Yep I have done this ride a couple of times.
The basic idea is that the route goes out a different direction from Ballarat every year. The times that I did it was to the North-east then return from the North via Creswick and then the next was leaving to the south and then a stop at Lake Burrumbeet and then north and return to Ballarat via Learmonth and Miner's Rest. The second time was tougher but then I didn't prepare properly for it!
The atmosphere is fun and very friendly as there is a short family ride, 50km and a 100km ride which seems to cater for the range of riders that attend/participate. Also if you enter early I believe there is a raffle for a new bike!
I can't fault riding in the country because it has less cars and less traffic lights but the downside is that some of the roads are goat-tracks!
I hope you do go on this ride and enjoy yourself.
Enough of this forum nonsense. I'm going riding!!