PORTLAND and Nelson retail outlets could share in an estimated $500,000 pre-Christmas bonus next year as more than 5000 cyclists and support crew descend on the two towns. Bicycle Network Victoriahas designated Nelson and Portlandas overnight stops for the 30th RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride in 2013. The event last visited Portland in 2009. It will start in Mount Gambier on November 23 with an overnight stop at Nelson that night, and an overnight stop in Portland on November 24. The event finishes in Geelong on December 1. Bicycle Network Victoria event manager Darren Allen said negotiations were ongoing with a Nelson landowner to use private land at the town’s airstrip as a campsite, while Henty Park has been confirmed as the campsite for the event. Mr Allen said the average expenditure per person per day for the event could be anything between $35 and $50. “That doesn’t mean they will necessarily spend that much each day, but there is obviously a need for food and sundries, fuel for the support vehicles and so on,” he said. Read more in Wednesday’sPortland Observer.