Late in November, looking around Yarragon you will see spandex, Lycra, spandex, Lycra, spandex and a bit more Lycra.
Thanks to a $10,000 sponsorship and in-kind support package from the Baw Baw Shire Council, the Great Victorian Bike Ride is coming to Yarragon on November 29.
Importantly for the local economy the cyclists will be stopping overnight, camping at Downton Park Reserve.
In 2011 over 4000 riders and support crew participated in the event and similar numbers are expected to participate this year.
The Yarragon Business Association is expecting a majority of participants will come into town to have a look around, have a meal, and do some shopping.
While restaurants, cafes and pubs are expected to do well with past years showing many riders will phone ahead to book a meal, retailers need to be aware riders have limited capacity to carry their purchases.
To get around this problem, the Yarragon Business Association is encouraging business to offer to post purchases to riders’ homes.
The benefit of hosting the event is not just the one-off hit of visitors for an afternoon and evening; event organisers estimate 76 per cent of participants return to areas they have visited during their ride.
President of the Yarragon Business Association Craig Holmes said in a recent email to members that businesses need to leave a good impression on visitors.
“To maximise this all businesses need to do their best to create a fantastic first impression of Yarragon,” Mr Holmes said.
Businesses are considering opening later on the day, offering a second early evening shopping opportunity in Yarragon to go with the traditional Christmas extended hours.
Community members have asked the Baw Baw Shire to waive busker fees and licences for the event period so local musicians can add to the vibrancy and diversity of the village atmosphere.
It is expected a public meeting will be run by the Baw Baw Shire for Yarragon-based business and community groups to discuss details of the ride.
Readers of The Warragul Citizen who would like to learn more about the Yarragon Business Association’s plans can contact Craig Holmes, YBA President, PO Box 197, Yarragon, Victoria 3823.
About the author: Wombat runs a small meat goat farm in Yarragon and wonders if his goats will be as excited to see the cyclists in spandex as he is. Wombat is involved in a number of Yarragon-based groups hoping to befit form this exciting opportunity.
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