All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
19 posts • Page 1 of 1
I've just landed in Perth from the uk and want to ride from Perth to either Adelaide or Melbourne. Being a keen cyclist and also on a travellers budget I'm really interested to hear from others on how to go about doing this. Things like the best route, equipment etc.
I'm in the process of getting to know Perth at the moment so thinking about leaving in two/three weeks time. If anyone is also interested in doing this trip then would be great to hear from you. Sometimes having another person makes it even more worthwhile.
My only advice would be to take coastal roads where there are small towns fairly regularly. Most small towns have a Pub, where you can get a room for a night. If you want to save money, you can stealth camp between towns, just take a small hiking stove to warm up your favourite dinner (baked beans are good!) I'd like to take this trip with you, but unfortunately I am tied up with college classes at the moment. If you have a khaki/brown/green tent all the better as it will be less noticeable than blue, yellow or red tents which seem to be plentiful these days.
Thanks Martin. Do you know of an bike shops in perth that do reasonably priced touring bikes and kit?
Is it ok to do a trip like this on your own. I hear stories about people going missing in Oz... or is that just media hype!?
Hey Phil, Welcome to OZ!
True, people get missing in OZ - same as in other countries
However, it's a matter of being prepared. If you're about buying a new bike just consider riding it in for a while to see if you're happy with everything and to be sure the bike is reliable. There probably won't be any bikeshops once you left the Perth area.
You've probably heard about the Nullarbor Plain before. It's hot, dry, flat, lonely and there won't be a town every day. Water might therefore be an issue that has potential to make people 'disappear'.
However, I'm sure it will be an awesome trip. Would be great if you could keep us up to date with how you're going!
The usual protocol when traveling in remote areas like the Nullarbor is to notify someone at the town (service station) you are leaving letting them know your destination and expected arrival time. And then notify them that you have arrived. There are water stops outside of town sites but I don't know how far apart they are. You will need to find out how far apart the water is and carry enough to get you to the next water stop + extra for contingency.
Nullarbor is flat and boring, but there is some nice country closer to the coast and the Great Australian Bight to look forward to, which is spectacular!
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I'm looking at whatever information comes up, because I do have an ambition to Cycle from Sydney to Perth via Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide. If doing at least 50km every day the whole trip can be done in 3 months.
Welcome to Oz. Don't worry about the mass murderers - at least until you get within 100km of Adelaide. I hope you have allowed a fair amount of time for this trip: Australia is is bigger than you may realise.
Preferred routes? There's only one road across the southern part of Oz. If you were leaving tomorrow, I'd also say you might need to worry about head winds, but they are dying off now. You should have tail winds for most of the trip across the Nullabor, but they may be a bit cold as the cold fronts of winter will soon start to come through.
When crossing the Nullabor, you'll have to carry enough water to travel for two days at a time. There are no towns between Norseman and Ceduna - only road houses spaced at about 200km. They are the only places to get water, and you can forget bike parts. If you're going via the coast, Esperance is the last stop for bike parts before Ceduna. If going via inland WA, Kalgoorlie is the last stop for bike parts.
Otherwise, have fun. I'll leave it to others to help you source your bike.
There are emergency water stops (example) but I don't know how often they are, what the water quality is like, or if you can rely on them. I remember them from when I used to do that trip in high school every year. Not sure what has changed in the last 25 years though!
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Plenty of roadhouses on the nullarbor!
(was closed in 2008)
But all of those roadhouses will only sell truckers food (ie. cr#p). You will not find much in the way of food (fresh or packaged) to cook up for meals. And they'll charge you for any water you need. Forewarned is fore-armed.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
Now whats wrong with trucker food
Theres also the Fraser Range station aprox 1oo km east of Norseman a bit of the road, and Penong has a general store, but was on sale in 2008 so might be closed now. Dont worry though, thereÂ´s plenty of trucker food at the gas station in Penong
Dear Philter, The Roadhouses along the nullabor are probably a bit different to the service stations along the UK motorways.
The nullabor has been crossed no doubt many times by foreign cyclists but i wonder what the "failure rate" is.
There is a train across the nullabor from Perth to Adelaide, and it even stops at Kalgoorlie and Cook.(briefly)
Now i concede that Yanks are not always correct but an american bloke called Roff Smith wrote some "interesting" stories about roadhouses in his book "Cold Beer and Crocodiles" Worth a read, mate
Most importantly, safety first and get some local advice.
"Technology gives us much more information but Education is never be able to give us the skill to evaluate it"
Glad i saw this post...
I will be setting off in a few weeks, starting in perth, and riding down south, and following the coast up to brisbane, doing it fully self supported and solo.
Check out this guide to the nullarbor from a couple of years ago regarding the quality of water on the plain:
http://theridersofoz.com/index.php?opti ... &Itemid=57
Keep in mind that the situation may have changed since that was written, but it might be useful as a rough guide.
As far as water purification goes, i currently only have tablets, but i am serious considering getting a steripen, and obviously boiling when i'm using the water for cooking etc.
I am going to be taking a Surly Long Haul Trucker, a set of panniers, and a BOB Yak trailer.
Take a look at my website(In my signature - Which i REALLY must update soon!) for more information about my trip across Aus.
Probably a bit late now, but the answer to that question is NONE. Touring bikes are non existent in Australia. Most bike shop's definition of a touring bike is something with 18 spoke wheels, no rack mounts, no guard mounts, skinny tyres and gearing that is absolutely ridiculous for loaded touring.
And I say this from experience and from recently hearing about some poor tourist currently riding north on a piece of junk sold to him by a bike shop in Perth touted as a touring bike. With no front rack all the weight is on the rear wheel and not having enough spokes has destroyed it on various occasions.
There is only one BicycleWA.
I tend to disagree there, Kev.
Both of the guys at Bike Force south Perth have touring experience, mickey there built up my Surly LHT from the frameset, after i gave him a budget to work with.
It isn't uncommon for me to head in there and notice they've got a Surly frame or two hanging from the wall, ready for a customer to snap up as-is, or ask for a new-built bike.
Though i will say, they ARE the only bike shop i've come across that have as much excitement for touring, wanting to make sure you get the bike that's right for you. They had a number of other touring bikes(like a vivente) in stock, and ready for me to roll out the door on, if they decided to push that line... Would have no doubt been more profitable for them also... But instead we went the custom route, and i got an awesome bike with all the right bits for ME on it.
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