The south-west is a "lovely place to ride" but could be doing more to support cycling tourism, a Melbourne-based cycling advocate said.
John Cook, from the Whitehorse Cyclists, said he would like to see the region's councils invest in a greater number of linking bike paths and a circuit established across the region.
Mr Cook said that the club organised regular “hub and spoke” rides, where members stay in a central location and undertake different rides around the area.
“We rode to Childer’s Cove, the rail trail to Koroit and Tower Hill, along the Timboon Rail trail, and around Port Fairy,” Mr Cook said.
He said that the group would love to see a cycling trail that linked Warrnambool to Timboon and the 12 Apostles trail.
“Nothing gets cyclists more excited then a good bike path,” he said.
Bicycle Network’s general manager public affairs Anthea Hargreaves said cycling tourism can provide a big boost to local economies.
“There are so many positive flow on effects from cycling tourism,” Ms Hargreaves said. “More local jobs, more heads on beds, and more tourist dollars in the pockets of local businesses.”
“There’s a wealth of evidence to show that building and connecting local bike trails and encouraging more people to visit by bike can deliver considerable economic, health and social benefits. Many regional communities across the state are investing in cycling tourism and are already reaping the rewards.”
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