.

L is for luggage – with seven semi trailers carrying the luggage each day it’s important to remember which one your gear is on. L is also for should I shave my legs? It’s not essential.

M is for money. The Great Vic is one of the most affordable holidays you will ever find. M is also for massage.

N is nights. For many it’s the social atmosphere not the cycling. N is also for Nagambie – the site of the rest day.

O is for obesity. Deal with it by cycling. You’ll also reduce the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

P is for getting physically prepared for the trip. Build up slowly, ride regularly and make sure you do a few hills.

Q is for all those questions you have. There is heaps of info on the greatvic.com.au. Or call Bicycle Victoria on 1800 616 600.

R is for the world’s largest fully supported one week bike ride. There are a few bigger rides but they don’t offer the same degree of support.

S is for statistics. There are seven shower trucks with around 16 showers in each as well as nine loo trucks plus a fleet of portaloos along the route. The riders will pedal nearly three million kilometres. The volunteers will prepare and serve over 100,000 meals over the nine days, load 110,000 kilos of luggage onto trucks each day, and much more. Around 600 kg of recycling will be produced each day.

T is for tents. Over 3,500 tents will be pitched each day including two massive catering tents. If you don’t want to pitch your own tent then book early for the Sleep Easy option and get someone else to do it.

U is for undies. In the words of GVBR rider Belinda Keir: “Take nice undies. Remember these will be hanging up to dry outside your tent, so the droopy Cottontails should be left at home.”

V is for the 500 volunteers. They are the true spirit of the ride. Without them there would be no ride. V is also for VicRoads, not only the major sponsor, but an integral part in spreading the safe cycling message to schools along the route.

W is for water. It’s important to drink lots as you ride but also vital not to waste. Only 25 litres of water will be used by each rider each day. W is also for the WARBY’s – We Are Right Behind You – a group of volunteer cyclists.

X is for extra money in your pocket. There will be many tempting cafes, wineries, pubs and restaurants along the way.

Y is for the Yarrawonga where the ride starts on the Murray River this year. Get there early and check out the pre-ride camping options.

Z is for zzzzing. You’ll sleep better if you get a workout each day on a bike. Z is also for the zippers you will hear each morning as people unzip their sleeping bags and tents.

If you want to find out more visit www.greatvic.com.au or call 1800 616 600

See you on the road soon God willing.

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