All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
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I have thought is about cycling around Australia for a while- the idea is at the back of my mind, and pops out to haunt me, but I wonder if it is too crazy for me to even think aout doing this solo.
any opinions or ideas?
You tell us....have you done much touring before?.Are you a local?.
I've meet quite a few girls cycling around NZ over the years,much more varied and interesting terrain in a much smaller area but it does rain a bit!.
Lonely Planet's Cycling Australia advises that "Australia is generally a safe place for women travellers and plenty of women cycle alone with very few hassles. Women should, however exercise the same degree of caution as they would anywhere..." That sounds pretty right to me.
The book was published in 2001 so information on accommodation prices etc. is clearly out of date. It is however a good starting point for planning a trip.
life is unfolding
There are lots of miles of nothing in Australia, and while safety may be at the back of peoples minds when they plan this, just as big a concern would be carrying enough provisions (food, water, sleeping equiptment etc) to get you through the isolated bits. It would mean a big load to carry for one person (no matter which sex) and the weight and bulk would mean a slow and steady trip. and possibly take a lot of the fun out of it.
You could always break up the trip into sections, say do the east coast this year, the west coast another year etc, and stay in the likes of pubs or youth hostels along the way.
Don't let us talk you out of it. I'd love to do the same thing. You just have to do a lot of careful planning and be realistic before you start out.
Thanks to those who replied and for your comments.
I live in Melbourne. I have cycled around the city now for over 20 years, and didn't get my licence until three years ago, so my bike is my way of life. I am 36 now. I have cycled a little bit in other parts of the world, and in Australia. I have always wanted to travel around Australia and would like to do so by bike. After I posted last time, I discovered the Ozbybike dude, Anthony, and sent him an email, and he replied with vey positive comments and it was great to hear from him! I also found about a woman who cycled around in 2005 raisisng money for a charity, so that was inspiring too.
I know it will be hard, and I am not rushing off tomorrow. Joining this forum is a step at the beiginning of my research.
Go for it. Tell you what, aim for Adelaide to start with. We can meet for a coffee or whatever and if you get here and find you're shattered, it's not hard to get you and the bike organised onto a bus home again. That won't happen of course, you'll get here and then head off to annoy the sand gropers
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
And we have better coffee and are nowhere as a boring as Adelaide
Proudly "a bleeding heart with too much spare time on his hands"
We have better coffee, better roads, better scenery, and we tour here too
However if heading north, seek some up to date advice regarding the heat and current water situation.
When heading North, at Northampton (50 kms north of Geraldton) there is a sign that is mean't for car drivers and it reads:
"Limited water further north, fill up at caravan park".
It's still a good ride though, especially the detour to the coast.
There is only one BicycleWA.
It is worth thinking about timing. A late summer start is good for Tasmania. Then perhaps Melbourne to the Gold Coast into autumn, to avoid riding up north in the hot weather.
And don't foget the Great Ocean Road. People travel around the world for this ride and it is on your doorstep.
life is unfolding
I am planning a short cycle trip down near Warnambool in a couple of weeks, and so will do some of Great Ocean Road! I like and appreciate all the responses to this post, especially the supportive ones, as it motivates me to keep planning. I just found a book in the library titled : Out there and back: the story of the 25 000 km Great Australian Cycle Expedition by Kate Leeming. She cycled around Australia, so its quite good for research, it has good detail about different routes.
Those who suggested a coffee, that would be great! You may have to wait for a while while I get organised!
i don't think it's crazy. if you are thinking that then maybe don't go solo the entire time. ever since i toured japan <during rainy season> i have had my mind in touring parts of australia solo.
the only crazy thing to do is tour and have no bike knowledge.
It's a great idea, go for it, you'll be fine. Check out warmshowers dot org and couchsurfing dot com thses are hosting websites - you sign up and agrre to host other travellers when possible - the first one is especially for cyclists and there are many female members. I'm staying with one right now in Coolangatta as I circumnavigate Oz.
www dot davidddinoz dot blogspot dot com
I have only been thinking about a weekend tour this week solo as a female wondering if it would be ok. A weekend this time and maybe look at a week next time to see if it works for me. Great Ocean road by bike would be amazing, but not sure is it safe on bike? I have never done the Great Ocean road even by car yet.
What an amazing experience, as you experience and see so much more on the bike as I have been finding over the last month. (I have only just started riding and am having a ball)
I think solo female cycle tourists would find inspiration and encouragement from any book by Josie Dew: http://www.josiedew.co.uk/
Her classic first solo touring book, probably at least 20 years old now, is "The Wind In My Wheels" and she's kept up the cycle touring and writing ever since - now even as a mum.
Certainly is a good ride
We did ride a bit of the Great Ocean Road one Easter here. We began from Colac, off the train, and did a 4 day loop south through the Otways. Pictures will give you an idea of the wonderful forest country that is the Otways. Here's a Bikely map of the route we took.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
I'm in the same situation as you- want to do some touring but unsure about going solo.
I've done a bit of cycle touring but always with someone els. I've gone from Adelaide to Melb and also around northern NSW.
Anyway, I'm thinking of touring around Tasmania in late Jan 09 if you're interested.
-Good luck with all your preparation. You'll love touring it's the best way to see Australia.
Annabel, I rode alone (I'm female) from Devonport to Hobart in Jan 2008. It didn't occur to me to be scared re. the 'lone female' thing, except for a couple of nights when I was bush camping and there were people hanging around.
I suppose my main concern was opportunists, but you'd have to be pretty unlucky. I think a greater concern for me should have been injuring myself in the middle of nowhere, but it didn't occur to me to worry about that. But really, these thoughts would never stop me from doing this stuff.
I had a great time in Tassie; hope you do too!
I'm just about to set off from Hervey Bay to Melbourne (half the time alone) - anyway - I'd be keen on cycling around tasmania in january..... i noticed there's also a canadian woman in the meeting point section of touring who wants to start on january 10th, i'm also going to reply to her...
Hello to all who have recently read my original post from last year!!!
Its great to see some discussion as I haven't looked at this forum for a while.
I have just returned from a great solo cycling adventure in the Northern territory where I cycled from Katherine to Nitmiluk National Park, to Pine Creek, where I hitched a lift with my bicycle to Litchfield National Park, which I cycled through , and then I cylced/ hitched to Darwin and around Kakadu. I am additcted and am planning my next trip now, despite a knee injury, and I am still keen to try and cycle around Australia,
I love it, and when I got tired I just hitched a lift with my bike and all!
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