THOUSANDS of cyclists will descend on the Blue Lake city tomorrow as part of the Great Victorian Bike Ride.
More than 4000 bike riders will explore over 600km of coastal and forest landscapes along the Limestone Coast, the Great Ocean Road and through the Great Otway National Park from yesterday.
Limestone Coast residents Justyna Grosse and Wendy Lines are participating on “holiday” and will travel 652km on two wheels.
The pair will start their journey at Robe and travel through Millicent, Mount Gambier, Portland, Port Fairy, Peterborough, Beech Forest and Deans Marsh to arrive at the final location in Torquay.
Ms Lines looks forward to the stop in her home town on the ride’s third day.
“I have already done the race three times and know what it is all about,” she said.
“It is good fun and I knew it was coming through our home town so I thought it was a good opportunity to get on board.
“We will probably even be able to stop off at our own house on the third day.”
Ms Grosse said she looked forward to the final destination at Torquay as she had never visited before.
“I am also possibly looking forward to the day in Port Fairy as it is our rest day,” she said.
Ms Grosse, who recently participated in the Great Cycle Challenge, said the duo had been preparing for the non-competitive event by riding almost everyday.
“In the last month, I have done just under 2050km and Wendy has done just over a 1000km,” she said.
“I think it is more than enough preparation really.”
Ms Lines said breaks were available every 25 to 30km.
“I think the longest day ride is 107km so breaks will be needed otherwise people may be exhausted by the end,” she said.
“People need to make use of the stops because the volunteers are there for you.”
Ms Lines said there was a strong sense of camaraderie among the riders and the communities in which overnight stops were held.
“Generally when you come into each town they hold an event and they make it a bit festive,” she said.
“We have all our food supplied and there are large camping areas to stay at.
“There is always a quiet camping area so that is where I will be going to.”
Riding on and off for around four years, Ms Grosse said she was hoping for a tail wind and no rain the whole trip.
“This year, I have just kept going because of this event,” she said.
“I had a knee operation this year too which is holding on, but riding is great fitness.
“I like bike riding because if you need to stop, you can just pull over, take a photograph and do whatever you like.”
On day three of the trip, the bike riders will stay at the Blue Lakes Sports Park on Sunday afternoon before departing for Portland on Monday morning.
A road closure will be in place from 9am on November 21 to 9.15am on November 22 on Lord Syleham Road, Robe.
Caroline Road, Twin Track and Dry Creek Road will be closed from 6.30am to 11.45am.
Bicycle Network, along with the Victoria Police, SA Police, VicRoads and local councils are asking local road users to be aware of the increase in bike traffic, changed traffic conditions and extended travel times.
They advise local road users to seek an alternate route where possible.
At times there will be speed reductions, the presence of traffic controllers and police.
Riders will be on roads after leaving campsites in designated towns along the route – between 6.30am and 8:30am each day – and most will arrive between noon and 5pm that same day at their next campsite.