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:
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.
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!