Shepparton’s biggest charity bike event, the Fruit Loop Ride, is on this weekend and organisers are urging local riders to get involved.
‘‘There’s a lot of rides around but this is a local ride for a local institution,’’ Fruit Loop Ride committee member David Abbey said.
‘‘We like the fact we are a smaller-scale operation, have very little overheads and our money goes to where we say it’s going.’’
The fundraising event, now in its 17th year, has raised more than $300000 for Goulburn Valley Hospice Care since it began.
‘‘It’s an enormous effort (to raise that amount) for Goulburn Valley Hospice Care,’’ Mr Abbey said.
‘‘Last year we had about 150 riders participate and this Sunday the weather is looking okay, so, hopefully, we’ll see similar numbers.’’
The bike event offers three rides including a 115km route to Dookie and back, a 50km ride through Congupna and for the first time a children’s ride.
‘‘(The children’s ride) leaves mid-morning and will head to KidsTown along the bush bike trail, where we’ll have activities for an hour there and then ride back,’’ Mr Abbey said.
This year, event organisers are encouraging riders with old steel and retro bikes to enter the ride. But first they are asked to display their bikes at the Shepparton Motor Museum the day before the event — on Saturday.
‘‘There is a unique and world-class collection there, which is called the Farren Collection, which we hope to complement,’’ Mr Abbey said.
Every dollar raised will go to GV Hospice Care, an organisation, which has a mission to lead, promote and develop excellence in palliative care.
Goulburn Valley Hospice Care committee member John Hetherington said the money raised from Fruit Loop Ride was of great use.
‘‘They’ve been fantastic ... they’re a community-based organisation themselves and we’ve been able to do wonderful things with the money they provide us.’’
There will be a fantastic raffle prize on offer at Fruit Loop Ride, which starts at Princess Park, Nixon St, on Sunday morning.
‘‘(Don Ash) Avantiplus has been the major sponsor for years and everyone who participates will go into the draw to win a brand new road bike worth $3000,’’ Mr Abbey said.
There is also added incentive for local riding groups to join the ride. The cycling group with the most entries into the event will have the chance to win a $250 voucher at the Aussie Hotel.
Starting times for the bike rides are 8am for the 115km circuit, 9.30am for the 50km gentle circuit and 10am for the children’s ride to KidsTown.
Registration for the event will open at 7am at Princess Park.