Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

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Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Montgomery Brogan » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:21 am

Hi!

I write from Florence, Italy. Few days ago I found this great forum, similar to the italian's cyclotourist forum where you can find tons of informations about travels in Italy and in Europe. I have a big dream...next year, 30 of june, I'll take a plane to come to Australia and finally start my long trip along the East coast and Victoria. About 5000 km, starting from Melbourne and accross Victoria state, then New South Walles and last, Queensland.

I will take about 65 days to do this and I hope will be enough..

I have many questions for you and I really appreciate if someone could help me to prepare this magic trip.

Initially I would like to ask you about the conditions of the road and of the road signs, I have a Kona Sutra 2011. you think will be ok or I need a MTB??

My name is Andrea, 34 y.o., sales manager and I'am at your complete disposition for all kind of informations you need about Italy & Europe :D Hope to hear you!
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by BNA » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:46 am

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Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Comedian » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:46 am

Hi mate welcome to the forum :)

You won't need your mtb for this but I suspect that there will be lots to talk about and plan in regards to the route.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Montgomery Brogan » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:59 am

Hi Comedian!

yes...lot of choices waiting me :shock: in the next days I'll book the flight and later I will start to decide and study the better route. I just returned from a great trip of 4.500 km, from Florence my home to North Cape, Artic Polar Circle, Norway. It's incredible that now..few days after this inbelievable experience..I'm here to ask for the next one... mah! ;)

Night! :D
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby WarrenH » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:59 am

G'day Mate.

Like comedian says, you don't need a mountain bike to get around this place ... but having a mountain bike would allow you to slowly wander and explore back tracks.

Here is a welcoming shot to Australia. I think that you will enjoy our culture.

Us having fun with sheep ... sheep racing.

Image

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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Montgomery Brogan » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:15 am

Hi Warren!! ;)

WarrenH wrote:... but having a mountain bike would allow you to slowly wander and explore back tracks.


.is what I meant :D , Kona Sutra is a great bike and of course I can use other tyres (actually I have Continental Contact 700x32 slim and great grip) to do different tracks ...but with an MTB would be perfect and completely free to do (almost) everything. ...in my mind, Australia is red roads! woww

Photo 1000 points! I'd like to be there...now not in 9 months!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby RonK » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:29 pm

Montgomery Brogan wrote:in my mind, Australia is red roads!

yes, and there are kangaroos and koalas wandering down them too :roll:

However, red roads will be a rarity unless you plan to ride deep into the outback. Along the coastal routes we are quite civilised and even have mostly sealed roads. :lol:
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Montgomery Brogan » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:06 pm

Ciao Ronk! ;)

If I have unintentionally offended you I apologize for this!! I have great respect for the countries I visit and for the people. I just kidding with stupid stereotypes, like when someone talk about Italy saying that there are only pizza, spaghetti & of course...MAFIAAA!!! ;) Really, can't wait to be there!

In my mind (in my dreams) red roads about Australia cause' in Italy we don't have open spaces, outback and wildlife like you guys! You are very lucky! About the route I will do... yaa I know that on the coast there are many sealed roads and infact the challenge will be prepare a trip out of traffic (and trucks!) looking for the most beautiful places in your magic country.

I leave you the address of our national cyclotourism forum:

http://www.ilcicloviaggiatore.it

and also the address of my website with some photos of the last trip accross Europe:

http://www.carmignanocaponord.it

Yesterday I got permission eVisitor to come in Australia. The first great news! :D :D
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby RonK » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:19 pm

Montgomery Brogan wrote:If I have unintentionally offended you I apologize for this!! I have great respect for the countries I visit and for the people. I just kidding with stupid stereotypes, like when someone talk about Italy saying that there are only pizza, spaghetti & of course...MAFIAAA!!! ;) Really, can't wait to be there!

No offence taken Monty - it's just that it's amusing that some visitors do think the roads are all dirt and there are kangaroos and wombats wandering the city streets, so I hope you aren't one who will be disappointed.

