April 06, 2011
Murray to Moyne: 25 years and $15 million later.
More than 1200 cyclists are set to ride from one end of the state to the other this weekend as part of Woody’s Murray to Moyne cycle relay.
This will be the 25th time the ride has been held since it was founded in 1987 by champion Port Fairy cyclist the late Graham Woodrup and his wife, Hester.
While there will be special celebrations for the milestone, the event will also say goodbye to Alecia Dodson who will stand down after 10 years as the event director.
Ms Dodson said that, while she was proud of how the ride has progressed during her decade of involvement, the time for change had come.
“The Murray to Moyne has come a long way and, as you can see with the amount of riders taking part this year, it is still very popular,” she said.
“But I think it does need to go to the next level with marketing because it has become more challenging to attract riders because there are so many bicycle events out there.”
Ms Dodson has combined her role as event director for the Murray to Moyne with that of administration manager of Moyne Health Services, a role she will continue .
While Ms Dodson will say goodbye after the ride, there will be no time for sentiment until the job is done this weekend.
One of the challenges facing Ms Dodson and the organising committee is the damage caused by the recent floods to some of the roads along the route .
“We have been in constant contact with VicRoads and the councils where the ride passes through to keep up to date with the state of the affected roads,” Ms Dodson said.
“Most areas are looking okay but our race marshalls will be inspecting the route on Friday and we will decide from there if we need to avoid any areas.”
If any section of road is in too poor a condition to ride on, the riders will be asked to get off their bikes and use the support vehicles.
This year riders will be divided into 112 teams to cover the 520-kilometre course.
The ride will begin at 9.30am on Saturday at three starting points — Swan Hill, Echuca and Mildura. Riders will reach Hamilton late that evening.
They will stay overnight before rising early on Sunday to ride the last 90 kilometres to Port Fairy.
The ride will finish at Railway Place with all riders expected to reach the final destination by 11am.
Afterwards, medals will be presented to all teams and the Graham Woodrup Medal will be presented to the person who best typifies the spirit of the ride.
It is hoped the ride will raise more than $1 million for health facilities around Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.
So far over its history the Murray to Moyne has raised an impressive $15 million, with Moyne Health Services alone benefiting to the tune of $1.25 million.
Port Fairy will again be well represented on the ride with four teams entered including the Belfast Bikers, the Moyne Shire Council youth team, the Victorian Velocipedes and the Port Fairy Hospital team.