Outbike :: Australia & EUROPE


Epic (and shorter) rides of Australia's Outback, Rail Trails, France-Belgium Western Front and Europe's Greenways

2016 photos

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RIDER INFORMATION 

Bikes:  About 65% of the roads are sealed.  The route is suited to MTB (recommended) or hybrid touring bikes. 

Two sets of tyres are suggested, wide with an aggressive pattern for the dirt and light slick tyres for bitumen.
Make sure you have a bike you are comfortable on for successive long days.


We have 6+ quality 27.5 MTBs for hire (GT Avalanche or Giant Talon) at $500 for the 30 days with two sets of tyres, knobblies and road.

Transfer from Adelaide to Port Augusta 320km:  By our mini-coach on 4 May and included in the rate. 

Transfer from Karumba to Cairns via Cobbold Gorge 950km:  Departing on the second day after arrival in Karumba. We plan to run this as 2 days with a night camped at Cobbold Gorge.  Transfer includes camping fee, but meals and gorge cruise are extra.

Staff:  3 to 4 crew plus 2 volunteer helpers.

Camping:  We provide Black Wolf Turbo easy-erect tents (for pairs of riders) and Malamoo or Speedy pop-ups (pairs and singles). For mattress, we provide 2 layers, a closed cell insulation mat and a self-inflating soft foam mat.  Sleeping bags are available for hire. Spares are carried for use on colder nights.  For the campsite, we have gazebos (some with insect mesh), awnings to use on the sides of vehicles, tables, stools and comfortable chairs.  On many nights we will be able to have a campfire.


Bar, entertainments:  At bush overnights, alcoholic drinks will be available, usually from 4pm. There'll also be a bunch of books, games, sports gear and we will show a number of documentaries and movies themed to the country we travel.

Power;  We have solar panels and a battery storage to provide electrical power in remote locations. 

Breakfasts and Lunches:  Fuel up on healthy buffet breakfasts.  Pack lunch before setting out and we’ll keep it cool for you to pick up at the lunch rendezvous.  Dietary requests can be advised and we will cater for these.

Support vehicles:  We plan to use 2 or 3 of our 21 seat mini-coaches (with large enclosed trailer) and our 4wd Nissan XTrail.  One vehicle will stay to the rear of the last rider and act as a sag-wagon at day’s end for riders in distress or who have fallen well behind. 

Chores:  We have things covered with our crew (and volunteers) so relax when you’re off the bike!  But if you can’t help wanting to help, we’ll find some things to assist with and we’ll appreciate the help.

Water points:  Each day we will set up water containers every 10 or 20 kms (dirt road / sealed road).

Morning Tea stops:  Typically at 25-40kms with thermoses of brewed coffee, cold drinks, cakes and biscuits.  Staffed by a crew member or volunteer helper.

Lunch stop:  Typically at 50-80kms with one of our crew on site.

Afternoon Tea stops:  On our longer days we will have an afternoon tea at 75-100 kms.


Volunteer non-rider helpers:  We can use up to 3 non-riding helpers for campsite, rider support and catering tasks.  


Fitness:  Riders should have experience at completing 100km days and doing distances on dirt roads.

Medical:  Registrants will be required to complete a form advising of medical conditions.  We reserve the right to ask for a doctor’s letter if we have concerns about an entrant’s ability to safely ride.

Communications:  Several UHF hand-helds will be issued amongst riders.  Ride vehicles have UHF radio.  Two or more satellite phone will be carried. 

First Aid:  Comprehensive first-aid kits will be on vehicles.

Traffic:  The full ride does 2200 kms along remote highways including around 700 kms on remote dirt roads.  As it is mostly in Outback SA and Queensland, none of the roads are too busy however care needs to be taken, especially with single lane bitumen, dust clouds, passing trucks and road trains.  We recommend riding with a mirror and being prepared to pull over if a large vehicle is likely to pass closely or create serious dust (eg if it also faces oncoming traffic – or on sections where you are on narrow road).

Traffic volumes per day, total in both directions approx (using recent annual estimates divided by 365):
Birdsville to Bedourie on the Eyre Development Road  30
Bedourie to Mt Isa on the Diamantina Development Road  45
Mt Isa to Cloncurry on the Barkly Hwy  600 (this section may be busier than the highway's average)
Cloncurry to Karumba on the Burke Development Road  75
Source: http://rdafcw.com.au/wp-content/uploads/RDA_Northern-Queensland-Strategy_Final-Report.pdf  Item 2.3 chart (Cummings Economics derived from vehicle count data from Queensland Department of Transport & Main Roads).

Ride Guide:  We issue a descriptive day by day ride guide.


Signage:  Our vehicles will display ‘CYCLISTS ON ROAD’ signs.


Participation cost:

* $7000 full ride


Deposits and payment schedule: 
* $100 deposit holds a ride place up until 31 December 2017;
* A second deposit payment of $900 is due by 31 December 2018;
* Full payment is due by end of March 2019.


