Since 1993, Bicycle Network’s Around the Bay has been challenging bike riders to take on a testing circumnavigation of Port Phillip Bay in one of the iconic days on the annual cycling calendar.
But this year, things are looking a little different.
There’s still the surreal crossing over the West Gate Bridge and the sunrise cruise down to the Bellarine Peninsula. There’s still the scenic ferry trip that offers a chance to rest the legs and refuel. And there’s still the rolling hills around Mornington to negotiate as you make your return to the Big Smoke.
But for the first time in the event’s 30-year history, Bicycle Network will be closing a lane of the Princes Freeway down to Geelong – a key leg of the journey for riders of ‘The Classic’ 220km ride option and the gruelling 300km challenge.
That’s right. A full lane to yourself as you and your pal’s pedal way down the coast. And any cars or trucks that do pass by will do so at reduced speeds, another first for United Energy Around the Bay. Melbourne’s most enjoyable day on the bike just got a whole lot more enjoyable.
There are also new wave starts for riders of The Classic, allowing everyone to find their groove and move through the route at a pace that suits.
As is tradition, there’ll be an event village at Albert Park to soak up festivities and celebrate the achievements of you and your gang. But in another first, the Family Ride will have its own route on fully closed roads around the area.
A huge part of the United Energy Around the Bay experience is setting personal goals and knocking them out of the park, and these subtle but important changes allow everyone to give it their best shot.
There are seven ride options in all and something for everyone at this year’s United Energy Around the Bay on Sunday 8 October. Head to aroundthebay.com.au to get involved.