Spoke-tacular turn out for bike festival

Organisers of the Fat Tyre Festival held in Melrose at the June long weekend estimate that about 2,000 people flocked to the town to join in with festivities.

Predominantly bike related, the festival hosted many guided rides, beginner classes, skills development, family rides, epic rides and kids activities.

Spokesperson for Bike Melrose Don Norton explains that with the weather on their side and stable numbers from last year's event, they were incredibly happy with the festival's success.

"It went really well, the weather was on our side. It was just fantastic, everyday the sun shined, there was not much wind, our numbers were way up. Last year they reached a new height and this year they were status quo of that. It was great in that respect.

"We had around 500 registered riders but estimate that about 2,000 people came to stay or visit the town. It is hard to get an accurate fix on those numbers," Mr Norton said.

Bike Melrose have received lots of positive community feedback, not only surrounding the success of the event but also other changes which have been made in Melrose to accommodate for it.

"A stand out was the result of the positive feedback, the council have put in a new set of toilets and showers at the campground and the feeling among the people camping was that they were really pleased to turn up and see that finished.

"I think what people love about coming to the Fat Tyre festival is that the families can get into the caravan park, they have a safe, friendly environment for the kids, the road is closed off, the kids can come and go as they please, they don't have to worry about the kids," Mr Norton added.

Local businesses such as Jackas Brewery have partaken in the annual event, providing attendees more Southern Flinders experiences. Mr Norton has received feedback from businesses regarding the weekend, which reflects on the community support which Bike Melrose believe has been increasing over the years.

"There was good support from the community, great to see the locals and we thank them for their patience.

"But more and more they are getting on board with it and giving us their support. More are putting their hand up to volunteer, I think that the festival has involved the locals a lot more over the last couple of years," he said.