Going coastal: are you up to it?

Good for the soul: cycle touring takes in great scenery with good company. Photo: TopShots

Good for the soul: cycle touring takes in great scenery with good company. Photo: TopShots

Do you remember your first organised ride event? Whether it be the Around the Bay in a Day the Great Victorian Bike Ride or a local event like Bendigo by Bike or the Whipstick Ride there will be memories indelibly printed on your mind.

Time of life, the people you were motivated by the support of family and friends or just the impact of going with likeminded cyclists on a journey of enjoyment and freedom.Look back how far you have come since this book mark in your cycling experience the many hours of relaxation and roads covered sights seen.

One of the great joys for me is hearing the testimonies of the beginnings and the journey so far and the impact cycling has made on health and well being of individuals and even far outcomes of benefits with romance and life changing decisions. In the midst of these there are many who share the humble beginning of undertaking a Great Victorian Bike Ride with family and friends and are hooked for life.

This year Bicycle Victoria’s  Great Victorian Bike Ride Saturday 28 November – Sunday 6 December 2009 will be along the Great Ocean Road, one of the seven cycling wonders of the world. There are less than 1,000 tickets left for cyclists wanting to take part in the 2009 Great Victorian Bike Road along the Great Ocean Road.

Bicycle Victoria’s Development Director, Nikki Tyler said: “With the ride featuring the Great Ocean Road in 2009 entries have flooded in. We have limited numbers to 5,000 to ensure the best possible experience along the way.” Bicycle Victoria allocated 1,200 tickets for schools and the remainder for the general public.

Organised by Bicycle Victoria, the 546 kilometre cycling holiday will feature the dramatic rock formations of the Twelve Apostles, pass through the Otway Ranges forests, and slow down for a swim at world-famous beaches like Lorne, Anglesea and Bells.

The cycling holiday starts on Saturday 28 November with the first day as a loop ride from Portland to Cape Bridgewater and back to Portland. Overnight stops are planned for:

  • Macarthur (29 Nov)
  • Port Fairy (30 Nov)
  • Port Campbell (1 Dec)
  • Apollo Bay (two nights 2 & 3 Dec)
  • Anglesea (4 Dec) and
  • Queenscliff (5 Dec).
  • The ride ends in Geelong at Eastern Park on Sunday 6 December.

Ride Fast Facts:
The entry fee is $750 for adults, $560 for children 13 – 17, $260 for children 6 – 12, and free for five and under. After 31 July add $100.

The ride is a fully catered, tent-based holiday. There is extensive back up including luggage transport, a licensed cafe under canvas, first aid, bicycle repair facilities, entertainment and preparation DVD.

Public inquiries: People wanting more information can visit the ride web site or ring 1 800 616 600

Been dreaming of making a start into cycling and needed a goal that is achievable and has all the right attributes of encouragement and support?

Rides like the Great Victorian Bike Ride are a great starting point. Age shape size is no barrier for this low impact activity of recreational cycling it does not depend on the size of the body but the size of the heart and motivation.

If aging or have not been a vigorous exerciser for many years a check with your doctor will more than likely give you a favourable response and you can do it with the right mindset and commitment and realisation of it takes time and effort but the rewards can be restoring years back that seemed lost.

Develop strategies to reach your goal.

Start with short term then medium and the long term goals being the ride itself with the desire that this will be the first of many longer term goals. Find a bike riding friend to share the strategies with, commit them to paper and place them in a prominent position such as the toilet door, the bath room mirror, or the fridge.

Start with good foundations of getting the right advice on bike setup from others experience and this will be affirmed by your local bike shop that have travelled the path. Don’t be a despiser of small beginnings as from the words of Paul Kelly’s song “from little things big things grow”.

Monitor your development speed is not the objective but gaining confidence on the bike in sharing the road must be a high priority otherwise it can be a daunting experience built on hidden fear and little enjoyment. Need help that the objective of this column and we are only an email away from being available in assisting you find the right help in gaining confidence.

See you on the road soon God willing.

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