If you haven’t noticed, bike packing is now officially a thing. But it can be a big thing to get involved in…. planning, carrying stuff and generally roughing it…. so why not get someone to do the planning and carrying, while you get to ride your way across Victoria and meet a huge bunch of like minded explorers - enter the Great Vic Bike Ride.
I’ll start with the stats - 10 days, 652km, the Limestone Coast, the Great Ocean Road and Great Otway National Park. Literally, every inch of this ride will be spectacular. I’ve had the pleasure of riding this route on several occasions and I never get bored of it.
So, what exactly is the Great Vic Bike Ride?
It’s a fully supported ride that has been running since 1984, that last year hosted 3,000 riders and each day moves everyone’s tents from point to point so you can enjoy the ride. As a participant, you can ride at your own pace with your own mates and punch out the K’s or stop and make a day of the journey.
This year the route starts in Robe and finishes in Torquay 10 days and 652km later. If 10 days is too much you can also elect to ride Robe to Port Fairy or Port Fairy to Torquay over 5 days for a ride of just over 300km. This is a ride that provides a massive opportunity to people to ride one of, if not, the most spectacular road on the planet. I was down in Port Fairy and the surrounding area last weekend and there were cyclists everywhere…. it’s because they have stunning roads in every direction.
Who is the Great Vic Bike Ride for?
I’d say pretty much anyone that can ride a bike. I’m keen to get a crew together to get away for a few days, people can do the half or full route, it’s an achievable distance for young adults, teenagers, families, groups of friends and an opportunity to meet a tonne of other like-minded people. If you’re a seasoned rider there’s the opportunity to get out, punch out the KM and spend the remainder of your days exploring each town, or take advantage of the travelling road show of live music, beers and food trucks that join the ride.
I’ve managed to speak to a few people that are planning to take on the 2019 ride…. and without exception they all had good things to say about the ride. It’s one of those rides that you do once, then can’t stop going back for more. One multiple ‘finisher’ shared with me stories of great friendships that had emerged from the Great Vic and went so far to say that the event has become an annual reunion of friends.
The other aspect that I was pleased to hear about was the high female participation rate (see my article HERE about women in cycling) and the age range of riders, from school age right through to retired riders with many years of cycling stories and experience to share across generations.
Personally, I think the Great Vic is an amazing opportunity for those of us with kids to get them away on adventure, away from screens and smart devices and explore this amazing country. I was lucky enough to go away for a week cycling with my Dad when I was 12 years old… it still remains one of the most memorable experiences of my childhood and taught me so much about effort and reward, as well as providing a great bonding opportunity that is all too often missed in today’s busy world.
How does it all work?
The best way to describe the Great Vic Bike Ride is, ride, explore, challenge, socialise and camp. The campsite is the big advantage of heading on the Great Vic, all the facilities you need will be there including an information centre, the ‘big tent’ where you’ll be provided with breakfast and dinner, food trucks, toilets, showers, charging stations, Ebike charging, mechanical support, first aid, clothes washing, water stations and, of course, bars.
While you’re on the road there’s a lunch stop, marshals, traffic management, signage, bike mechanics and if you need a pickup, a SAG wagon.
When… and how much?
The Great Vic Bike Ride 2019 is from Friday 22 November to Sunday 1 December 2019
Pricing - Early Bird is Open now, that will save you hundreds, sign up with just a deposit before 26 May to secure a 2019 ticket!
10 Day - From - Adult - $1,149 / Youth - (12 to 18) - $859 / Child - (6 to 12) - $449 / Infant (<6) - Free
5 Day - From - Adult - $749 / Youth - (12 to 18) - $539 / Child - (6 to 12) - $299 / Infant (<6) - Free
This is a true adventure that can be shared with mates, family and kids. I think it will be a cracker and makes us appreciate the absolute beauty that we have just hours from Melbourne that some people travel across the world to see.
Head over to the Great Vic Bike Ride Page HERE to find out more.