What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

The Appila Kid
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:37 pm

What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby The Appila Kid » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:18 pm

Hi all,

First post from this little black duck.

Years ago, a mate and I completed the full length of the Mawson Trail. Truth be known, it took us three separate sessions, but we got all 900km of it done! It remains an accomplishment that we are both proud of.

As I was raised in the mid north of South Australia, I was very familiar with the surroundings and thus had a fair idea of where I was to be riding through and what I was going to take with me. I also had the bonus of having family to stay with on three nights along the way.

I wanted to ask, if you were to make the decision to ride the Mawson Trail, and if you're not that familiar with remote South Australia, what information would you be looking for before setting out to do it? The following come to mind for me off the top of my head:
  • distances between towns, perhaps also with altitudes, gradients, etc.
  • accommodation options along the route
  • where I can buy food along the way
  • weather and road conditions to expect (dependent on the time of year)
  • where I can get water (I'm particularly thinking here about people who may come to South Australia from overseas - there ain't many options!)
  • information on such things as fire bans
  • transport options, particularly to the northern, more remote sections
  • other things to check out along the way (e.g. Wilpena Pound, Pichi Richi Railway, wineries, wineries, food, wineries, etc....)
  • perhaps wind directions?

This is all I can think of for starters. I'd be keen on what else you may want to contribute - I'd value your contribution.

Cheers, BJ

The Appila Kid
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby The Appila Kid » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:06 pm

Oh yeah, just thought too that phone network availability would be a good one too! Plus, bike shops along the way (more than you'd think along the Mawson Trail!)

brumby33
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:52 pm
Location: Beverly Hills NSW...Yeehaaaaa!!

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby brumby33 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:17 pm

Things apart from what you mentioned would be inline with equipment needed.

Is your bike suitable for that type of touring?

MTB or Touring Road bike or the new Gravel type bikes?

Traditional Panniers or bike packer style?

Tyre set-up

Camping tent/matt/ sleeping bag etc.

Yeah water out there would be extremely important, especially now we're heading into the warmer Months. Maybe as well as bottles, might be best to look into some kind of bladder storage. Whilst water generally weights 1 kg per litre, at least you reduce bike weight as the hours go by and as water is consumed.
You also mentioned Mobile devices....only Telstra has Australia wide coverage.....might be a bit more but worth it....also consider one of those locating beacon devices...can't remember what they're called but they send a signal so an aircraft or someone can call in your location.

Can't think of anything else.

sounds like a great trip.


Cheers

brumby33
"ya gotta hold ya mouth right"

VWR Patagonia 2017
2003 Diamondback Sorrento Sport MTB

The Appila Kid
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby The Appila Kid » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:42 pm

Thanks brumby33 - that's greatly appreciated.

User avatar
RonK
Posts: 10376
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: If you need to know, ask me
Contact:

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby RonK » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:18 pm

You have it pretty well covered. I’d also consider alternative routes and bail out options in case you encounter delays or bad weather. Generally I tend to pick an ambitious route that covers all the places I would like to visit, then make final decisions on the ground.
But don’t overthink/overplan or you’ll never go anywhere. Keeps your plans flexible - things will never work out exactly how you imagine.
There is a quote which has been variously attributed to Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower and others - it goes something like “plans are worthless, but planning is essential".
Last edited by RonK on Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

The Appila Kid
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby The Appila Kid » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:22 pm

Thanks RonK.

brumby33
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:52 pm
Location: Beverly Hills NSW...Yeehaaaaa!!

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby brumby33 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:52 pm

I've never been in the outback and can only go on the videos and countless movies and photos I've seen and you've already indicated that you've grown up in those surroundings and even bicycle toured in it...so you've already experienced what it's like out there.

My fear would possibly be the complete isolation of being in the middle of no-where in particular if something were to go wrong with my bike. I'm not that mechanically or tech savvy and only have limited confidence with being able to fix stuff myself....complete opposite of my Dad who could fix just about anything....so in touring, unless i'm in a car, i'm probably unlikely to venture out that far.....to be able to survive out there on your own for days on end with the unlikely hood anyone would be going pass you.....

Probably the only good thing would be apart from having the most deadliest snakes in the world, we don't have any predatory animals (except crocs) that would want to kill and eat you, unlike North America with their Mtn Lions and grizzlys and in some parts Wolves, Coyotes etc....although I'd still love to tour over there...

I guess outback touring would be ok if your following a main thoroughfare....however I think i'd rather an Adventure Motorcycle rather than a bicycle for that....but that's just me...I'm a wuzz!! :lol: :lol: :roll:
"ya gotta hold ya mouth right"

VWR Patagonia 2017
2003 Diamondback Sorrento Sport MTB

The Appila Kid
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby The Appila Kid » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:14 pm

I too am a mechanical ignoramus, but I can tell you that you're never that far from civilisation - I guess, though, that you would want an indication of where you relatively speaking in that regard. There are far lonlier places in South Australia to ride!

terryc
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:57 pm
Location: Macarthur, NSW, Australia.

