All eyes on Nati for ACE Ride
A‘boutique’ community cycling event will start and finish in Natimuk for the first time this year.
The 2019 Arapiles Cycling Event, offering people a chance to pedal the Wimmera countryside on three different courses of varying difficulty, will be on October 5.
In previous years, the ‘ACE ride’ has seen participants from across Victoria start and end their trip in Horsham.
Come October however, and it will be Natimuk that welcomes more than 40 cyclists keen on making the trip through picturesque Grampians.
Event manager Mark Radford said organisers tried to alter routes every year to inspire renewed interest.
He said centring rides to Natimuk would create opportunities for the township, particularly because most riders were from outside the region.
“We have 40 riders who have already signed up, and only two people are from Horsham,” he said.
“We have a large amount from Melbourne and Warrnambool. It creates opportunities for the Natimuk hotel, café and milk bar for accommodation and serving lunch and dinner.
“It’s very encouraging that we have so many
people from outside the region who are interested.”
Cyclists can choose from a 100, 50 or 20-kilometre circuit, which all avoid main roads and include manned rest stops for riders to pace themselves and divide their trips into stages.
As well as a chance to enjoy a ‘quiet scenic route’, Mr Radford said riders would also be supporting the Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce.
He said $20 from every 100 and 50-kilometre entry would go towards supporting the taskforce.
“We had 65 riders last year, and it would be fantastic if we had equal to or better than that,” he said.
“We really want to encourage riders of all abilities to have a crack.
“If we can get 100 riders that is $2000, which is an incredible donation.”
For early-bird entry fees, the 100-kilometre route costs $75, the 50-kilometre route $65, and the 20-kilometre route $10, or $30 for a family.
All circuits start from outside Natimuk Community Centre.
The 100-kilometre circuit starts at 7.30am, the 50-kilometre circuit at 9am, and the 20-kilometre circuit at 10am.
People can enter online at www.aceride.com.au or at Horsham Cyclery.