Biking Solo, from Sydney to Melbourne
How the Solo Bike ride From Sydney to Melbourne started.
It was November 2019, a time before COVID19 knocked everyone’s travel plans off their tracks…you know…back in the good old days when you could travel internationally…anyway, that was the background and I decided it was a good idea to go biking solo From Sydney to Melbourne a to celebrate my 24th birthday, which led to one of the best memories in my life and hence this following journey.
''I'll try and keep it Bike Orientated''
I will try to keep this as bike orientated as possible but being a foodie myself, I do not rule out occasional or borderline over-emphasis on the food I’ve had on the road as well! However, I guess you are reading this because you are more interested about my bike trip rather than sights in Sydney/ Melbourne, I shall not focus too much on those (Let’s be honest, we all know what the Sydney Opera House looks like and Google probably has much nicer photos than I am ever capable of taking)
Biking Solo From Sydney to Melbourne
The bike part of the trip lapsed over 8 days, started in Sydney, and ended in Melbourne. When I landed in Sydney, the only accommodation which I booked was the first 3 days in Sydney and the final 3 days in Melbourne – yes that means, no plans or agenda for the 8 days in between and I guess I just have to drag myself from New South Wales into Victoria one way or another. Sounds stupid? Well, I that’s synonymous to being young 🙂
Getting the Tourist things out of the way
Renting The bike
- Firstly, fuel consumption, since I have no plan or agenda, it could be hard to predict where my next fuel stop will be or where there is a petrol station for my next stop.. WIth that in mind, to avoid excessive route planning, I’ve picked a smaller bike yet it is more than capable to take whatever I have with me and still return a respectable performance on and off road.
- Secondly, the R1250GS is considerably heavier than the F700GS. In the unfortunate event of me dropping the bike somewhere far out between civilizations (and trust me, there was a significant proportion of the journey which I am pretty sure I was the only human being in a 100km radius), will I be able to easily bring the bike back upright, especially if I dropped with the bike and suffered an injury on my leg or arms (luckily I didn’t).
- Thirdly, the R1250GS is more expensive to rent…..and I am cheap….
Let's get to the Biking Adventure
A Stay with a view
Beautiful Beaches and The Australian Hospitality
Unexpected weather change
So if you look on a map, in the region of south east Australia, there is a patch which you may read, “Snowy Mountains”. Turns out, Alpine conditions there do last quite a while and when I went, it was snowing!!!
Put yourself in my shoes, if you are to ride in what you think it’s an Australian summer, what gear would you bring? Summer riding gear right? The porous ones which let maximum cool air come through to cool you down.
Now imagine wearing that set of gear in a 5’c environment with winter gale poking into your skin like spikes
If I remember correctly, I think I wore 5 layers at the end. Kids, bring one winter item wherever you go….you never know.
Then I had to make a difficult choice – when I finally reached the skiing chalet (yep still talking about Australia…), it’s forecasted that there might be a blizzard coming my way. The question I then had to ask myself was, do I brave this still pretty terrible weather with sleet and cold rain, or risk being snowed in for who knows how many days…I picked the former and started ride out of the ski resort
This is where HEATED GRIP SAVED MY LIFE!
Gosh I have never realised how amazing they can be. When I was riding down the mountain roads, I had the heated grip on max and I bet they kept me away from hypothermia – I am not remotely exaggerating. After 4 hours or so, finally, I reached double digit temperature…
Finally more sunshine
The next few days were less eventful, and after some more riding and chilling, I have finally reached the famed Great Ocean Road!
Stunned and left completely speechless by this majestic view, no one can take a bad photo at this place. The horizon stretches out to as far as you can see and the colour on these photos does not do the scene justice. Even if you are just going to Australia to see this scene I think it is totally reasonable.
The roads were impeccably paved and serviced, long and windy (though you do see quite a lot of roadkills – wombats, in particular)
The Final Few Days
There were not too many interesting things which I have not written about at this point, lots of comfortable riding before eventually turning towards Melbourne. Of course there are lots of things to do/ to eat/ to see along the way but I shall save that for another day.
Were there points which I wished I had rented a 4×4 instead of exposing myself to the gale and freezing cold? Yes
Were there points which I wished I just be normal and just spend a week drinking and eating in somewhere nice? Yes
But will I do all these all over again knowing what I would be facing? Hell yes! Maybe with a set of gears though.
Want to Find out more?
For more information, please reach out and I am more than happy to discuss any aspect of this trip with you. I deliberately keep things at a high level to avoid boring you people but if you are interested, I am more than happy to share more details e.g. where to stay or what to pack!
Alternatively, if you want to go on a chill bike trip with me in the future, please also reach out and we can work something out!
This Blog Post was written by Justin, a Hong Kong native and Motorcyling Enthusiast.