Road Trip! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-17-2004, 04:15 AM
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Bicycle Tour Around Australia.



I've been thinking for quite a while about biking around Australia.

It's always been a kind of pipe dream.

Well recently I was thinking about it and I realised that it doesn't *have* to be a pipe dream.

If I really want to bike around the country I darn well can.



Not yet, of course. I'm only 16, lol.

But in two years time, when I finish Year 12, I can apparently 'defer' from Uni for a year. Which is what i want to do.

I'll be 18, and pretty much free to do bike my head off



Has anyone ever gone on extended bike trips?

Or know of any good websites about touring Australia or just bike travel in general?
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#2 Old 02-17-2004, 04:35 AM
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I haven't ever done any long tours it but I have a friend who has just finished cycling from Perth to Sydney he seems to have thoroughly enjoyed it ... even the bit crossing the Nuallabor(sp?)!



He spent about three months (Nov - Jan) and has just hopped on a plane to NZ to do a bit more! His emails seem to point to him having done and seen a lot ... some fantastic experiences.



If anyone is interested I can ask him if it is ok to post bits of his emails here.
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#3 Old 02-17-2004, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkered View Post

I haven't ever done any long tours it but I have a friend who has just finished cycling from Perth to Sydney he seems to have thoroughly enjoyed it ... even the bit crossing the Nuallabor(sp?)!



He spent about three months (Nov - Jan) and has just hopped on a plane to NZ to do a bit more! His emails seem to point to him having done and seen a lot ... some fantastic experiences.



If anyone is interested I can ask him if it is ok to post bits of his emails here.



Sure-- I'm definately interested, invite your friend on over here and let him

enrich us with what his experiences are! ...I'd especially like to hear how NewZealand is for cycling please!



Hi to you too Gnarly, since this is your thread, I'm an avid cyclist and I look forward to confering with anyone posting in this thread including yourself.
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#4 Old 02-17-2004, 06:59 AM
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Sorry, I can't even ride a bike! (and that's for lack of trying . . . )
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#5 Old 02-18-2004, 05:27 AM
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Darn, TAG, and here I was planning to take you along.
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#6 Old 02-18-2004, 06:00 AM
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I biked from one side of the Netherlands to the other once or twice. Fun enough, in spite of the scenery.



Biking across Australia would be awesome .
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#7 Old 02-18-2004, 10:57 PM
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Soooo hot, so very very hot! Even in winter it would be hot right through the centre. It is 35 degrees C here today though, supposed to be 40 tomorrow so I am maybe biased towards avoiding any kind of heat or exercise at the moment.



Sorry I cannot be more informative, but I just could not conceive of biking anywhere except to the shops. Maybe.



Good luck though, and I would be intersted in reading others experiences with these rides.
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#8 Old 02-19-2004, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarly View Post

Darn, TAG, and here I was planning to take you along.





For you, I learn! (Well, that is to say, I WOULD, but, you know, stuff . . . .)
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#9 Old 02-20-2004, 06:50 PM
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Well you've got almost 2 years to learn... Plenty of time!



Anyone know any bike travel websites?



I've seen www.kenkifer.com I think it was, but not many others.
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#10 Old 02-20-2004, 07:06 PM
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Slightly off topic but anyone know any good tips for building up stamina bike riding, I have none.



Oh, and sounds like fun biking across Australia.
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#11 Old 02-21-2004, 05:23 AM
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As promised I got in touch with my mate that has cycled around Australia and is now in New Zealand. Here are a few edited extracts from his emails ... sorry if it all seems a bit disjointed there was just too much to put all of it in!



n.b. these are Martins words...



Perth - Esperance



In a nutshell cycled through forests for 3 weeks then mixed agricultural

land and bush/scrub for a week. Can definitely confirm that Oz is not flat,

sunny and hot,dry but in this part at least cool, green, windy,damp and

hilly. Having a great time though and scenery is sometimes beautiful.



