December 12, 2022

Local schools laud Great Vic Bike Ride

The Great Victorian Bike Ride has concluded for 2022 with thousands cycling the Great Ocean Road en route to Buninyong’s finish line.

Among more than 2,500 cyclists taking on the event were Geelong and Surf Coast school students.

Surf Coast Secondary Year 8 student Willem Curwood said a part of the ride that really stuck with him was coming into Anglesea last week, led by teacher Megan Wyatt.

“It has been very good, beautiful views of the Great Ocean Road and given the weather in the lead up to ride, which forced us to change camping locations from Birregurra to Colac, we weren’t expecting to get beautiful weather later in the ride,” Willem said.

“The biggest challenge was definitely the big hills we had to climb through the Otways, but it was super rewarding to get the downhill portion into Apollo Bay.

“People had been saying that we were in our home territory the whole ride, so it was awesome to ride through the sign saying we were coming into the Surf Coast Shire, into our home turf.”

Year 10 student Gus Maibaum said the Surf Coast Secondary cohort was supportive over the ride, which he mentioned was a little less challenging than expected.

“We definitely have a great group of riders, it was especially awesome to come into our own region, it definitely gave us a boost,” he said.

“It was a great feeling to ride from Warrnambool through to Anglesea knowing we are pretty much at home.”

Geelong Grammar has been an annual participant in the Great Victorian Bike Ride since the 1990s and in 2022, 56 Year 8 students, including 11 staff and 12 parents made up a team of 79 – one of the largest of all the school groups that took part in the ride.

Team leader Simon Finnigan said the Great Victorian Bike Ride provides students with a wonderful way to finish the year.

“There are many benefits from coming on the ride for the students,” he said.

“The ride is a fantastic endurance challenge as well as providing them with a purposeful finish to the school year.

“The teamwork required, and the shared experiences and challenges, are powerful unifying forces.”

Bicycle Network announced next year’s ride would take place from November 25, 2023 to December 3, 2023 from Orbost to Inverloch.

Surf Coast Times story here.

Photo credit: Surf Coast Secondary students camping a town over from where their residences are located. Photos: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

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