Motor bike enthusiasts ready to ride in Ararat

ARARAT - Motorcyclists from across Victoria will converge on Ararat on Sunday, February 3 for the fifth annual Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation - Ararat Branch's Grampians Ride to Remember.

Being held a week later this year so as not to clash with the Phillip Island Motorcycle Classic, the ride is sure to again attract close to 300 motorcycle enthusiasts.

Over the past six months the sub committee, which includes local motorcycle enthusiasts, police, local government, community groups and Ararat Branch members, have been working with Ararat Rural City and Vic Roads to organise the Ride. It will be a green corridor event and conducted under police escort to maximize safety and to minimize disruption to road user.

The ride, which will be led by two Victoria Police Solos, will take off from the Ararat Performing Arts Centre at 9.30am and travel a 170km circuit that takes in the Ararat Rural City townships of Maroona, Willaura, Wickcliffe, Lake Bolac, Westmere and Streatham before assembling at Buangor for a short Western Highway closure so riders can turn onto the Warrak road then returning to Ararat around 12.30pm for a relaxing barbecue lunch and the Show N Shine at the Alexandra Gardens.

En-route the ride will stop for a 30 minute morning tea break at Lake Bolac with all funds raised supporting the Lake Bolac Secondary College Community Bus Project.

The Northern Grampians Highway Patrol has full jurisdiction for the duration of the ride with Sergeant Shaun Allen the Forward Command. The police will be assisted by experienced volunteer marshalls together with medical and vehicle support. Prior to the ride a full safety briefing will be conducted for participants at 9am.

On returning to Ararat the Ararat Lions Club will again cater with a community barbecue in Alexandra Gardens and the general public are invited to come along and view the great array of motorcycles including those in the Show N Shine. Participants will be vying for over $1,000 in prizes made available by Wimmera Motorcycle Co of Horsham with local businesses also chipping in with support, including Brass Balls Motorcycles of Ararat who are donating a major prize for the people's choice motorcycle.

In addition this year specially designed and printed number plates will be available through the generous support of Licensys, who donated the materials for the 300 plates and Corrections Victoria's Hopkins Correctional Centre Community Work Program, which contributed its time to the artwork development and printing the plates.

Also on show will be motorcycle and safety displays in addition to the Blue Ribbon promotional van.

"This is a well organised ride and great community event for Ararat with so many motorcyclists coming from all over Victoria," Grampians Ride to Remember sub committee chairman Simon Clayfield said.

"We encourage the general public to get involved and come along to a see the ride off from Barkly Street, and also at the Alexandra Gardens around 12.30pm to check out the impressive array of bikes valued at thousands of dollars including those in the Show N Shine.

"There is also the opportunity to support the Lions Club barbecue, motorcycle displays and Blue Ribbon activities and importantly contribute to the fundraising efforts for the Ararat Branch so they can continue their vital work for the Ararat Hospital."

Registrations are currently being taken with entry $30 for riders and pillions and can be completed online through www.trybooking.com or by sending the registration form and payment to Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation - Ararat Branch, c/- Dianne Radford (co-ordinator) 60 Main Street, Great Western Vic 3374 or email to dianneradford6@bigpond.com. For further information on the Grampians Ride to Remember 2013 go to www.remember.org.au.

Nicholas Hatswell, Mick Hurkens, Annie Richardson, Mark Nestor, Simon Clayfield and Colin Thompson prepare for the Grampians Ride to Remember.

Nicholas Hatswell, Mick Hurkens, Annie Richardson, Mark Nestor, Simon Clayfield and Colin Thompson prepare for the Grampians Ride to Remember.