Montgomery Brogan wrote:In my mind (in my dreams) red roads about Australia cause' in Italy we don't have open spaces, outback and wildlife like you guys! You are very lucky! About the route I will do... yaa I know that on the coast there are many sealed roads and infact the challenge will be prepare a trip out of traffic (and trucks!) looking for the most beautiful places in your magic country.


Ah, but you have the strada bianche, and the Dolomiti: the Stelvio, the Mortirolo, the Gavia, and so many more, as we have seen on the Giro D'Italia - these are the places many Australian cyclists dream about.

So you must give us hint where you want to go, what you want to see. I'm sure there will be plenty of suggestions. And it will be winter here when you visit - this might limit your options as it may be too cold to go inland.

If you haven't already seen it, a good book to kick off your research is the Lonely Planet Cycling Australia guide. The coastal route from Melbourne to the Gold Coast starts on page 380.
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Montgomery Brogan » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:25 am

Lonely Cycling Australia will be a good starting point! Thank you friend! ;)

..few minutes ago I booked the flight! From 30 june to 31 august :D

Rock!!!!
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby rifraf » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:43 am

Hi Montgomery
I've just clicked the buy now on a copy of Lonely Planet Cycling Australia from Ebay .
They are $16.99AU plus $7.95AU for P&P
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/120723284088 ... 1438.l2649
There may be cheaper buys out there but I thought this one was ok and I got speedy responses from the seller
when I asked some questions :D
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Montgomery Brogan » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:06 pm

Hi rif!

Yestarday I bought 1 chapter of this guide, just to evaluate the contents and how is organized. The section about "Victoria", online directly from Lonely e-shop for 3.50 euro. In case I'll ask at the seller you told me, Thank u!

Monty
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby rifraf » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:42 pm

Thank YOU - I've got my "karma" points for the day! :D
I think I've enough for a low setting on an air conditioner in hell now. :lol:
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby glennb » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:59 pm

Plenty of rain during those months to wash the red dirt off your bike :-)

You will find the same variety and quality of road surfaces as in Toscana, whatever tires you use at home will be fine.

You'll certainly see a lot more wildlife here than in Europe, not many snakes and spiders in winter though.

The camping laws are better too, plenty of opportunities for wild camping.

If you are happy to camp and go a day without a shower (shouldn't be a problem in winter) you can ride any route you like.

If you want to stay in hotels every night you will need to plan some sections very carefully, and be prepared for the possibility of having to ride some long days in bad weather.

You are going to see the inside of a lot of pubs - in many areas they are the only place available to eat - and will probably make more friends if you drink beer
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Montgomery Brogan » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:22 pm

Ciao Glennbb!!! :D


glennb wrote:Plenty of rain during those months to wash the red dirt off your bike :-)


;( ...is the only period for me to take 2 months for holiday.

glennb wrote:You will find the same variety and quality of road surfaces as in Toscana, whatever tires you use at home will be fine.


Great! Continental Contact or Marathon will be ok!

glennb wrote:You'll certainly see a lot more wildlife here than in Europe, not many snakes and spiders in winter though.


I don't like so much spider...and snakes too! Good ;) I prefer Koala, Kangaroo and other funny animals ;)

glennb wrote:The camping laws are better too, plenty of opportunities for wild camping.


I think I will do camping every time the weather will be good...and for rainy days I'll choose B&B or Hotel or similar.

glennb wrote:If you are happy to camp and go a day without a shower (shouldn't be a problem in winter) you can ride any route you like.


In case of cold there will be no problems to stay also 2 days without a shower

glennb wrote: and be prepared for the possibility of having to ride some long days in bad weather.


I know what do you mean ;( ..in my last trip I took 10 days of consecutive heavy rain in Saxen, Germany

glennb wrote:You are going to see the inside of a lot of pubs - in many areas they are the only place available to eat - and will probably make more friends if you drink beer


can't wait to discover the real australian pub!! ;) ...with beer of course!
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby il padrone » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:24 pm

I know you have your tour route idea well defined, but at that time of year you might also consider doing something like what this German couple did. They were riding MTB, and did their tour at entirely the wrong time of year (January). The journey may be a bit too much of a culture shock for you and daunting as a solo journey, but you would see a side to Australia that even many city Aussies never do.

