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I have just bought myself a bike with fixed gear, and I'm planning to cycle the Great Ocean Road from Geelong to Warrnambool with it. Since there are many slopes, is it possible to do the cycling with fixed gear ? In addition, is it possible to sleep in the open without tent, even sleeping bag, in the town along the way.
Looking forward to advice, instructions and warnings.
Yes my father and many cyclists of the era (1930s) rode fixed on the GOR. Choose a moderate gear for the climbs and spin out on the descents.
Sleeping rough in the town? Its called vagrancy. Seriously why? It will be cold and possibly wet. Invest in a good tent and sleeping bag, it will make your trip so much better.
YHA at Lorne I think, and Apollo Bay. Backpackers at Cape Otway (Bimbi Park), hotel-motel at Lavers Hill, pub may do accommodation at Princetown and there defintiely are pubs at Port Campbell (not going to be cheap) and Peterborough.
Carrying a tent and basic camping gear will be a good deal cheaper, but May????? Not the ideal time to do it - likely to be quite cold and wet. I'd strongly suggest you begin at Warrnambool and ride to Geelong to take advantage of the most likely westerly winds.
The Lorne establishment is no longer under the YHA umbrella but may still operate as a backpackers hostel.
A rant topic of mine is that the YHA seems to be closing the franchise operations (Lorne for example) and going for their own large hostels in the big cities and the major tourist areas.
Mind you some of the franchise places that I have stayed at recently were pretty run down. Robe springs to mind.
There used to be a caravan park with a bunk house at Lavers Hill. It would be worth checking out. There is almost certain to be a backpackers at Port Campbell.
Yes, YHA fell over as a real network of establishments to emphaisise human-powered travel about 20 years ago. There used to be a whole network of great hostels around Tasmania - today there are about three
Robe? The Lakeside Manor was a truly wonderful YHA when I was there in 2010. Surely this is not "run down"
Thanks for your reply. In fact, I'm not familiar with the wind direction. If I cycle from Geelong to Warrnambool, I will be in the left side which is closer to the sea compared to the right side of the road. This is the advantage. So I wonder whether the wind is strong enough to influence my cycling?
In May, you could be lucky and get an autumn calm spell, or even easterlies, but a fair bit less likely. In April 2010 we were not so lucky. Riding from west to east you will be away from the sea-edge of the road but you'll still get the views and can still stop at all the many roadside look-outs. I'd rate the advantage of a tailwind rather than a headwind as more important to the enjoyment of the journey. Especially riding solo where you don't have a mate to draft behind and to cheer each other on.
Wind roses for Cape Otway - the direction of the bars shows the direction the wind is blowing from. Their length is the proportion of winds from that direction. The bar's thickness is the breakdown of wind speeds from that direction. I'd be banking on starting from Warrnambool
For other's reference this is where I got them from:
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/ ... _map.shtml
Cape Otway May wind rose - 9am
Cape Otway May wind rode - 3pm
We stayed about a year later than that. At that time there was only one ladies toilet in operation and the kitchen was extremely short of of crockery and pots and pans. Rubbish bins in the yard were overflowing. I am not surprised that the place lost its YHA franchise.
I did a cycle tour down the east coast of Tassie in the mid nineties staying at the old hostels there, most very basic but great for a cycle tour.
Yes the lounge and library were still as shown in your photo but it did not make up for the rest of the place.
Oh, that's a really sad thing to let such a place decline. When we were there it had a well appointed kitchen and all was well-kept and very nice.
I toured Tasmania twice in the early/mid 80s. The east coast chain of hostels were very valuable for travellers, especially cycle-touring. There was also a quite good selection of hostels out towards the west coast and south of Hobart. We kept on meeting up with other travellers we met who were hitching or driving cars, bumping into them several times at the hostels. It made for a really great social side to our tour.
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