Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

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Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby petedigital » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:30 am

Hi all,

From about November 25 I'll be riding from Sydney to Melbourne and I wondered if some would be kind enough to share some advice.

Safety
I've ridden my bike pretty much everyday for six years, am fit, pretty well travelled and resourceful but I've not done a big ride ever and I'll probably be on my own. No doubt I'll be riding through some areas without mobile coverage. Is it prudent to take an emergency beacon? Can I hire one? How much do they cost?

Route
I'm unsure as to whether to take the coastal or inland route. The inland route looks prettier but given my touring inexperience, perhaps it would be better to take the coastal route for safety reasons? I've made a rough map of my two options here:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=103900636046805537999.00047885b5feb9f49cc85&ll=-36.040216,148.238525&spn=7.433524,8.55835&z=7

My set up
I've a Scott Sub 20 with a rack, water bottles, computer, spare tubes, tools, puncture repair kit. It's a hybrid but I'm travelling light on account of not camping.

If anyone wants to join me for any part of the ride, you'd be most welcome.

Cheers,

Pete
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by BNA » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:55 pm

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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby V17L » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:55 pm

Hi Petedigital
Good luck mate, I've not travelled either of those routes in total, so cannot advise.

My post is more aimed at wishing good luck and don't forget to keep the forum upto date with the trip.

How long are you going to be touring for?

cheers
steve
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby petedigital » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:19 pm

thanks Steve. I'll be keeping a blog and I'll send it around when I start. I'll be sure to let the forum know how I go. I've plotted out my route roughly as:

Sydney to Wollongong
Wollongong to Goulburn
Goulburn to Canberra
Canberra to Cooma
Cooma to Jindabyne
Jindabyne to Threadbo
Rest day
Threadbo to Khancoban
Khancoban to Albury
Albury to Wangaratta
Wangaratta to Alexandra
Alexandra to Home

I expect it to take around 12 days.

I'd really appreciate some feedback on my earlier post, especially if anyone's done it before. Did you take a mobile phone? Was it practically useless in many places? I found this Optus (the network I'm with) coverage map encouraging. It looks as if it'll cover almost all of my route.

http://www.optus.com.au/portal/site/aboutoptus/menuitem.cfa0247099a6f722d0b61a108c8ac7a0/?vgnextoid=968010009d82e110VgnVCM10000002cd780aRCRD
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby ozipom » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:52 am

Hi Petedigital

Good luck with the ride to Melbourne. I've not done the ride but hopefully will get around to doing it sometime next year. On crazyguyonabike.com there was this couple who did the ride a couple of years ago along a similar route you wanting to take. Thought you might find it useful in planning your trip;
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=R ... =4307&v=8j
- Brian

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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby Dayvo » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:39 am

Hello Petedigital!

I'm doing the same journey (well, from Sydney to Melbourne) leaving Sydney on the 30th November - I arrive in Oz on 26th and have to get set up with a bike and tent before I head off.

Might see you somewhere on the road!

Good luck and have fun 8) !
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby petedigital » Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:14 am

Thanks Ozipom, I checked it out and it is indeed pretty much exactly my route. Thanks for that, I'll check it out further.

Hahha, good luck Dayvo, we can high-five as we pass each other in opposite directions. If you're taking a similar route to me, we could catch up for lunch and get the low-down on the road ahead for each of us. You going it alone? Are you taking an emergency beacon?

I ended up looking into it and it seems you can hire them for around $5 per day with a minimum 7 day hire. I've emailed these guys: http://www.gpsoz.com.au/Ordering_Information.htm and am waiting to hear back.
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby silkishuge » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:49 am

Had a quick look at the route. I did a fair bit of riding in along the Princess between Bega and Mallacoota and can advise that there are some steep hills along the way. My top speed (>90 km/h)on a bike was from the descents of one of those hills. Emergency lane can be used along most of the way. But there are sections that can't be used. From Mallacoota to Lakes Entrance, road shoulder much of the way so you should be relatively safe.
Lakes Entrance to Maffra, not good imo. Alot of fast cars and appearing and disappearing road shoulders far to frequent. There is quite a long stretch of road ~ 30km without a road shoulder and has fast moving traffic. Fairly busy too.
Good idea to avoid the Gippsland areas like Foster, Wonthaggi, Philip Island. Unpredictable weather and not to mention the construction of the Victorian Desal (Road works and long heavy vehicles) has gone into full swing. Used to be a lovely place to live in with some great cycling.

Can't comment about riding along the hume. Only did a small stretch from Melbourne to Beachworth. Getting to the start of the hume might be a problem if you are not familiar with the roads in Melbourne.

J
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby il padrone » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:45 pm

silkishuge wrote:Had a quick look at the route. I did a fair bit of riding in along the Princess between Bega and Mallacoota and can advise that there are some steep hills along the way.....

....Alot of fast cars and appearing and disappearing road shoulders far to frequent. There is quite a long stretch of road ~ 30km without a road shoulder and has fast moving traffic. Fairly busy too.

I have not ridden the south coast of NSW and Far East Gippsland on the Princes Hwy, but a couple of friends did it last Easter. They made similar comments. Quite steep hills with a fairly narrow highway and not a lot of off-highway options. There are nicer ways to come to Victoria

silkishuge wrote:Good idea to avoid the Gippsland areas like Foster, Wonthaggi, Philip Island. Unpredictable weather and not to mention the construction of the Victorian Desal (Road works and long heavy vehicles) has gone into full swing. Used to be a lovely place to live in with some great cycling.

