GREAT VIC BIKE RIDE – a week in another world

“Where have you been the past ten days?” dedicated fans of RT’s LOTR are asking. The answer is, I’ve been doing the Great Victorian Bike Ride, joining 4500 other lycra loonies, including my son, in a 590km spin across the lovely state of Victoria, from Yarrawonga to Dookie, Euroa, Nagambie (you have to love Australian place names) and eventually to Marysville.

It was often a challenge, even for the young, fit and thin. So imagine my pain.

The organisers bill it as ‘a week in another world’ and it’s true that, though there was mobile phone coverage everywhere we went, internet access was too limited to post anything from the road. I didn’t have the energy for it anyway. We rode, we pitched the tents, we socialised, we ate, we drank, we went to bed. The following morning we pulled on clammy cycling gear, queued for the warm toilet seats, crawled back onto the bikes and did it all again.

I will soon write more about the tribulations of the trip with its hills, thunderstorms and flooded campgrounds. I’ll review the sparkling new Garmin GPS Edge 800 computer which offered me navigational advice along the way. I’ll offer some tips on health and safety and advice to those who are thinking of doing it in 2011 and beyond.

In the meantime, here are a few photos to keep everybody going…

There were lots of people.

So of course there were queues.

...and lots of tents.


There were interesting sights...


...and beautiful ones if you got up early enough.


There's nothing better than reaching the top of a climb and looking down on the poor sods who still have a way to go.

And all that goes up eventually goes down.

So all in all…a great trip!

11 Comments

Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Travel-Australia

11 responses to “GREAT VIC BIKE RIDE – a week in another world

  1. I was wondering where you got to. Great pictures. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

  2. NeilA

    Nice pics Richard and an interesting tale. Though I stumbled for a moment on your abbreviation LOTR momentarily assuming this was Lord Of The Rings! D’OH!!

  3. Agnès

    Lijkt me een fantastische tocht Richard! Groetjes uit koude kikkerland: sneeuw, ijs en gladheid overal.
    groetjes van Kees en Agnès

    • Ja, K en A, altijd een drukke tocht, maar geweldig fietsen, en iets dat we in Australie niet zo gauw alleen zouden doen, wegens gebrek aan infrastructuur. Maar met bagagevervoer, politie, ‘safety in numbers’ enz is het veel veiliger, en natuurlijk gezellig.

      We zagen de ‘fietsen in de sneeuw’ fotos uit Amsterdam – lijkt me ook spannend!

  4. Hey lovely light. My experience of cycling however is that all that goes down eventually has to go up again.

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  7. S

    Im looking at doing the gvbr this year, what kind of safety precautions were put in place during the ride? Eg police escort?

    • There are police motor cyclists accompanying the ride, as well as lots of signs warning vehicles of the event and many volunteers whose job it it to man intersections and turn-offs. That said, it is a bike ride on public roads. Several thousand riders riding hundreds of kilometres…of course there are always accidents.

      I took a tumble myself one time, and an ambulance and doctor were on the scene extremely fast. It wasn’t serious, though I did need a few stitches. Sadly, there have even been fatalities over the years.

      But everything possible is done to keep riders safe and I felt way more secure riding the GVBR than I would have done riding the same route on my own.

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