June would be pretty cool at the Adelaide end, but get steadily drier and warmer as you move inland and northwards. Preparation (food, water sources, bike and tools, camping gear etc) is the key to a good trip out in the inland.

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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Montgomery Brogan » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:34 am

Hi Il Padrone!! :D


il padrone wrote:I know you have your tour route idea well defined



not exactly. To have many months to prepare and study my big travel to Australia allow me to take time to evaluate different tracks and tours. The Perfect tour, in my mind, would be, as I said, to see the different faces of your country...and in this spirit to see also the inland or the outback. The real preparation to the trip will start in the next month but I started to read and take informations about Australia. Every yours suggestions will be take in consideration and I'am very happy to read your opinions ;) It's really appreciated! :mrgreen:

Of course...I will travel alone this time and honestly I have to keep in my mind this thing.

Actually I have decided to see (almost surely):

CITY / Melbourne (medium 13°?)
SEA / The Great Ocean Road
MOUNTAINS / Australian Alps (it's too cold in winter? Snow??) (brrrr..! :D )
SEA / Gippsland
MOUNTAINS / Blue Mountains National Parks
CITY / Sydney
SEA / East Coast of Queensland
CITY /Brisbane (hot weather, I read the right time for Queensland?)
CITY /Cairns

Looking for something inland where I can discover also a different face from the coastal route and sea landscapes....

I have time :D


This could be another kind of trip in order to see inland territories. (of course without Alps & Gippsland).. something like a "short version" of the travel German couple you told me..

Image
after The G.O.R., direction North to Mildura and later to East towards the coast and Canberra (there is also Namadgi N.P.).. I haven't idea if the parks are compatible with a bike trip in winter..

What do you think??
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby il padrone » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:00 am

The Great Ocean Road is not such a nice place to tour in July. You'll have headwinds and a fairly good chance of lots of rain :( . Prevailing winter winds on the coast are westerlies and north-westerlies. South Gippsland is quite likely to be similar, however over in East Gippsland (Bairnesdale, Lakes Entrance, Orbost, there is a good railtrail here) the weather in winter is milder.

In Victoria you'll generally get better conditions (fine, dry days; warmer than Melbourne and the coast but cold at night) if you travel north of the Great Dividing Range. I think the same can apply in NSW if you go west of the divide.

Generally this time of year it is better to be up north - Queensland or the outback. Maybe sample a bit of Melbourne in winter, do some touring in northern and north-east Victoria, then fly/train further north to get to the more pleasant delights of northern NSW and SE Qld :?:

That route you show could be possible. Western Victoria could be OK in winter, nicer as you move north. From Mildura following the Murrumbidgee uppstream like that wil be very flat country. Crosses the Hay Plains, reknowned as extremely open and barren landscape.

Image

You have the remoteness of the outback, but without the delights of outback ranges, the mulga and spinfex ecosytems and the red sand roads. :| . Around Narrandera you get into the irrigation districts, farming rice, vine grapes and all sorts of crops. Still very flat land. Further east towrds Gundagai and Canberra you will get some really nice hill-country touring.


I wonder whether a change of date for your trip is an option? The ideal time to do the sort of travels you have in mind would be around April-June. There is usually really wonderful weather in Victoria around April, and as you travel further north in May-June the weather in northern NSW and Qld is moving into their Dry season. Inland NSW (places like the Warrumbungles, the Pilliga, Lightning Ridge) could give you that outback experience you desire at this time too. They're a long way to travel ('a long way between drinks') but not impossible to do.

