What’s the best way to ride around Victoria and southwest WA? By joining in with thousands of other keen cyclists . . .

There’s no need to jump in a car if you want to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in Victoria or WA from the ground. With Bicycle Victoria, all you need to do is hop on a bike. Take the challenge of cycling through these amazing regions in The Great Victorian Bike Ride or The Great Escapade this summer.

Celebrate The Great Victorian Bike Ride’s 25th anniversary by taking part in its first loop trip to and from Ballarat. If you can’t spare the full nine days, you can embark on the four-day Grampians Explorer Ride from Halls Gap to Ballarat.

Bicycle Victoria’s Ride Director, Nikki Tyler, says this year’s route has it all. “The stunning Grampians, lakes, rail trails, wineries and wildlife.”

More than 4000 cyclists of all levels are expected to embark on the trip, which Tyler insists is “an amazing journey that you will remember for the rest of your life.”

The Great Escapade is also returning to WA with a 537km loop trip, starting and finishing in Margaret River. With 2000 keen cyclists expected to take part, you’ll be sure to meet some colourful characters while discovering one of the world’s best cycling regions. An alternative two-day trip, the Busselton Breakaway Ride, is available for those who can’t spare the full nine days and will take you through Busselton to Donnybrook.

Sarah Greenwood-Smith, the Great Escapade Ride director, says the trip is a great opportunity and “the perfect holiday for people who want to discover their country, their health and even themselves.”

If you’re keen to meet some friendly faces and see Australia from a unique perspective, these trips might be right for you. For more info on how to take part, check out www.greatvic.com.au  and www.greatescapade.com.au  – and for AT’s most recent article on the bike rides, click here for AT Reader Andrew Abbey’s terrific account of the 2006 WA Great Escapade.

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