While in Melbourne for the Ausbike show, Troy took a weeks leave to tour the Great Ocean Road (GOR) and the Otway National Park on his new custom Salsa Fargo Ti offroad touring bike. Taking the roads less travelled and bush camping along the way, the adventure began at Camperdown among the crater lakes, following the Timboon railtrail south to link up to the GOR, taking in the sights of the rugged coastline and the solitude of solo unsupported bike touring. Many of the old sections of the GOR and historic Old Coach roads are in excellent condition, making the ride more enjoyable being off the main roads. Weather was favourable, with a tailwind the whole way and rain on one day to dampen the sandy tracks around Aire inlet.
Highlights of the trip:
Day One: Camperdown/Timboon railtrail to Peterborough, railtrail was fantastic riding and very senic, many of the old rail bridges still in place with side tracks around the closed ones. Bush camped near "The Grotto".
Day Two: Great Ocean Road (GOR) taking in all the tourist sites including The Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge and many others. Took the dirt Old Ocean Road that runs along the Gellibrand river to Wangerrrip, then fast dirt road descent and hoof-pocked paddock hike-a-bike to Johanna beach camp site. Camped on the bluff overlooking the camp site with awesome views of the southern Ocean. Strong winds overnight really tested the strength of the tent.
Day Three: Quiet backroads and the old GOR to Glenaire, then sandy trails over the Aire inlet through to Cape Otway Lightstation. The rain came in horizontal with 40km/h icy tailwind, was glad for my Sugoi Majik Shell Pants and Jacket. The sun came out for the great sunset with camp made at Blanket Bay.
Day Four: Hike-a-Bike day along very steep and narrow bush trails, routine was set your feet firmly, push the bike forward and lock your arms, pull on the brakes, then bring your feet forward and set them firmly. Repeat for a few hundred metres every few kms. Traversing the Otways along sections of the Great Ocean Walk was tough going in some sections, amongst the tall eucalypts and rainforest the trails became very boggy. Back on the GOR near Apollo Bay for lunch, it was time to settle in for some scenic road kays where the forest meets the sea with picturesque bays, rugged lookouts and quaint seaside villages. Arrived in Lorne late and settled at Allenvale Mill camp site for the night.
Day Five: Break camp early before dawn, great sunrise on the GOR and brekky at Split Point Lighthouse a few hours later. Stopped at Bells Beach, then at Torquay to scrub the bike of mud and grime at the carwash, only had $1 to put in the machine, so washed the bike in 1 minute and 17 seconds.....new record!
Was also a great time to test a lot of products available at River City Cycles: Sugoi bibknicks, jersey, socks, wallaroo gloves and Majik shell jacket and pants; Garmin Solar charging battery extender (works for phones as well!) Ortleib and Topeak waterproof bags.