Route from Adelaide to Melbourne (Amateurs)

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Route from Adelaide to Melbourne (Amateurs)

Postby almi » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:44 pm

Hello forum,

we're a couple that is currently travelling the world (we've been to South America and are now in NZ) and we're going to fly to Adelaide in a few days. We met a couple of touring cyclists on the road and fell in love with the idea of riding from Adelaide to Melbourne (via Great Ocean Road). As this will be our first touring experience, we'd appreciate some help in planning our route:

  • Where can one find bike trails online? How can we avoid unnecessary hills? :oops:
  • Is it necessary to divide the ride into stages upfront or better to just take it as it comes?
  • Is there plenty of budget accomodation available along the road or do we need to do the research before?
  • What kind of features will be required of our bikes?


Hopefully, this doesn't sound too amateurish :roll: Looking forward to your thoughts!

Cheers
almi
 
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by BNA » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:58 pm

BNA
 

Re: Route from Adelaide to Melbourne (Amateurs)

Postby il padrone » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:58 pm

Hello and welcome

Between Melbourne and Adelaide you will find precious few bike trails and similar numbers of hills. There is a bike path from Adelaide out town up into the Mt Lofty Ranges to Stirling. As for hills, you will strike the Otway Ranges if you follow the coast, but this is generally a desirable journey through the forested scenic coastal hills. there are really not very many hills, especially when compared to NZ or South America. Lots of long straight open roads are the norm.

The journey will be fine done as one stage, but allow a few rest/sightseeing days - perhaps at Mt Gambier and Port Fairy or Warrnambool. The coastal route is probably going to be more interesting and scenic than the inland routes. The Grampians is a scenic inland destination, worth a visit but be aware many of the roads there may be closed after the severe summer bushfires.

Accommodation should be readily available, although maybe busy over Easter. Camping is very easy to do, every town will have a caravan/camping park and in other locations at coastal parks there are camping areas with basic facilities. Country pubs will provide fairly economic rooms in every country town, the caravan parks often have park cabins and there are some backpackers lodges along the coast. YHA at Apollo Bay is excellent as is the YHA at Port Fairy.

As for the bikes, if you've done South America whatever you are riding should be fine. All the roads will be sealed roads, unless you go hunting for forest back roads in the Otways. A bigger issue may be your choice of direction. In summer it is generally best to ride Melbourne to Adelaide as the winds tend to be SE. This usually lasts until sometime in April when the winter W and NW winds kick in. So if you are really starting in the next few days I would tend to advise that you start in Melbourne and ride west unless you are a fan of headwind riding.

If you are in Melbourne next Thursday you could always come along to our club's meeting to chat with local touring cyclists - Melbourne Bicycle Touring Club at 8.00pm in the Historical Society Rooms, 362 William Street, Melbourne.

Cheers
Pete
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Route from Adelaide to Melbourne (Amateurs)

Postby almi » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:51 am

Thanks so much for your detailed reply! Our original post wasn't quite clear on one important thing: we didn't travel by bicycle yet and this will be our first touring experience.

That said, what you say about the wind directions is a bit worrying. I read somewhere about the direction changing in March and didn't give it another thought. Is this as bad as it sounds?

This being our first tour also means that we actually don't have bikes. We're in touch with a couple of people and are trying to organize something. The idea is to buy bikes in Adelaide and sell them in Melbourne again.

We will arrive in Adelaide on Tuesday (flights already booked), so we unfortunately won't be able to join the meet-up in Melbourne. This whole thing may sound crazily unprepared and it is, but we really want to go for it!
almi
 
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Re: Route from Adelaide to Melbourne (Amateurs)

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:02 pm

Ah, OK, you are committed to the route. You will just have to take it as it comes. Chances are you will get a mixture of winds, some NW tailwinds, some S or SW, and some SE headwinds. It won't be a disaster, you will just need to learn to pace yourself and not try to bash too hard into a headwind.

Getting bikes in Adelaide.... do you have bike panniers, or are you getting these as well? Do these bikes have racks to carry panniers? You will need rear panniers (OK if you are doing pubs, cabins, and backpackers) and front panniers if you are carrying camping gear. It is a bit of a step up to full cycle-touring including camping, but does greatly increase your independence on the road.

The first three weeks of this Crazyguyonabike journal gives details of our tour from Melbourne to Adelaide along the coast in April & May 2010. Ridng west we had almost continuous headwinds after Cape Otway :( Still a great experience nvertheless.
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Re: Route from Adelaide to Melbourne (Amateurs)

Postby bagelonabike » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:57 pm

Riding with backpacks and heavy loads (if you intend to camp), will mean a very sore back each day so really would not recommend that! If you intend to 'credit card tour' e.g no camping, but staying in B&B'/motel/hostel/cabin accommodation, you might get away with a backpack if you travel really light and ride shorter daily distances. Along the route there is quite a bit of budget accommodation, except a stretch for about 140(ish) km alongside Coorong national park where there are not many services at all. The total distance is 1040 km to the western edge of Melbourne.

I did this coastal route from Adelaide to Melbourne in May last year and had pretty good weather.Not 'hot' but nice for riding. Headwinds about 3 days but not to bad. My route write up is here: http://bagelonabike.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/adelaide-to-melbourne-summary.html if that helps, but allow yourself more time than I did...I was in a hurry.

Hills: its a mostly flat route, except for the big hill to get out of Adelaide, and 2 big hills (900m or so) along the Great Ocean Rd near 'Lavers Hill'.

Its a stunning route! You could also try getting transport to 'Warrnambool' and just cycling the very pretty section to Geelong past 'The Apostles'. That would cut the distance by half, but has the 2 big hills.
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Postby almi » Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:38 pm

Thank you so much for all the information. I read through the blog posts and got quite a bunch out of them! We changed plans and are going to start in Geelong, ride along the Great Ocean Road to Warnambool and then go back via the inland. This will be an easier tour to start with and it's much easier to organize.
almi
 
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Re:

Postby bagelonabike » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:18 pm

almi wrote:Thank you so much for all the information. I read through the blog posts and got quite a bunch out of them! We changed plans and are going to start in Geelong, ride along the Great Ocean Road to Warnambool and then go back via the inland. This will be an easier tour to start with and it's much easier to organize.


Sounds good...enjoy!
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