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby terryc » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:22 pm

I take it that your trying tgo put together a guide to it?

Info that I'd like to know as well as most of the above, is likely seasonal temperature/humidity ranges and which maps you'd recommend.

I'm thinkng more on the auto type maps and local tourist type maps to pick up along the way. Not everyone is a topo map fetish like I am, but you could list those as well.

I'm assuming you'll include the telephone numbers of the bike shops there, which might encourage a few more people to ride. If there is that many bike shops, then i'll guess there are a few decent towns and they'll probably have tourist infor "centres" which some people like to contact prior.

The only other thing I tended to chase up is the "bail out' options. Mainly rail lines and stations that collect passengers and I'd guess i'd also include the bus services now as the NSW rail service is exceddingly poor now. YMMV.

Hmm, Outback? Where does it start? Reminds me of the time we were running a supported bike ride in the area of Goulburn, NSW and having to contend with tourist buses of Japanese, who we ran into again at the Big Merino. they proudly informed us that this was their 'outback trip" to a sheep station to see sheep shearing. Sigh, a whole 189kms from Sydney. Eeye of the beholder I guess.

The Appila Kid
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby The Appila Kid » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:14 pm

Thanks TerryC, and I'm sorry it's taken me this long to get back on line and read your comment.

Yes, I have a bit of a project in mind that I'd like to ensure I'm relatively prepared for before I put in my Project Proposal for the body to hopefully consider. Your thoughts are right up the alley of what I'm looking for - thank you.

Yes, agree with your Outback sentiment. But don't worry, it's not just internationals. I'm in Adelaide and there are an amazing number of people here who have never ventured further than the Adelaide Hills.

Cheers

User avatar
Warin
Posts: 617
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:13 pm

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby Warin » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:20 pm

brumby33 wrote:..only Telstra has Australia wide coverage..


:shock: Ummm .. No! Most people reading the above would think of cell phone coverage. And no cell phone coverage covers half of Australia in terms of area.


Only Satellite phones have Australia wide coverage.
The next step downwards in trems of emergency contact from a satellite phone are SPOT or Garmin Inreach devices. These can send out SMS messages and also have an alarm button. These do cover all of Australia .. and most of the world.
Then the last step are PLB/EPIRB devices - these only have one mode of summing help. They 'talk' to satellites - they give the emergency control centre the information of who and where .. the control centre then rings the contact person to check it is not a false alarm .. and then they organise some 'rescue' operation .. this can be the local cop coming out to see what is up. These are the cheapest option, no ongoing fees. These do cover all of Australia .. and most of the world.

------------------
Just had 2 people die .. probably from dehydration in WA. Water is extremely important.

------------------
Fire bans take place in SA every year at this time. No camp-fire cooking nor cooking on a camp stove. Not even hot water for tea/coffee.

A rough idea of the route and elevation changes can be had here
https://mtb.waymarkedtrails.org/#route? ... 8!140.1892

------------------

The Appila Kid
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby The Appila Kid » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:51 pm

Thanks Warin, much appreciated.

brumby33
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:52 pm
Location: Beverly Hills NSW...Yeehaaaaa!!

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby brumby33 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:38 pm

Yeah sorry...I was referring to the cellphone/mobile networks and the one that will cover the biggest area will be Telstra but as this is a huge Continent, you won't get signals in remote locations. I didn't mean to misrepresent this...just an oversight on my wording I guess.

Warin has covered all the other methods of communication.

Having a mirror or reflective blanket would be wise too in case you get stranded out in the middle of the desert.....but i'm sure you already took that in consideration.


Cheers

brumby33
"ya gotta hold ya mouth right"

VWR Patagonia 2017
2003 Diamondback Sorrento Sport MTB

User avatar
GJ_Coop
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:57 pm
Location: geez, I seem to be in NZ
Contact:

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby GJ_Coop » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:00 pm

I guess there's a lot of fear about Outback travel.

Most of which is promulgated by people who haven't spent much time out there.

Don't ride December to March is the main idea. I rode in November and the thunderstorms every afternoon, lots of lightning, were fearsome. Temperature was 42º C for a while, but that was bearable for all but a few hours in the middle of the day. Sunscreen, Lawrence of Arabia hat, longsleeved shirt over a wool T-shirt. Good gloves. I only took one pair of sandals.

There are plenty of people on even the most remote roads. Some on tracks. People go to Dalhousie Springs every day.

I wouldn't be too concerned about breakdowns.

A dozen real spokes and a cassette remover tool. A spare chain, and a lot of chainlinks, to ensure you won't need to actually use any.

Drivers will offer you water.

They are reluctant to part with much food, maybe because they assume you must be a muppet if you don't have your own food out there.

Most of my info is still relevant, I believe: http://www.cycletrailsaustralia.com/

The Appila Kid
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: What basic information would you look for before undertaking a long touring ride?

Postby The Appila Kid » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:18 pm

Thanks - that's all great!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users