Around Australia - Which Way?

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Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby circumnavigator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:46 pm

Hello,

I am going to cycle around australia leaving from perth on the 1st of Ausgust

I have no idea about weather etc and am on a pretty tight schedule.

I plan to average 200kms per day

If it were you, would you go clockwise or anti? And why?

I'm thinking north and get the top end of the way before the monsoons hit.

Would i be battling a headwind the whole way?

Or doesnt it matter which way you go?

Thanks for any info
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by BNA » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:11 pm

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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:11 pm

Anti-clockwise for the more favourable winds. But beginning from Perth in August would probably have you in north Queensland for the cyclone season. Mind you, you'll probably risk the same thing going clockwise. I'd suggest leaving Perth to ride the Nullarbor in late-Nov, spend Jan in Tassie, then head north in Feb-Mar. But I don't know how tight your schedule is. 200kms a day will get distressing after a month or two.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby circumnavigator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:30 pm

thanks IP

I thought as much

is it unheard of to go clockwise?

seems i'm damned if i do and damned if i dont at this time of year

how bad would a few weeks up north in cyclone season be?

is it possible to hide in a hotel when cyclones hit for a few days then set out between storms?

or is that just a death wish?
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:43 pm

circumnavigator wrote:is it unheard of to go clockwise?


Image
Headwinds


circumnavigator wrote:how bad would a few weeks up north in cyclone season be?

is it possible to hide in a hotel when cyclones hit for a few days then set out between storms?

or is that just a death wish?

Pretty bad! You see it's not just the cyclones (you'd be fairly unlucky to get caught up in one), but the consistent 30-33 degrees, 98-100% humidity with no let up, even at night. It's not called 'The Wet' for nothing and it goes from about December to May.

As for "hiding out" a cyclone...... :shock:

Image
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby circumnavigator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:45 pm

the way i see it, if the journey is 14500kms

and i average 200kms per day

thats 72.5 days of cycling

add 30 days for rest days and days i dont make 200kms thats 102.5 days

From 1st of August to 1st November is 61 days

that gives me 61 days to get from perth to NSW going clockwise

if i'm in the middle of queensland by then, i will have to use my cyclone dodging technique :P

can anyone see any problems with this?

If not, i'm risking it

cant afford to wait until christmas
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby circumnavigator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:47 pm

lol

thanks for that

if its a circumnavigation, would it matter which way round u went?

i mean, u are going from east to west one way and west to east to get back

clockwise or anti, u still do both legs in either direction
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:00 pm

Nullarbor is a contraction of Null arbor, aka no trees aka nowhere to hide in a headwind. Counter clockwise is the go.

Personally I think you're silly brushing off the advice you received here.

You might like to take a look at some of the touring blogs on crazyguyonabike.
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Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby RonK » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:15 pm

il padrone wrote:
circumnavigator wrote:is it unheard of to go clockwise?


Headwinds


circumnavigator wrote:how bad would a few weeks up north in cyclone season be?

is it possible to hide in a hotel when cyclones hit for a few days then set out between storms?

or is that just a death wish?

Pretty bad! You see it's not just the cyclones (you'd be fairly unlucky to get caught up in one), but the consistent 30-33 degrees, 98-100% humidity with no let up, even at night. It's not called 'The Wet' for nothing and it goes from about December to May.

As for "hiding out" a cyclone...... :shock:


Not to mention that widespread flooding and road closures are common in Northern Australia during the wet.
Last edited by RonK on Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby circumnavigator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:28 pm

god damn

well, i guess that is the end of that mission
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby circumnavigator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:30 pm

well, what about anti clockwise

is august just a bad time to leave?

last month of winter

heading south from bunbury sounds cold and wet

what is the nullabor like end of winter, start of spring?
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby Meditator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:55 pm

I've only read through the thread quickly so excuse me if i missed some finer points.
I've some questions for you too.

How many days straight have you ever ridden more than 200km? Why do you think you can do this. No one else as far as i know does it like this. Most people aim for 80-100km per day on the days they ride let alone making an average.

Why are you doing this? Do you just like riding your bike and are not actually interested in anything but average scenery as you head down a highway, usually known as the most boring roads in any country. Are you riding a roadbike and travelling ultra light.

