If you think you've heard the clanging of cowbells echoing through Wollongong this week, you're not going crazy.
The farmer's instrument has become a favourite among Wollongong UCI fans wanting to make some noise at the finish line, with supplies disappearing from official tents within minutes on Wednesday.
The cow bells are just one way to show your support to cyclists competing in the elite road race on Saturday and Sunday. We've listed all the ways you can show your support below:
Global cycling brand Trek handed out the red bells from their base at Lang Park, where avid fans immediately queued, cleaning out stock in record time.
Trek Customer Care specialist Daniel Williams said their team handed out about one hundred cowbells in ten minutes and have had to hold back stock for the weekend's main events.
"They're more popular than our bikes, it seems..." Mr Williams said.
Mr Williams reassured fans that cowbell stock will be replenished on Friday morning, but those wanting their own red bell to take home would be wise to get there early.
While the cowbell may seem like an unlikely supporter's sidekick, the farmer's tool is steeped in cycling history, Mr Williams said.
He said the bells were orginally used by farmers in the swiss alps to cheer on skiers, and the tradition has now become "a staple of world cycling".
"It's a very eurocentric tradition," he said.
Mr Williams said Wollongong fans had embraced the tradition more than fans in other cities, and the interest showed a strong community spirit.
Fans will be encouraged to get all the bells and whistles out this weekend for the UCI's final events, the long-anticipated men's and women's elite road races, which will run from Helensburgh to the CBD.
It's kinda obvious, but homemade, shop bought, drawn on the back of a bedsheet. Flags are welcome while watching the road race. They are bright and colourful and make for excellent photographs, so you might just find yourself on the front page of the Illawarra Mercury like these two above.
During the Elite road race helicopters and planes will be hovering over the Illawarra streaming live footage around the world. The Illawarra Mercury will even have a helicopter up on Sunday in partnership with Destination Wollongong and Touchdown Helicopters.
If you want to end up on TV then you need to think about what can be seen from above.
One family in Woonona's Carrington Street has thought their plans through and have spelt out AUS in their horse field. The display is complete with kangaroos created out of barrel drums.
If you've not got a bed sheet to spare, can't be bothered with field art, but still want to get involved the pavement chalk is the answer for you.
Residents have been writing messages to cyclists on pavements across the Illawarra and with pavement chalk costing $5 at Officeworks this might be the cheapest and easiest route to go down.
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