It is very easy to take back roads in South Gippsland to ensure you stay well away from the planned desalination plant near Wothaggi. South Gippsland has one of the more closely packed road networks in Victoria. They are hilly roads though :wink:
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby silkishuge » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:59 pm

il padrone wrote:
silkishuge wrote:Good idea to avoid the Gippsland areas like Foster, Wonthaggi, Philip Island. Unpredictable weather and not to mention the construction of the Victorian Desal (Road works and long heavy vehicles) has gone into full swing. Used to be a lovely place to live in with some great cycling.

It is very easy to take back roads in South Gippsland to ensure you stay well away from the planned desalination plant near Wothaggi. South Gippsland has one of the more closely packed road networks in Victoria. They are hilly roads though :wink:


Hilly but well worth the effort. It is beautiful and given the opportunity, I would ride up to Glen Forbes one more last time before the dreaded desal plant comes up. The traffic in those roads are non existant and I used to take the whole lane...... the only lane. :wink:

J
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby Moocar » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:17 pm

Hi Petedigitial. Sounds like a fantastic trip. May I applaud your good taste in staying off the highway.

petedigital wrote:Safety
I've ridden my bike pretty much everyday for six years, am fit, pretty well travelled and resourceful but I've not done a big ride ever and I'll probably be on my own. No doubt I'll be riding through some areas without mobile coverage. Is it prudent to take an emergency beacon? Can I hire one? How much do they cost?
Pete


In regards to an emergency beacon, my advice would be that it would be useless on this trip. I carried one recently on a fairly hairy 3 months trip through outback Australia. What I soon realised was that even if only 3 cars pass you on a remote road, they will be quicker in offering assistance than pressing the big red button on your beacon and waiting for the authorities to find you.

On your trip, even on the back roads, you'll have cars passing you every 10 mins atleast, so if you ever do get in a bad situation, you'll be able to flag someone down for help (the more remote the area, the more helpful the locals will be).

Having said that, here's some info on hiring an emergency beacon if you do decide to get one:

http://www.epirbhire.com.au/info.htm

I got one from that mob for 4 months and it was about $220.

Have an awesome trip!
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby Dayvo » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:23 pm

Petedigital!

I don't really have a route yet! :shock: I'll be working it out on the flight over (next Wednesday)!

I want to have as direct a route as possible without cycling on very busy roads, or out on old dust/gravel tracks! I'm not worried about speed, really, but I've got about 60 days to do about 5,000km, so don't want to be zig-zagging about or going back on my tracks

I've got a few maps, but will get some more with extra detail.

I plan on camping 4-5 nights a week with a pub/hotel/B&B 2-3 times a week for a proper wash and laundry. I'll eat what I can (no change there) and make sure I have enough water (I'll have the potential to carry 10 litres, but drinking warm water - unlike warm Pommie beer :P - isn't my idea of fun)! But beggars can't be choosers!

I didn't know about these beacons! Are they worth having from a realistic point of view? We can't cater for every eventuality! But forewarned is forearmed!

See ya, maybe! 8)
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby timbo » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:59 am

To petedigital and Dayvo, I'm sure I speak on behalf of everybody on the forum in wishing you both a safe and enjoyable ride.

I hope the weather is kind to you both, although given what we have been experiencing the last few days, anything is possible.
In case you are wondering, the weather is always fine in NSW, its just that some of the crappy stuff sneaks over the border from Victoria from time to time. :D

Don't forget, the ride never happened unless we see photo's and read a ride report after the ride has finished.
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby JustinS007 » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:25 pm

petedigital wrote:Albury to Wangaratta
Wangaratta to Alexandra

Nicest route Albury to Wangaratta is through Yackandandah, then Beechworth, then rail trail to Wangaratta.
Nicest route Wangaratta to Alexandra is through Whitfield, Tolmie.

Each of these days have decent hills but are especially picturesque. Not sure if this was your plan.

I live in Wangaratta. If you need a free night's accommodation whilst stopped here then send me a PM. Plenty of space available here.

Hope the ride goes well.

Regards, Justin.
I'm a runner, but I sure love to ride!
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby petedigital » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:01 pm

thanks Timbo, Justin. I'm leaving tomorrow and am very excited!

this is my beast:
Image
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby petedigital » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:19 pm

Just thought I'd post an update on my trip so far. I've just come from Canberra and am now sitting in the Cooma Mc Donalds. Never thought I'd say this but I was pleased to see the golden arches as I rode into Cooma. Free Wi-Fi (even if it is slow) is great.

Everything is going pretty smoothly apart from having to replace a tire in Goulburn. This proved to be a lot harder than I thought. I have quite rare wheels apparently. They're 26 by 1.3 inches. I think I'll make sure I have 700c wheels next time.

I'd like to make special mention of the Green Grocer bike shop in Goulburn. They were awesome. The old guy there helped me out in finding me a suitable tire. He even changed it for me and gave me some handy tips. Can't recommend them highly enough. It's a great change from the rude treatment I used to get at my local bike shop in Sydney on Oxford Street. If only all bike shops were this great.

I've got a blog here of my journey if anyone is interested. There's not much besides pics and a few videos but more will come:

http://sydneytomelbourne.blogspot.com
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Re: Sydney to Melbourne, safety, route, etc

Postby Moocar » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:05 pm

How good is the Robertson pie shop! Congrats on making it down to the gong and back up the jamberoo pass mate. All the best on the rest of the trip.
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