Been offered all kinds of help by motorists - hot and cold drinks, food, a

joint, even a call to the emergency services one day while I was tucking

into some bread by the roadside. Also plenty of advice and not just stop and

go home u stupid idiot. Time and time again they have been telling me it's

mad to cross the Nullarbor (a desert 1200km or so wide) by car never mind

bike cos of "the winds which can flip a caravan over" or "there's nothing

there" or "the road trains". In the end they quite convinced me and I was

going to catch the train between Albany and Adelaide.



ESPERANCE - CEDUNA 1/11/03 to 17/11/03 1820km to 3243km



Good things about the desert - flat, hardly any traffic, no mossies and

hardly any march flies (horrible big flies that bite to suck ur blood) also

quite beautiful at times in kind of a godforsaken way, esp at dusk and at

night.

Having said that it must be about the hardest physical thing i've done.

After an easy, flat 200km through bush to Norseman where the desert begins

after the first couple of days in the desert I was wondering wot all the

fuss was about - undulating bush and trees with a gentle tail wind first day

then gentle headwind the second. Then the fun started! The vegitation died

away to a stunted scrub, the flat roads began and a 'moderate to fresh'

headwind whipped up and did not stop, reducing our speeds to an average of

12km/hr (we would expect to do 20km/hr plus on the flat in still conditions)

and at times dropping to an agonising 8km/hr - long hrs in the saddle (7hrs

plus) to cover the distances we wanted (100km approx a day).



After Eucla we entered S Australia and things changed quite abit - almost no

roadkill (must have a better cleaner upper!), the roads were smoother, good

scenery as the roads ran near to ocean cliffs for 200km or so and someone

turned on the fan oven! Caught us quite by suprise as temperatures raced up

to the mid 40's in the shade setting records for November while we were

between Eucla and Nullabor roadhouses with no shade! On the road we were

told the temperature was in the high 50's. We were gasping and dehydrated by

11am and Rob described it best by saying it was as though your life force

was ebbing away. We fortunately found a working public water tank and spent

all afternoon there filling our caps and ptting them on our head. Water

never felt so good. No shade though as all the wasps, hornets and flies of

the area were taking that - just where the tap happened to be of course!

When we started cycling again the headwinds had reappeared and we struggled

for 3 hrs at 8km/hr to a rest area so that we would be within reach of the

Nullarbor roadhouse next day. It was as I wrote in my diary, "a real *******

day". That night we slept under the stars (no tent) and started cycling at

night (1.30am) to avoid the wind and heat. Quite beautiful with no street

lights or traffic and silently gliding along under the bright starry night

and witnessing the sunrise.



CEDUNA - PORT AUGUSTA 17/11/03 to 27/11/03 3243km - 4053km





The Eyre penisula is a largely agricultural area. We cycled around it next

to the coast on the Flinders Highway, through picturesque gently rolling

golden wheatfields with the occasional ocean view. We stopped at small

fishing/holiday villages (Steaky bay, Elliston, Coffin Bay, Port Neil) late

afternoon for a swim or walk, a trip to the supermarket then to stuff

ourselves at a self service hotel restaurant.



PORT AUGUSTA - ADELAIDE 29/11/03 - 2/12/03 4053km - 4479km



Some of the best cycling so far as conditions were fairly kind for a change.

We climbed through the Flinders Mountain range (flies bad here - never seen

so many - Rob swallowed one and nearly spewed, hee hee!), sped through

gently rolling golden wheatfields at 30-55km/hr helped by tailwinds, passed

throgh the vinyards of the Clare and Barossa Valleys (wine tasting of

course) and slogged off road over the Adelaide hills then downhill to

Adelaide along spectacular winding gorge roads.



ADELAIDE to MELBOURNE 17/12/03 to 30/12/03 4529km to 5872km



I was expecting to get scorched by the Aussie summer on this leg. Not the

case as most days were cool to warm, overcast and with spells of heavy rain

and strong winds.

2 days hard cycling through the hills surrounding Adelaide and around the

Florieu peninsula. After that the gradients eased to flat to gently rolling

farmland, wetlands (including 140km on the edge of the Coorong a 140km long

lagoon, picture 4) and forestry softwood plantations. Winds were mostly

favourable so fairly easy fast going. Not a great deal of interest though

apart from a couple of pretty seaside villages (Robe, Beachport) and a cool

seaside town (Warrnambool).

