Family takes to the wheels for big ride

November 20, 2023 BY

Teamwork: Bonnie McBeath and daughter Olivia are entering the Great Vic Bike Ride as an experienced pair, having taken part in the Around the Bay family ride. Photo: MICHAEL CURRIE

THE Great Vic Bike Ride sets off on Saturday 25 November, and one little participant is proving you don’t even need to pedal to take part.

Three-year-old Olivia, and her bike-riding mum Bonnie McBeath, who will tow her in a small trailer, are tackling the nine-day scenic cycling challenge, which runs between Orbost and Wonthaggi in Gippsland.

“Cycling is part of my daily life, and I started looking at holiday options that would be fun for my daughter and for me, and the Great Vic Bike Ride came to mind,” Ms McBeath said.

“The ride is all coordinated and organised, so she and I can enjoy.

“The Gippsland Lakes are beautiful so I’m looking forward to getting up close to Paynesville, and seeing it all at a slightly slower pace.

“I’ll be able to find many playgrounds for Olivia along the way.”

Ms McBeath said her daughter feels at home on the back of the bike and had her first cycling outing at six months old.

“We go most places on the bike, so she’s very used to it,” she said. “If I don’t have to, I don’t take the car.

“Olivia likes to go and get a coffee, so we are often out on the bike in search of a cafe, which is pretty cute.

“It’s a really fun way for the pair of us to get out and about. We go off on all sorts of adventures… and anywhere we can ride, we do.

“Our training rides all take place around Ballarat. I pack a lunchbox for my babe and we set off far and wide in search of a playground.”

Bicycle Network general manager of events Caitlin Borchers said getting involved in the Great Vic Bike Ride is a way to have a fun and active holiday, with some challenge thrown in.

“You’ll join new and old friends riding through Victoria’s beautiful countryside,” she said. “Three thousand riders from Victoria, interstate and overseas are expected to join this year’s Great Vic.

“Gippsland has some of the best bike riding in Australia; gentle gradients, quiet country backroads and scenery to die for, making it ideal for bike riders of all levels.”