Warrumbungles
Image


Pilliga Scrub
Image


Lightning Ridge
Image
Image


Just some thoughts to consider
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby pbike2012 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:13 am

Hello all, I am also coming to Australia but earlier in the year, by March 1, 2012, I will be in Melbourne. I would like to ride up as far north to see the great barrier reef, I am open to spending some time seeing Great Ocean Road, In total I have 6-8 weeks and am open to a train a bit if it facilitates seeing some things. I rode across the USA in 2008 from Seattle to NYC in in 43 days, I am open to camping but prefer hotels more, I am on a cyclocross bike but with slicks. Any advice would be great and routes really the unknown to me, I bought the Lonely Planet guide. I would probably take a train or plane back to Sydney after reaching the northern points.
Thank you so much for any help, PC
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby rifraf » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:15 am

il padrone wrote:I wonder whether a change of date for your trip is an option?


Montgomery Brogan wrote:..few minutes ago I booked the flight! From 30 june to 31 august :D

Rock!!!!


Sounds committed or if like most of us cyclists - ready to be committed :lol:
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Montgomery Brogan » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:15 pm

committed! ;)
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby glennb » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:40 pm

Perhaps begin a new thread so as not to hijack ...

At that time of year (hot hot hot) I'd say ride Tasmania and the southern alpine areas for 4 weeks, rest up in northern QLD for a week, then head down the east coast as far as Sydney.


pbike2012 wrote:Hello all, I am also coming to Australia but earlier in the year, by March 1, 2012, I will be in Melbourne. I would like to ride up as far north to see the great barrier reef, I am open to spending some time seeing Great Ocean Road, In total I have 6-8 weeks and am open to a train a bit if it facilitates seeing some things. I rode across the USA in 2008 from Seattle to NYC in in 43 days, I am open to camping but prefer hotels more, I am on a cyclocross bike but with slicks. Any advice would be great and routes really the unknown to me, I bought the Lonely Planet guide. I would probably take a train or plane back to Sydney after reaching the northern points.
Thank you so much for any help, PC
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby WarrenH » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:56 pm

Montgomery Brogan wrote:Initially I would like to ask you about the conditions of the road and of the road signs ...


Andrea, G'day.

From your map I see at this stage of your planning, you are riding through my neck of the bush. I live in Canberra. These next three photos are recent, and they are on your route from Wagga Wagga to Canberra.

The three highways the Sturt, Hume and Barton are three of Australia's busiest roads. They are the land of the big trucks. Relatively little cargo in this part of Australia is shipped by rail ... the big trucks dominate the highways. It is good that all three highways have good wide aprons to ride on. At times the aprons can be as wide as 4 metres but about 2 metres tends to be frequent.

The Sturt Highway from Wagga Wagga to the Hume Highway.

Image


The Hume Highway to Yass.

Image


The Barton Highway from the Hume Highway after Yass approaching Canberra. Although double lanes on the Barton only tend to be for the hillier passing zones.

Image


I know the Barton Highway well being the main road from Yass to Canberra. This highway sees several hundred big trucks and thousands of cars each-way each-day. I wouldn't be surprised if each day the Barton Highway saw 10,000+ vehicles. Plus it is deadly boring to ride.

My last two trips to Yass were on Dog Trap Road from Canberra, both during this past fortnight. I saw just 1 car. Dog Trap Road is a joy to ride all the way south to Kaveney's Road before joining the Barton Highway for the then sort ride, into Canberra. On Dog Trap Road, one looks down on the Barton Highway. If you don't mind well maintained dirt roads, I'd like to suggest that you consider the Dog Trap Road.

Image

Dog Trap Road is a well maintained road. None of the roads in this region need a MTB. The fire trails further into the mountains all require one.

Image


Where Dog Trap Road passes Kaveny's Road. I rode out there last evening for the view over the Murrumbidgee River and to chat to property owners, all graziers, about access across their properties to ride to a place called Cavan. Being on a bike I find property owners are fairly obliging to grant access on their private roads.

