You do not have to start and finish at Docklands. However, it is recommended.
All Riders must wear two Rider Identification Bibs during the event that are available from the Docklands Precinct (see this link for more information: http://www.bv.com.au/inform.php?a=5&b=139&c=1332
). The Free Event Jersey is also available from Docklands for Classic and Century Riders.
Starting at Docklands means that the Route (signs, Volunteer marshals, the SAG Wagon, Police Support, Route Control, Traffic Management, Volunteer Motorbike Marshals, First Aid, Road Closures etc) will be open and ready to go. If you start somewhere else, you may be riding unsupported.
Finishing at the Docklands means that you can collect your Event Showbag, enjoy the Cycling Festival and celebrate your achievement with other Riders, friends and family. There will be a Victory Bar, music, lots of great food and stall holders with lots on offer. From my experience, not to be missed!