THOUSANDS of cyclists from across the globe swarmed the city at the weekend for the annual Gears and Beers Festival.
Riders departed on six different tracks from a family-friendly seven kilometres pedal along the river to the challenging 'Dirty 130' trek.
But the festivities truly kicked off when about 5000 riders and spectators spilled into Victory Memorial Gardens for a chilled beer to quench the thirst.
Founder Phil McIntosh said the event has been growing at an "extraordinary" 20 per cent rate, year-on-year.
This year, about 3000 cyclists registered with many taking on the challenge of the Dirty 130 race - many of which could be easily spotted rolling over the finish line on their dusty, mud stained bikes.
"We have become a destination for the Dirty 130 because of the gravel road terrain," Mr McIntosh said.
"The festival started it five years ago and it has since become popular in Australia so, we are lucky to have been ahead of the trend."
Of the thousands of riders eager to start the race on Sunday, more than 600 had been women according to Mr McIntosh, who said it was "sensational" to see.
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Most importantly, Mr McIntosh said the festival raised $200,000 for charities in and around Wagga.
Newcastle's Lisa Foley and Anne Hughes came to the city for a "girly weekend," which included a 50 kilometre bike ride through Wagga's northern suburbs and breathtaking scenery of wheat, canola and maize fields.
"I loved the scenery with the mix of hills and open plains, but I could have gone without the gusty head on winds. And most importantly the beers at the end make it worth it," Ms Foley said.
Central Coast's John Bell had no fear when choosing to take on the most difficult trek for his first festival.
"It was a challenge, but it was really fantastic," he said.
"I'm not surprised by today's turn out and can imagine it will get more and more bigger in the future."
Meanwhile, a sister duo from Wagga have already set big goals for themselves for their next Gears and Beers Festival after crossing the finish line for the very first time.
Mia and Chloe Donnelly, who are 10 and 12-years old, rode the seven kilometre course on Sunday and want to make it an annual event for their family.
The pair enjoyed their family ride so much that they are planning to step it up a notch at next year's festival.
"It was really nice to ride on the beach and in a group of enthusiastic riders," Chloe said.
"We want to go for the 30 kilometre course next year. It is going to be hard and we need to prepare for it."
A pop-in appearance by a bride and groom on their way to get married had taken the Gears and Beers registration booth by surprise on Saturday.
The couple - dressed in a white gown and all - made a pit stop to the registration tent before heading off to their ceremony to get married.
The day after exchanging their vows, the newlyweds faced a 30 kilometre trek together.