Melbourne to Sydney...

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by ~MoDCoN~, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. ~MoDCoN~

    ~MoDCoN~ New Member

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    Heya all....
    Me and a friend are looking at attempting a tour from Melbourne to Sydney sometime in the future, and seeing that it will be our first 'big' ride, I was just looking for some pointers/clues and reccomendations etc. Mainly in terms of routes, seeing that we cannot travel on the Hume....but also any little things which are important, which we may have forgotten....So I decided to ask some wise people....Go on, live up to my expectations! :p

    Cheers,
    Mod
     
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  2. Vo2

    Vo2 Member

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    How far is Melbourne from Sydney?
     
  3. dannii

    dannii New Member

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    Melbourne to sydney is about 870km....along the hume hwy.....so that will probably creep up to around 950km if you were to take alternate routes.

    As far as routes are considered try finding every map possible. My bibles are the Gregory's Road Atlas of Australia ( the Major freeway's are denoted in green - these are the ones cyclists are commonly not allowed to ride on.....it makes planning your route very easy.)it can be found in any book store, newsagent or most service stations. Next try www.travelmate.com.au go to the section marked map maker or smart map, these will calculate distances from one town to another.....very useful for planning where you will be stopping. Next you need to plan how far on average you wish to travel per day. For beginners I would try to keep it to about 100km per day and maybe break it up with the occassional smaller day - 50 to 70km or even a rest day if you wish. The glory of travelling with a friend is if you find a great little seaside town it can be fun just to do a little touristy exploring for the day. Most averagely fit people would be able to accomplish this in about 6 hours (depending on stops etc) For the more experienced rider you could cover 200-300km per day with rest days in between......it depends on whether you want it to be fun or whether you are racing the clock. You will probably find that once you start riding you may want to adjust your planned route to suit how you feel after riding for a couple of days....you may feel that you can go further or you may feel that you are pushing a little too hard.
    Next you have to decided whether you will be camping out, staying in motels or a bit of both. This will determine the amount and type of gear that you will need to take. Will write more as it comes to me.......and the boss isn't looking over my shoulder:eek:
     
  4. dannii

    dannii New Member

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    OK ModCon....am on my lunch break now..hehe....have just checked out my little bible (Aust road atlas) and it appears at first glance that the Princes Hwy is going to be your best bet.....and trust me taking the coast road....although it may be longer...is definately alot more interesting and scenic....it is alot nicer to be touring around where there is something to look at like the ocean etc than to be riding through cattle property after cattle property....nothing wrong with cattle properties...but seen one, seen them all, if you get my drift. You'll find that by going the coast road, more often than not there are more towns to stop at and they are generally closer together....may not seem important now, but just wait till something breaks on your bike that you can't fix and have to replace....you'll be thanking your lucky stars that you'll only have to push your bike 20km and not 100km to get to the next town.:)
     
  5. Blimp

    Blimp New Member

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    Haven't ridden the Princess Highway, but drove from Melbourne to Sydney last year, staying in cabins along the way. Fantastic scenery, and would be a great ride - lots of interesting route alternatives, and plenty of side trips. Pretty good fishing too.
     
  6. ~MoDCoN~

    ~MoDCoN~ New Member

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    Thanks Dannii. We’ve been looking at all the maps we can, and I agree the Princes Hwy looks the viable option. We definitely want to take the coast way, as my friend has stayed at a few of the locations along the way. (Orbost and Batemans Bay). We haven’t done touring before, but we are very fit; so is 100kms a day acceptable? The riding we do is less, but that is on old clunky mountain bikes…(Hehe VO2…). I don’t mind cattle property, its usually more interesting than dry abandoned plains…lol. What type of bike should we use? ie., are there any in particular? (make/model)…We’ll probably camp out, at least until we’re in Sydney, mainly because its cheaper, but also more enjoyable in my opinion. Oooh, and we’re going to have to take a camera too, the scenery is amazing.

    :D, mod
     
  7. dannii

    dannii New Member

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    well i am about to embark on a trip from brisbane to sydney in 4.5 weeks time on my old giant mountain bike....it is 6 years old and it is my old faithful.....i must admit I do treat it better than my first born (if i had one..hehe)......you don't need expensive equipment to tour. Sure some may argue that it is easier on the new lighter bikes that can be bought these days.....but you ride what ever you feel comfortable riding. I opted not to buy a new bike for this trip (much to the amusement of fellow cyclists), mainly because i am comfortable riding the bike I have....that, and I have too many memories of awesome trips i have had on it...I know it's a girlie sentimental thing...hehehe

    If you are going to take a mountain bike i suggest getting some slicks put on ( town & country or Slickasaurus are ones that i have used and had no probs with). You will definately need minimum of rear panniers and a handlebar bag. handle bar bags are great for having those things that you readily need close to you...like your mobile phone, wallet,sunscreen, camera and most importantly SNACKS!! You may also want to look at changing the seat too. You need something with more padding then a road bike seat but you don't want something that is too wide otherwise you will get a nasty case of the chaif.

