My wife and I have quite enjoyed the various wine trails in the Barossa, McClarren Vale and Claire Valley. They're accessible to all level of rider, with lots of segregated sections. The Barossa and Claire Valley particularly lend themselves to staying in one town and exploring out along different parts of the trail. We usually catch a Stateliner bus or equivalent service to our destination and hire bikes or put our own bikes on the bus (sometimes the fee for taking bikes on the bus is ridiculously high, even higher than an adult fare because they charge it as cargo). I'm certainly looking forward to the Jack Bobridge trail being finished, so we can catch the train to Gawler with our bikes, then ride around the Barossa.
Without a doubt my best 'Cycling Holiday" was the first time I rode a multi day ride. Sydney to Surfers paradise in 7 days via the old Pacific Highway with a support vehicle driven by one of the rider's Father who was always there when you needed a hand. Perfect weather, beautiful scenery, good roads apart from about a 5 km stretch of Paris-Roubaix, good accommodation and meals. The other 10 riders were a great bunch and it was laughs all the way. If I was able to I would have ridden back to Sydney.
My worst 'Cycling Holiday" was a MEL-ADL ride where most of the above was in the Negative.
I've never had a cycling holiday but I'd really like to ride the Mawson Trail - one day!!
Since 2009 I have attended every BikeSA Easter Cycle. In 2009 I signed up for the Easter Cycle as a prelude to going on the 2009 Outback Odyssey as the location was in Jamestown and some of the daily loop rides would actually be along the Mawson Trail. This would give me a taste of what was to come on the 2 week ride a couple of months later (here is a link to my "testimonial" on the BikeSA website: http://yooyahcloud.com/BIKESA/dpk3sb/2009_Outback_Odyssey_with_pict...)
In 2010 my then 11yr old daughter Sam attended Easter Cycle at Clare. My then 9yr old Kate wasn't too interested and stayed with her Mum. Sam had a fantastic time, made new friends and enjoyed it so much she has attended each Easter Cycle since. Kate came along to both 2011 (Bamera) and 2012 (Moonta).
This Easter, Sam and I, along with a very close family friend are heading down to Naracoorte for the 4 days of daily loop rides and to explore the region.
The friendships both Sam and I have made are fantastic. We may only see some of the participants at this time each year but it is like we only saw each other a week ago.
The social atmosphere is fantastic too. There is nothing like unwinding in the afternoon after getting back from a ride to sit down with friends and have drink, nibble and natter. There is no cooking to do, all meals are provided as part of your registration fee. You also camp in the same place for the whole weekend. Just disappear for the day on a ride or 2 then come back to camp to wind down and socialise.
If this sounds like its something you would like to do, why not have a look at the BikeSA website for all the details. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
like you, our first BikeSA Easter camp was 2009 at Jamestown and we haven't missed on yet. We even took our daughter, Ayli, to the one in Clare when she was just 11 weeks old.
Great family weekends and good value, if you like camping and roughing it a bit.
See ya in Naracoorte, Nige!
You can always join SA Recreational Cyclists Club (the amalgamation of ATC and CPG) for a variety of cycle tours, including one for beginners coming up:
Come’n’Try Ride: Kapunda Come’n’Try Touring Weekend.
Saturday & Sunday 27th & 28th April
Catch the train to Gawler (or meet us at the railway station) and ride 50 km of back roads to Kapunda on the Saturday. Camp or hire a cabin in the Caravan Park on Saturday night and return to Gawler on Sunday. Less than 45 km on both days on a mixture of dirt, gravel and bitumen roads. Sunday features a glorious gentle 30 km downhill roll to the Gawler Railway station. The full details are not yet finalised but it is expected to leave Gawler after a train arrival about 10:00 AM.
Please ring Peter on 0448 364 138 or 8251 0665.for details
The idea of a Come’n’Try ride is to beg, borrow or steal any equipment you don’t have. An excellent introduction to cycle touring for the beginner but also an interesting weekend camp for the experienced tourist.
Details of SARCC rides on sarcc.wordpress.com
damn - just renewed my Strava subscription for 10 years instead of 1 due to an errant keypress.......
got no more money for a holiday at Easter..... :-(
AVO, sounds like you are committed to cycling for the next 10 years.
First time was a 2-week fully supported tour with the Silver City Bush Treadlers in 2004 (organisers live in Broken Hill). Camping gear is carried for you - carry your lunch and water each day as you ride. Shire roads, lesser tracks and station tracks - went back of Bourke. Camp at stations. First met Mike Brisco on this ride. An education watching men ride who were 70 who were 'born in the saddle' (well, watch a little, as they and most of them quickly disappeared into the distance). Did my first 100kms plus day - had a celebratory drink with other first-timers on a paddle steamer on the Darling that evening at North Bourke. I've done 4 more rides with them. It was the catalyst for riding as transport, and becoming involved in bike groups here.
And yes, so many options and places to see and stay and sample local produce in the Hills. Bush Campground options still subject to summer restrictions (fire ban season) I think at Easter.
My first cycle tour with rough camping in The Grampians was a real challenge as the teenage guides tried to teach older clients how to MTB. Rough camping plus rough tracks meant we saw much wildlife, especially native birds. There was the luxury of a support vehicle and not having to pack camping gear and food onto our bikes. I went back for second and third tours.
Another cycling holiday I enjoyed (until I broke my shoulder) was camping in a NSW rainforest. By day I cycled and identified birds, and by night I read books lent by the friendly camping ground manager.
Another form of inexpensive holiday was to catch the train to Melbourne with my bike. Stayed in a North Melbourne YHA, within cycling distance of CBD attractions. Many attractions were free or cheap -- check out a Lonely Planet Guide.