BENDIGONIANS are being urged to get on their bike and show their support for a pair of local charities.
It follows Wednesday's launch of the Bendigo Cycling Classic, the city's first official recreational cycling ride.
All funds raised by the October 29 ride will be donated 50-50 to The Otis Foundation and Give Me 5 for Kids.
Bendigo Cycling Classic chairman Geoff O'Sullivan said the event would offer a selection of rides to get everyone involved, from serious lycra clad cyclists, to weekend riders and families.
"It's a recreational ride put on for Bendigo people, by Bendigo people and district," he said.
"And for local charities, keeping money in Bendigo.
"There are four rides on October 29, starting from the Tom Flood Sports Centre - a 25km ride, which is a family ride, a 35km ride for the little bit more adventurous, a 60km ride for those who want to have a bit of a go and a 100km ride for the regular and serious cyclists.
"There's a ride for everyone to be involved in."
The event is being organised by a small but dedicated of community-minded cyclists, together with the two charities.
O'Sullivan said it was hoped upwards of 800 cyclists would sign up for the inaugural ride, which will take cyclists through the picturesque Mandurang Valley.
"It maybe more, we are not sure - this is the first year in," he said.
"A lot of other cities are doing these sorts of rides, Bendigo has never really done one, organised by local people for local charities.
"As we know, Bendigo is very much a cycling community, there are a lot of cyclists out there.
"This is something we are very keen to get up and running."
O'Sullivan said the choice of The OTIS Foundation and Give Me 5 for Kids as charity partners was an easy decision to make.
"Not only are they great charities, they have jumped on board to be part of our committee and are helping us drive the event," he said.
"To put on an event this size takes a lot of hard work, particularly when you are starting from scratch."
Entries for the ride are now open and can be made through the event website at http://bendigocyclingclassic.com.au/
The website will eventually contain training tips on how to best prepare the ride.
"We really want to get the whole community involved and get them going," O'Sullivan said.
"Not everyone will aim for the 100kms, sometimes a 25km or 35km ride is an achievement when you don't normally ride at all.
"But it's a great excuse to get up and riding."
For more details on the Bendigo Cyclic Classic and sponsorship opportunities, visit the Facebook page or website.