Image


There are several ways from Yass into Canberra, starting on tarmac then dirt. Via Cavan starting on the Wee Jasper Road. WJR to Brindabella and Uriarra or via the Cotter and Mount Stromlo or even keep riding on the Hume Highway past Yass for 40 kilometres to the turnoff to Lerida (stunningly beautiful rural riding). Lerida Road then Marked Tree Road across the Lake George Escarpment to Gundaroo then to Canberra. Going via Gundaroo will take you past Mulligan's Flat Nature Reserve. There is an animal enclosure at Mulligan's Flat that's worth visiting.

Image


Lerida Road. Turn right here and go immediately across the cattle grid ... other wise you will end up in the historic Lerida Woolshed. Photo is of the Historic Lerida Woolshed.

Image


Marked Tree road and two views from the Lake George Escarpment.

Image

Image

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The road from Cavan.

Image


Off Kavany's Road there is a farm road called Rolfe's Road which crosses cattle grazing lands to rejoin the Barton Highway. Rolfe's Road is a public road that sees about 2-3 cars a day.

Rolfe's Road.

Image


My best wishes ... and stay off the Barton Highway.

Warren.
Last edited by WarrenH on Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby rifraf » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:48 pm

Hi WarrenH,
even though many of your posts show my shortcomings as both a cyclist and photographer
I always look forward to your next one. :D
Thanks for sharing :!:
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby Max » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:50 pm

Warren, it's photos like that that just make me want to get on my bike and ride, ride, ride. Thankyou.

Max
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Re: Hi friends! Australia 2012 is coming;)

Postby WarrenH » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:09 am

rifraf and Max, you're too kind.

Andrea, if you do come to Canberra via Mulligan's Flat and do a loop of the animal enclosure, which is a great way to spend an hour or two ...

... enter by the Old Coach Road.

Image

... and return to the same entrance on the Trunk Road. The Trunk Road is as smooth as a billiard ball.

Image

If you are interested in these routes and you're having trouble seeing these roads on Google Map, switch Google Maps to terrain mode ... or I can email you a scanned image from a real map.

Some thoughts about your route from Canberra to Braidwood and down the Clyde Mountain to Batemans Bay. I wouldn't do this route. I think that there is a far better route to the coast from Canberra or Braidwood which avoids the Clyde Mountain. There is a post on crazyguyonabike called 'The Turpentine and Diesel Tour' by Graham Smith. You might find Graham's route to to the coast to be a very good alternative for avoiding Clyde Mountain ... http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1 ... =9424&v=5e From Bungendore the ride to Tarago is reasonably light with traffic and the trip across the Oallen Ford is first class.

The route to Braidwood from Canberra, by the Federal Highway across Smith's Gap to Bungendore, I think is a preferred route, rather than via Queanbeyan to Bungendore. It would be wise not to take on Mack's Reef Road off the Federal Highway though. On Mack's Reef Road the narrow shoulder comes and goes frequently and the road is tight and twisting and hilly. Mack's Reef Road is not the best road for a touring cyclist ... unless you like that kind of wild challenge.

The road from Bungendore to Braidwood, the King's Highway, is very good. The road has a wide shoulder all the way. For some reason there is a big reduction in traffic lately (seen over the last few years) that I'm noticing on all country roads in this district. The time you are intending to travel on the King's Highway, will be at the quietest time all year.

If you travel from Braidwood to Nerriga, there are parts of the road that are still dirt. Also the pine plantations have come on line so be aware of logging trucks using the Braidwood Nerriga Road. That is why the route across the Oallen River to Nerriga is a very good one.

At Bungendore in the main street there is a gallery called the Bungendore Woodworks Gallery. This gallery displays the finest craft that is produced in Oz ... bar none. Upstairs, Australia's leading regional painters hold major exhibitions. This gallery is well worth visiting.

I nearly forgot, Canberra's cycle path network is excellent. Canberra has something like 400+ kilometres of recreational cycle paths and 800+ kilometres of higher speed on-road cycle lanes. Each year, approximately 40 kilometres of new recreational cycle paths or on-road lanes are added to the network. The bike shops like Onya Bike Belconnen and Onya Bike in the City and others (which I don't use) are very good for servicing bikes.

Warren.
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