    100km per day is a good length to start at......of course this will be just an average so that you can plan your stops etc. eg. some days might be 97km, 84km or others might be 123km.....100km per day is a nice easy average that is easy to maintain over an extended length of time. Some people find that just because they are able to ride 200-300km at a time think that they can sustain this over a couple of weeks.........unfortunately I don't know too many people who would be able to acheive this....maybe Lance Arstrong...hehe. If you know that a particular area is quite tough going ( mountain ranges, high wind area etc) you may even want to cut it back further to 50 or 60km for that day.........because no 2, 100km stretches are the same!!!!!!

    Another thing i haven't asked is....how are you planning on getting back?? Riding, Driving, Flying???????? or haven't got that far in planning yet?? I know there is alot of things to think about....if i think of any more tid bits of info I will certainly let you know....otherwise feel free to ask any questions that you have and i will see if i can help you at all

    :)
     
  8. ~MoDCoN~

    ~MoDCoN~ New Member

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    Hey, thanks once again Dannii. We have planned (sort of...) to have panniers and the like to hold all our stuff in. :)P...especially food!). Slicks were also a foregone conclusion I guess...much too hard with knobblys for such a distance!
    My friend also started drawing on the maps, showing the route we'll be taking, via the coast, roughly 90km a day....some of it is rough, and also the accomodation; we've been looking at all the cheap camping sites.

    We are looking at most likely catching the train back, after staying with some relatives.

    Also, with training, what do you advise??? Anything in particular? We just assumed lots of riding, pacing ourselves and building up endurance....anything else?

    How far is the brisbane to sydney trip? Do you do trips like this often?

    thanks!
    mod
     
  9. dannii

    dannii New Member

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    Do you realise that you will have more fun camping out with your friend than you will staying in motels etc. I think it's great that you have decided to do a bit of both.....you will certainly come off with greater memories of the camping :)

    As far as training goes........RIDE.......you really need to get panniers etc as early as you can so that you can train fully loaded...maybe not everyday, but certainly on the weekends (as most people have a lot more time to train on the weekends). Upper body strength is another one that alot of people overlook. As you will hunched over your bike for approx 4-6 hours a day for a week or two, you really need to have a strong back, abs and shoulders. I personally do a little light weight training to build up my "core" strength. I usually do this about 3 times per week for about 1 to 1.5 hours a session.....but I am a pretty small person too, so you may already be reasonably strong in the upper body.

    On some weekends before you go.....try riding your 90km per day for two or three consecutive days. My training consists of riding to work and back every day Mon-Fri then on the weekends I ride 60km from home and then turn back.....It doesn't matter where I ride to....I just ride 60km in one direction and then turn around and head home. I leave early in the morning...around 5am so that I am home to have breakfast with my flatmates by 9 -9.30. Don't forget to take snacks with you whilst you are riding.....eating in training and eating throughout your journey is the same thing....don't neglect your body in training!!! At first some people find it really difficult to eat and ride at the same time....it can really take practise.......putting carbo supplements in your drinking water can also help with energy.....they don't have to be expensive supplements either. The beauty of touring is you don't have to have a lot of money to enjoy yourself. My water bottles are 750ml and I use 1/3 gatorade, 2/3 water and two heaped teaspoons of Glucoden ( a carbo powder that i buy at the chemist for about $7 for a 1kg pack....you don't need these fancy powders for a quick boost of energy......not that i am knocking any of these other products....used in the right way, they can be highly beneficial)

    to answer your ? of whether i tour alot.....well I do alot of weekend touring but this Bris to Syd ride (approx 1,100km) is the first larger one I will be doing.....check out the "womens cycling" forum...my details are in there under "cycle for cancer"
     
  10. ~MoDCoN~

    ~MoDCoN~ New Member

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    thanks dannii!
    we'll be doing lots of riding, for sure! at the moment though, i have no bike. :(. but i am getting a mountain bike of some description, and will train on that. (i'll get something lighter perhaps, for the tour.)
    umm, gotta go. school....but we are very fit....so that shouldn't cause any probs..

    bye
    MoD
     
  11. PeteandIan

    PeteandIan New Member

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    We tackled this route on our Brisbane to Sydney to Melbourne cycle over six weeks - our full trip log and route can be found here. We really enjoyed it and we camped most of the route (with the occasional motel). While the coastal scenery is fantastic, I would recommend taking a short inland detour on the "Barry Way" between Buchan and Jindabyne. The road is unsealed but passable on a road touring bike (in the dry). The Barry Way is remote and tough but so worthwhile. Here's a taster:

    [​IMG]

    The rest of the route pretty much followed the coast. We didn't have the route fully planned out when we started, we just knew it was do-able. We avoided the highways as much as possible and planned two/three days ahead using the free Cartoscope maps which are available in any local tourist information.
     
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