Ready to roll for Murray to Moyne

READY: Kirkstall cyclist Graeme Burchell is preparing to ride in the Murray to Moyne as a member of the South West Healthcare team Scrubbers and the Gasman. Picture: Rob Gunstone
READY: Kirkstall cyclist Graeme Burchell is preparing to ride in the Murray to Moyne as a member of the South West Healthcare team Scrubbers and the Gasman. Picture: Rob Gunstone

RIDERS will pedal from one end of the state to the other this weekend as part of the annual Murray to Moyne  cycling relay.

The event will begin on Saturday morning at three starting points along the Murray River at the townships of Mildura, Swan Hill and Echuca.

Teams will travel 520 kilometres and arrive in Port Fairy at Railway Place on Sunday morning.

Murray to Moyne administrator Lou Hollis said all was in readiness for the annual ride.

“It is a relay, not a race and people certainly enjoy that,” Ms Hollis said.

“We work closely with police and emergency services to let them know when and where we will be and all our riders know they have to obey the road laws.

“That means there is minimum disruption to other road users and communities along the way.”

This year’s relay has 53 teams entered, which includes 800 riders.

The teams come from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

While the number of teams are slightly down on last year, Ms Hollis said organisers were still happy with how many riders are taking part.

“There are a few factors this year with the numbers being down that we didn’t really have control of,” she said.

“Some people are going up to the Commonwealth Games and this weekend is the middle of the school holidays so a lot of families are away.

“But there are some really positive signs, we are still getting some new riders and some who haven’t been for a while but are coming back. 

“This will be the 32nd time the ride has been held so that is three generations of riders.

“That longevity does create an attachment and we find that a lot of people are following on from the generation before them and taking part in the ride.”

The Murray to Moyne is a fund-raiser for health services and health causes with up to 10 teams from the south-west taking part.

The ride was founded in 1987 by Hester and the last Graham Woodrup as a fund-raiser for the Port Fairy Hospital. 

The first ride was taken on by Port Fairy riders only and was successful, raising $10,000 for the hospital.

The profile of the event grew and soon attracted riders from outside the area, making it a popular event on the state cycling calendar.