A blog about cycling...especially the long distance stuff

Monday, 15 April 2013

Adelaide-Melbourne Tour - Trip Planning

Well its been quite a while since I've managed to write anything here. Training for my 10,000km goal has been going great. I've done 2922km which is 29% and am tracking just very slightly ahead of target. Most of the training is now my commute, which is 50km each way and I've been doing that as often as I can.

I'll be ramping my up efforts over the next month! I'm all set to ride from Adelaide to Melbourne late in May, and I can't wait! Over the last couple of days I've been working on some of the details.

Why this route?

Well, its going to be pretty much winter. And I've only got a little over a week off work to pull this off. I looked also at Melbourne - Sydney but getting the bike back is a bit more fiddly and I think I'd prefer to do that route in warmer weather. I also looked at wind. Using the excellent wind roses feature on the BOM website, you can see that in theory at least, heading west - east you are more likely to have a tailwind in May, heading out of Adelaide:

Further East, at Cape Otway, the odds are not quite so good:

But sill should be more likely to be a tailwind. Reality of course, may be another matter entirely! But happy to at least have the odds in my favour. So, I've planned 3 rough route options, and will see how the weather is closer to the time and also will do a little more detailed research.

Option 1 : Go Coastal

This route is the longest and perhaps the most scenic. After heading over the Adelaide hills it simply follows the coast pretty much all the way to Geelong, taking in the great ocean road. The downside apart from the length, is the exposure to coastal weather. Also bits of the great ocean road may be a bit hairy on a bike with tourist traffic, though I'm hoping it's the off season.

There are hills on Day 1 and a couple more climbs near the end, but this route is actually pretty flat.

Route 1 Summary:

Distance: 1015.64 km
Ascent: 3753 meters
Descent: 3779 meters

Option 2 : Go Outback

Could be good if there is a severe westerly. Its about a day shorter than route 1, and also gives just a taste, albeit a light one, of "outback" along the Mallee Highway before then cutting south.

Those hills look more severe than route 1, but actually the total elevation is quite a bit less:

Route 2 Summary:

Distance: 878.05 km
Ascent: 2549 meters
Descent: 2566 meters

Option 3 : Go up the middle

In between the first to options is a middle route. Its the shortest option but I need to check out whether the A8/Dukes Highway is navigable safely on a bike which would be 1 or 2 days riding in itself.

Route 3 Summary:  

Distance: 839.70 km
Ascent: 2249 meters
Descent: 2272 meters

Route 3 is the easiest and best option if the weather is really bad.

I'd prefer route 1 if I can. riding through nice scenery makes the miles tick by so much easier! Fingers crossed for calm conditions!


  1. Informative post! Thank you for sharing. When planning for Road Bike Tours (Rennradreisen)you must do it carefully or else you risk your life. Or it is always better to hire some company catering to the cycling needs of the passionate riders.

  2. Thanks Albert, for me I prefer to do my own orgnising, and the research is fun. But I can see the benefit of getting help, especially if you were new to cycling touring or didn't have the spare time for planning