THE Rotary Club of Wollundry Wagga Wagga will play host to the third annual Gears and Beers festival on Sunday, October 2.
What started as an idea nutted out over a barbecue by father and son Phillip and Nathan McIntosh, has turned into a major tourism drawcard for the city with an anticipated 1000 riders and 4000 people expected to attend this year.
Basically, the idea was to have a ride that recreated the great Spring Classics in the Wagga region, then culminate in the city where riders could met up with family and friends and socialise.
Phil, a member of the Rotary club and chairman of the organising committee, said the event had grown year on year, since attracting 360 riders and 3000 into the festival in 2014.
“This ride is taking on a life of its own as it is in keeping with the classics in Europe,” Phil said.
“The event is becoming widely followed outside Wagga Wagga and the Riverina. We have entries from QLD, SA, ACT, VIC and New Zealand all coming to ride the Rapha Dirty 130.”
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There are now five rides of varying lengths, including the Dirty 130 over sealed and unsealed roads.
“The event is a community participation event not a race,” Phil said.
“There are five ride lengths so we are catering for all riding abilities, ranging from beginners to experienced.”
This year will also include riders in the Rapha Pilgrimage, cycling to Wagga on the Friday and Saturday prior from Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Not for the faint-hearted, riders will include national and Olympic champions, various title holders and professionals.
The craft beer and cider festival will be an atmospheric event for all in the Victory Memorial Gardens with live entertainment throughout the day for the friends and family greeting riders as they complete the challenge.
“With the explosion of popularity for finely crafted beers and cider people will come from far and wide to sample the wares of these very passionate brewers,” Phil said. “We have the actual brewers in attendance to talk to people about what they are currently brewing and why. They are all micro brewers who own their own breweries.
“Combine that with fine food and entertainment on stage all afternoon and It should make for a great day.”
Performers will include Social Hand Grenade, David Taylor and Mitch Gardner, The Mighty Yak, Switch to Whiskey and The Nortons.
All rides start and finish at the Victory Memorial Gardens, where the beer and cider festival will run from 11am to 6pm.
For more information and to pre-register to ride, visit www.gearsandbeers.org.au.
There and back
The day will include rides catering for all ages and abilities:
- A 9km short course
- A 30km short course
- A 50km medium course
- A 105km long course
- The Dirty 130 - 130km on sealed and unsealed roads