touring Oz - will it be relaxing / enjoyable?



daviddd

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Oct 30, 2006
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I thought I'd add to this my original thread following return to Scotland after a month in Oz. We attended a wedding in Brisbane on the 16 Dec and were driving / using public transport but took the opportunity to look around with a cyclists eyes to help me finally decide where I will spend a year touring next year. The roads I saw weren't too bad for a cyclist, but some stretches between Cairns and Bris looked pretty narrow for several hundred km, as seen from the Sunlander train. For the most part they had a decent verge or were pretty wide, or had cycling tracks. I was blown away by the excellent bike track privision in Bris and Melbourne. We hired bikes in Melbourne and went around St.Kilda and the Yarra River, where the two-lane tracks either side of the river were amazing by UK standards - I take my hat off to the designers and political decisions that led to their construction. Bris was similar too. I was amused by the fact that bikes are allowed on the pavement, but that helmets are de rigeur if you don't want to get a fine - fair enough, although I would have thought that outside the towns and off the main roads it might me less risky to de-helmet?
I also hired in Uluru and cycled from AR Resort to the rock early one morning before the temp had climed to 40 deg C - one of my most memorable rides ever. The intense colours, shadows and weirdness of the area are unforgettable - I want to go back! I rode around the base path slowly taking in all the strange rock features that can't be seen from a distance.
Best of all was the interractions with Australians - and I have to say a more friendly and genuine lot would be hard to find. Although we came across a lot of hotel and cafe staff who are probably trained to make good contact with customers, it was clear that there was a genuine honesty behind it. I lost count of the number of folk who quizzed us about where we were going and where we came from. Several people stopped to offer advice when we were poring over street maps trying to work out where to go. Thank you all for that, it was greatly appreciated.
All in all I am more convinced that a ride all the way round is on the cards this year, although I will have to wait to get a back problem checked out before making definite plans.
Guys, thank you!
 

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