I have met someone, a young fit dutch guy who travelled this way up from perth on road bike and ultra light. He was halfway between Katherine and Darwin when i met him. He found the WA coast tough going. He admitted going about this the wrong way. He noticed that he didn't get to see much of WA and that seeing this part of the country is best on a 4WD. Had he more time and a mountain bike or a touring bike, he'd have enjoyed his trip much more. His view on the part of the country of WA to Darwin was that there was nothing to see. He's wrong of course but that's because he choose not to slow down enough to see anything. He also battled headwinds.

Are you Australian?

Do you have a strict time limit? If you do, then there's no reason why you can't do half of a circumnavigation, turning up north to alice and cutting arcross to north queensland from MOunt isa, then turning back west to darwin and broome. You could even skip arriving on the east coast altogether. Don't assume there's nothing to see in central australia.

If you are going to attempt to go anyway along the circumnagivation route, i'd say you should go anti clockwise. ARe you reluctant to cross the nullabor in August because its cold? I think the cold will be less unpleasant than the heat you will experience if you find yourself in the north of australia during the months from October to May. cutting up through central australia will take you away from the cold. If you had time you could as directly as possible east from Alice springs. The cyclones are not an issue for you but heat and humidity will be if you are in the north in summer. The only way you oculd like this trip is if you are a true masochist.

if you want to look at the winds in more detail, look at the bom.gov.au its the bureau of meterology website.

As it is, i think you are a fools mission if you don't alter your plan.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby Meditator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:58 pm

If you are from perth, i would suggest maybe you leave out going south round bunbury if you think it will be unpleasantly cold and wet. It might be pigheaded to stick to a proper circumnavigation. Do the sensible thing and pick the best route for the time of year.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:01 pm

Meditator wrote:How many days straight have you ever ridden more than 200km? Why do you think you can do this. No one else as far as i know does it like this.

Some can do it that quick. Poit posts on here at times, most notably in the recumbent forum. But he didn't do this for a sightseeing tour :|

He'd ridden 14,913km in 48 days, 23 hours and 37 minutes, averaging a fraction over 304km per day without a rest day. This phenomenal effort reduced the already impressive record of a Dane, Erik Straarup, by just over two days, while Poit actually rode 302km further than Erik did.


Image


BTW, he rode counter-clockwise, in the dry season.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby circumnavigator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:09 pm

well, i actually live in bunbury

i have rode bunbury to perth and perth to bunbury a few times

easily do it in under 7 hours casually

i'm not a masochist and am not a nature lover either

i just want an impossible mission, something really challenging and under $10k

I first planned buying an old yacht to sail arounbd australia but the costs went throught the roof.

i then planned doing it on my motorbike but after making a full plan, realised it just wasnt challenging and seemed quite boring

i hate being cold

heading north appealed to me to get some nice weather and views

guess i'll have to come up with a new mission as my timing is all out of whack

thanks all
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby J Quinton » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:19 pm

Dude. Do it. This is the challenge you're looking for. Head north. Head south. Head east. It doesnt matter. Get out there. 200km a day. Easy. People live up north and drive up north during the summer. They dont die. If a challenge is what you're looking for: this is it.

A bit of cold and it's all off. Sissy.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby circumnavigator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:43 pm

lol

i'm not calling it off because of the cold

i was calling it off because of the cyclones, flooding and headwinds for 15000kms
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby J Quinton » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:46 pm

Oh so that's not impossible enough?
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby circumnavigator » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:53 pm

i'm not macguyver

it will either end in death or inconveniencing locals that try to save my dumb ass
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby Meditator » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:05 am

All right so want a real challenge. In that case i would say do it but maybe not quite as first suggested.

Don't give it up becuase of cyclones or flooding. You can easily avoid those situations. Headwinds should be avoided by travelling in the right direction.

Excessive heat should be avoided because you can die in it. And you probably can't cycle 200km in a day in it. Don't forget you will need to drink at least a litre an hour in such circumstances and if you cant' find it, well it might be tricky.

Oh whoopsyou might might not be able to avoid flooding in central or western australia doing the monsoon period. The roads are cut and there's simply no way to get through. flooding in other areas should be avoidable. But anyway its simply not sensible to go riding in northern australia in the wet and hot seasons. Why don't you just go at a different time to catch the right seasons.

Or go somewhere else altogether.

It would also be really challenging on a different bike on the rough dirt routes. YOu wno't be able to ride as far or as fast. There's quite a few good hard roads that can be done in Australia. You can try the BNT for a start. (check out the bnt website and google some of the blogs).

Or check out another country. If you are doing it on a roadbike, i think there's a fair bit of asia you can do. Or ride around in New Zealand.

