I recently had a mate over from Victoria for a few days of holidays, and was determined to add a bit of rural cycling to the program! Originally planning to check out some cycling in the Barossa, logistics meant we had to choose somewhere in the Fleurieu instead. However this turned out well, as our choice of the “Encounter Bikeway” from Victor Harbor to Goolwa turned out a nice addition to our holiday.
The City of Victor Harbor have put a bit of an effort into this track – we didn't do the full route (about 30km each way), but started in central Victor Harbor, and rode to the Middleton surf beach before turning around. As my mate didn't have a bike (and I have very little bike-carry space in my convertible Ford Capri) we hired bikes, from Victor Harbor Cycle & Skate. These were $10 per hour or $30 for 4 hours – a little pricey but they were new and well maintained Giant cruisers, offered in a good range of sizes. For someone who rides an MTB that I've set up somewhat like a road bike for my daily commute, riding a gentle-handling cruiser with upright seating posture was a nice change, and added to the 'holiday' vibe!
The route has been nicely set up (you can get a neat little map & guide from the Victor Harbor Tourist Info place), a mixture between quiet residential streets near the beach, and shared bike paths. It's pretty well signposted so we didn't get lost. Views over the coast are great, especially at Port Elliot over Horseshoe bay, and you often parallel the historic SteamRanger railway line. There's plenty of interesting little tid-bits of local history etc. for those into that as well, e.g. learning about all the ships that sunk when Horshoe bay was still one of SA's major harbours in the early days. And the weather was great the day of our ride, and the water so inviting that we stopped for a swim on the way back along with the learn-to-surf kids in the afternoon. The only problem with this was I thoroughly burnt my feet due to wearing sandals but no sunscreen on the ride. We finished with a nice cold beer sitting at a pavement table at one of Victor Harbor's main hotels.
All in all a ride I can recommend for those with the time for a relaxing cruise. Wearing my urban planning hat too, it's quite noticeable that SA's regional councils have picked up on the idea of cycle tourism as a good money-spinner – the brochures for the Barossa and the Fleurieu also feature quite a few nice-sounding recommended rides. All the better if it means they put a little cash into improving facilities that will help regular cyclists as well.