I have done the Australian bicycle tours included on this site over a number of
years, either on our tandem, or
on my solo bike. They have mostly been done unsupported and usually
camping in caravan parks, although there have been times where it
was necessary to rough camp.
The map below indicates the areas
covered on these tours. All of the tours can be linked with one or
more of the others to provide quite extended trips.
I tend to ride for 3-5 days and
then have a rest day, depending on weather, fatigue and location.
usually start riding between 7-8am, and arrive in camp by 1-3pm with a
maximum saddle time of 5-6 hours. This usually
allows enough time for my washing to dry, do some shopping and have a
look around. As everyone has different rest needs, the routes only
show riding days.
The gearing of my
520 Touring bike is such that the 44-32-22T chainrings offer a wide
enough gearing with the 12-36T 9 speed cassette to get up most hills, and still
provide enough opportunities when circumstances allow faster travelling. Having said that, my Trek now bares little resemblance to the original bike, with only the frame remaining of my original purchase. All other bits and pieces have been changed/upgraded as old ones wore out, or better options fitted. My most recent change is the replacement of the front fork with one that allows the use of mechanical disk brakes. Sourcing a fork with a 1" steerer tube was a bit limiting, but my local bike shop managed to find one. I'd thoroughly recommend a touring bike with a disk brake on the front. Having said that, I've recently upgraded to a Lynskey Backroad with similar gearing but a 10 speed cassette, front/rear cable disk brakes and a different style of front rack to accommodate the disk brake.
The tours have covered a mix of bitumen
and gravel roads, each with varying degrees of surface quality.
The condition of gravel roads change from time to time and are dependent
on when maintenance is done. However, most of the gravel roads
that I have travelled were OK. I do not use nobbly tyres on my
bike. Generally I use
Continental 700 x 32 Touring Plus tyres. Where possible I
have tried to avoid heavily trafficked areas, but that is not always
I sometimes travel alone, and many of
the areas that I traverse may be out of range of mobile phones, so as an
emergency backup, I carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) with a GPS
included in the signal. These are now almost as cheap as a GPS, so
rentals would be more expensive than purchase if using it over several
months during the 5-7 year period of most battery life cycles. This provides some security in the
case of things such as a potential debilitating fall that may prevent me
from riding to civilisation to get help. Fortunately I've not had
to use it, and it would only be used in an emergency.
The tours listed are not intended to be a diary of my
trips. I hope that you may be able to use the information that I
have included to help plan your own bike touring excursions.
I would welcome any feedback about the
tours or the website.
I would like to thank some of my touring
companions, notably Hans Meier and Col Gibson, for the use of some of
their photos, however, most are my own.