I think you can do these trips on $10000 if you manage your money carefully.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby GJ_Coop » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:43 am

C

You've got all of August, September and October before it gets too bad up north.

Winds are funny things, I swear I thought I was in headwinds all day as I came down from Darwin to Karratha. It might be good to have a tailwind but really it ain't the end of the world.

Every time I hear of difficulties of riding a bike I think of Arthur Richardson, the first person to circumnavigate Oz, he did it in 1899-1900, in 270 odd days.

As least you don't have to swim your bike over croc infested rivers or travel where there aren't any roads.

Should be a great trip, don't let anyone stop you.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby il padrone » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:32 pm

GJ_Coop wrote:Winds are funny things, I swear I thought I was in headwinds all day as I came down from Darwin to Karratha. It might be good to have a tailwind but really it ain't the end of the world.

When we rode out from Melbourne to Adelaide en-route (planned) to Alice Springs we copped westerlies and north-westerlies all the way to Adelaide and much of the Mid-North and into the Flinders Ranges. Grrr! It was only when we got up around Arkaroola when we finally got the regular southerlies that they get in that area. We flew very joyously up the Oodnadatta Track, and riding south would have been certainly possible, just not so enjoyable. We actually met Chris from Darwin in Lyndhurst, on his red home-built recumbent who had ridden all the way south into the winds - including along the Finke railway road and the Oodnadatta Track.


GJ_Coop wrote:Every time I hear of difficulties of riding a bike I think of Arthur Richardson, the first person to circumnavigate Oz, he did it in 1899-1900, in 270 odd days.

As least you don't have to swim your bike over croc infested rivers or travel where there aren't any roads.

I've long been trying to find the source of, or a refernce to, the description I once read of Arthur Richardson (I think, or it was Jerome Murif) riding through rough bush somewhere in NT, with the local aborigines chasing him. He carried a rifle and often fired shots into the bush to scare them off :P . It really was a different world.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:15 pm

Would love to see that too. Amazing feat.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:16 pm

And on a singlespeed.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby il padrone » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:30 pm

And with some amazingly light loads on the bike

Image


Have always been surprised how much AR looks like Trapper John McIntyre from MASH :?


Jerome Murif was the first person to ride across the continent, from Adelaide to Darwin

Image


He did not attempt a fast crossing. His trip of 74 days included a week touring the Alice Springs district. By taking his time, he said encouraged others to do better.

Typically male cycling club members uniform seems to have been shirt, vest, jacket, knickerbockers, stockings, cycling shoes and cap. Flies could be very troublesome and some long distance riders tried fly nets and goggles to keep them at bay. Murif didn't conform to this standard of dress. For comfort he wore pyjamas and carried a spare pair to change into before arriving at telegraph or pastoral stations on the way. But he also wore high topped boots rather than shoes to prevent sand getting into them while he was pushing the bicycle across sand dunes.

Non riders had a different view of what might be good cycling country. In the Northern Territory someone advised Jerome Murif to take 'nice soft flats' and to 'avoid gritty rises' This was a cattleman's view, and the soft flats were sandy and difficult while the hard gritty rises were a much better cycling surface. Sand hills were difficult. Murif walked most of the 300 miles south of Alice Springs. He also tacked back and forth across the linear dunes. He judged that the sand hills would only be rideable after a heavy rainfall. Bay of Biscay soil in the Northern Territory was also difficult 'like cycling up and down a stairway, with the stairs of unequal heights and width, blindfolded'. But he found 'a splendidly smooth' clay pan of 20 miles near the MacDonnell ranges. One of the worst stretches was having to carry his bicycle on his shoulder through a soft marshy lake. With that and a gibber plain he only managed 21 miles that day, On the way into Darwin he had to cycle along the railway ballast. Spinifex generally meant loose or sandy soil in contrast to mulga where the going was better. Near Daly Waters there was a wiry grass that wrapped around the spokes, hub, chain and cogs and immobilised him. Sometimes he had to stop every few hundred yards, dismount, and cut it all away.
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Re: Around Australia - Which Way?

Postby mitzikatzi » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:34 pm

Other things to do
Bibbulmun track
or
Munda Biddi trail

200km a day :lol: :roll: Just because you rode 200km in 7 hours a couple of times doesn't mean you can do 200km a day for 75 days while touring on a bike.
Maybe shoot off an e mail to Green Edge about a job as a domestique ? :lol: There is a bike ride coming up in the French mountains shortly.
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