About 50 cycling enthusiasts met a couple of weeks ago at the Bendigo Cycling Club rooms to begin a journey that will hopefully lead to not just more tourists coming to Bendigo to ride a bike, but to a better engagement between cyclists and the community.
The fact that senior Bendigo Tourism identities Geoff Michel and Kathryn Mackenzie were among the peleton on the night shows there is recognition from the City of Greater Bendigo that this is an idea worth pursuing.
A working party chosen out of the meeting to represent the various forms of cycling in our fair city met for the first time last night, and already the signs are good.
Thinking about the growth in the Alpine Shire for cycling-related tourism, it’s not hard to see how such a centrally located region as ours could become a major destination for city-based cyclists looking to escape the rat race for a weekend or even just a day.
There’s a lot of work to be done, not just by the working party, but by the City of Greater Bendigo itself if the idea to develop and promote Bendigo as a cycling destination is to succeed.
The current City of Greater Bendigo Walking and Cycling strategy is outdated, and does not reflect the impetus needed to make a transition away from provision of urban infrastructure such as walking paths and bike racks to the bigger picture stuff places like the Alpine Shire and Ballarat do so well.
But that’s where the enthusiasm and ideas from the cycling community itself have so much to offer.
Finally, the Bendigo Weekly bids farewell to Eddie Barkla this week, who after six years as a regular columnist, has decided to have a spell. Eddie’s passion for cycling, his deep seated faith and spirituality and his loyalty to both the art of cycling and to the Bendigo Weekly are testimony to his outstanding character and personality.
As much as we will miss the pedalling padre, more importantly, we say thanks to Eddie for the past six years of support of the Weekly and for helping build cycling’s profile and standing in the community.