A GROUP of Rotarians have ridden more than 600 kilometres in five days as part of an annual fundraiser.
The 40 cyclists from the Rotary Clubs around the Gippsland region arrived in Bendigo on Friday.
The ride was the 19th consecutive event for the group.
Cyclist Barry Irving, 78, said the group does the ride each year to the Victorian Rotary Conference.
The conference was held in Bendigo in 2004 and 2014, and this year's event was also meant to be held in the regional city.
But due to the government's mounting coronavirus restrictions, the event is not going ahead as planned.
Mr Irving said COVID-19 and the subsequent cancellations was never going to stop the group of cyclists aged over 60.
"We're a healthy lot," he said. "We have a GP who rides with us who is a very dedicated rider.
"There are a number of people who are trained in first aid and we have a catering team who ride with us.
"When we're on the road, we're never closer than one metre or two metres apart and we're in the fresh air.
"But anyone who is riding in this has to be fairly fit and in a good condition, so it wasn't really a question for us."
Mr Irving said the group raised funds annually for Life Education.
The organisation travels around to Australian schools to educate young people about how to make healthier choices in life.
Healthy Harold, a friendly giraffe, has been visiting schools through the program for more than 40 years.
"Usually each time we visit a school, we take Harold with one of us," Mr Irving said.
"But with the restrictions around the coronavirus, we've had to scale that right back."
This year's ride also raised funds for Australian Rotary Health - a non-for-profit organisation promoting health research and education - and Disaster Aid Australia.
Mr Irving, who was participating in his 14th ride, said there were a number of people who had ridden in the event every year.
"There's fantastic comradery," he said. "We have husband and wife teams. We come from all of the different clubs in the area."