On the 26th December I reached the great Ocean Road to Melbourne and the

scenery became allot more spectacular for 5 days. The road rolled

strenuously on cliff tops at first with fine ocean views (picture 5), then

darted inland for some very serious climbing indeed (esp. a 19km climb up

Lavers hill), then back to the coast again this time cutting into the cliff

faces (picture 6). Traffic became heavy as this was holiday time and the

resorts were packed. With the traffic came the inevitable abuse and even a

badly aimed missile (a lighter) that thudded against one of my panniers.

Reminded me of home! I was glad to reach Melbourne in time for New Years Eve

to be honest.



Apologies for the really long post ... but it all looked interesting! Martin did some of the journey with a chap called Rob who has a web site http://www.graveldash.com where Martin merits a few mentions in his diary from the journey.



And finally if anyone bumps into Martin in NZ or America over the next few months (he is a tall, skinny, pale, lawyer from the UK) please say Hi from Ben!
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#12 Old 02-21-2004, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misq17 View Post

Slightly off topic but anyone know any good tips for building up stamina bike riding, I have none.

...



The best option IMHO is to get out there and ride! If that is not possible are you a member of a gym where you could do a spin class? Any CV exercise would do you good, but it is worthy of note that runners often make decent cyclists so perhaps some running if you are not able to ride. Also you might not think it but good upper body strength can really help as well so perhaps some weights as well.
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#13 Old 02-21-2004, 06:48 AM
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Robs *Gravel Dash* has quite a ring to it...



.........Conjures up the sound of tyres lightly raking up gravel....



I'll be reading more of this thread, shortly/later.



Thanks for posting it Ben/Blinkered!!! and thanks to your mate Martin too tell him!!!
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#14 Old 02-21-2004, 10:25 PM
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Wow! Double ditto on the thanks for posting that, blinkered! And tell your mate thank you too!



Oh man, I can't wait two years!
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#15 Old 02-22-2004, 09:13 AM
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I´ve once seen a Japanese guy who was walking across Australia, it had been in between Julara and Alice Springs. The busdrivers were often stopping to see if he´d ran out of water. So crossing the nullarbor wouldn´t be as dangerous as your parents might expect it to be.

If I'm not answering quickly enough - leave a note on Twitter for @Rheumatologe
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#16 Old 08-27-2004, 02:40 AM
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For those seeking SuperJane in her cycling thread, go here:

You'll see a reciprocated link for Gnarly's thread leading back here, posted by Blinkered.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarly View Post

Bicycle Tour Around Australia.



I've been thinking for quite a while about biking around Australia. It's always been a kind of pipe dream. Well recently I was thinking about it and I realised that it doesn't *have* to be a pipe dream. If I really want to bike around the country I darn well can.



Not yet, of course. I'm only 16, lol. But in two years time, when I finish Year 12, I can apparently 'defer' from Uni for a year. Which is what i want to do.

I'll be 18, and pretty much free to do bike my head off





what year is school for you now Gnarly?........Year 10 and a ½ ??
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#17 Old 08-27-2004, 08:51 AM
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I'm actually almost through Year 11 (couple months to go).

Then I have year 12, and after that, freedom!
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#18 Old 08-27-2004, 02:21 PM
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wow, Martin's experience makes me want to get out now! But also scares me a little. I do need to get in better shape before I head out for a long trip! Too bad there is so much snow here in winter, it's not the best for cycling, although I do try to get out when the roads are cleared. But it's not fun to ride when it's -40celcius
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#19 Old 08-28-2004, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superjane View Post

wow, Martin's experience makes me want to get out now! But also scares me a little. I do need to get in better shape before I head out for a long trip! Too bad there is so much snow here in winter, it's not the best for cycling, although I do try to get out when the roads are cleared. But it's not fun to ride when it's -40celcius



I know that Martin spent each weekend for a month or so before he left doing gradually longer and longer rides, however I don't think that he did more than about 50 - 60 miles in any one day before he left for OZ.
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