Entry Forms:  Upon receipt of your entry form and deposit, we will write back to confirm receipt and your place.

Cancellation conditions: 
* Deposits of $100 and $900 are NON-REFUNDABLE.
* Cancellation between 1 April 2019 and the event commencement shall incur a 50% LOSS of the full amount paid.


Travel insurance:  Consider a travel insurance policy to cover cancellation or other unseen events. Frequent travellers will often have a 12 month policy. 

Fund raising for charity:  While we have not linked the event to any specific charity, if any rider seeks to raise funds through their participation they are welcome to advise us of the cause.  We can put an item on our home page with a link to help promote.


Further reading, research:

* www.cycletrailsaustralia.com - articles on cycling Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks

* Download the 1954 movie The Back of Beyond for $6.99 - the award winning documentary of the Birdsville Mailman, Tom Kruse.  https://itunes.apple.com/au/movie/the-back-of-beyond/id756658377 

 

THE RIDE DAY BY DAY

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All nights are camping. Upgrades can be arranged at many locations but we suggest you do this on the ride on the day, or in the days before. This is a long, tough ride and we encourage everyone to be in a mindset for a month of camping. We are not offering an advance bookable set of accommodations.

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Days ending at bush camps have flexible distances. If conditions on these days are favourable, distances may be extended by up to 20 km. For example, a helpful tailwind. 

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Prior. 4th May. Adelaide to Port Augusta on our mini-coach. Hotel bag pick ups from 0800. Loading of bikes beside Central Bus Station 0900. 

1. 5th May. Port Augusta to Quorn. 40 km all sealed. Climb Pichi Richi Pass. Railway history. (L)

2. 6th May. Quorn to Wilpena. 120 km all sealed. Gentle grades among extensive Flinders Ranges mountain landscapes. (BLD)

3. 7th May. Wilpena to Angorichina Village. 80 km incl 65 km sealed. Mountain scenery. Some climbs. Steep dirt descents. (BLD)

4. 8th May. Rest day at Angorichina. Relax, hike to Blinman Pools for a swim. (BLD)

5. 9th May. Angorichina to Beltana Station. 50 km incl 20 km sealed. Easy day to historic sheep station. Explore the remains of Beltana township. (BLD)

6. 10th May. Beltana to Lyndhurst. 70 km incl 50 km sealed. Wide landscapes with mountains. Easy grades. Leigh Creek is the last 'supermarket' for over 2 weeks to Mt Isa. (BL)

7. 11th May. Lyndhurst to Marree. 80 km incl 30-40 km sealed. See the Aboriginal ochre pits and Farina township ruins. Mostly flat. (BL)

8. 12th May. Marree to Clayton Station. 60 km dirt. Commence the Birdsville Track. Some small rises to keep views changing and interesting. (BLD)

9. 13th May. Clayton to bush camp. 70 km dirt. (BLD)

10. 14th May. Bush camp to Mungerannie 70 km dirt. Arrive early afternoon to enjoy this remote oasis. (BL)

11. 15th May. Rest day at Mungerannie. Enjoy the warm lake, shady trees and roadhouse hospitality and bar. (BL)

12. 16th May. Mungerannie to bush camp. 80 km dirt. Undulating desert country with occasional points to look at. (BLD)

13. 17th May. Bush camp to bush camp. 80 km dirt. (BLD)

14. 18th May. Bush camp to bush camp. 80 km dirt. (BLD)

15. 19th May. Bush camp to Birdsville. 40 km dirt. We'll aim for a late morning arrival. (BL)

16. 20th May. Rest day at Birdsville. Relax, stroll about the iconic town. Hop on the bus out to Big Red dune at the edge of the Simpson Desert. Enjoy the pub. (B)

17. 21st May. Birdsville to bush camp. 100 km incl approx 60 km sealed. Undulating and flat Channel Country. (BLD)

18. 22nd May. Bush camp to Bedourie. 90 km incl approx 60km sealed. Undulating and flat Channel Country. (BL)

19. 23rd May. Bedourie to bush camp. 100 km now sealed. Undulating and flat Channel Country. (BLD)

20. 24th May. Bush camp to Boulia. 90 km now sealed. Undulating and flat Channel Country. (BL)

21. 25th May. Boulia to bush camp. 110 km sealed. Country becoming greener and more shapely. (BLD)

22. 26th May. Bush camp to bush camp. 110 km sealed. Country greener and hillier. (BLD) 

23. 27th May. Bush camp to Mt Isa. 60 km sealed. Morning ride through mountain scenery into Mt Isa city. Gentle grades. (BL)

24. 28th May. Rest day in Mt Isa. See the Isa, consider an underground mine tour. (B)

25. 29th May. Mt Isa to Cloncurry. 120 km sealed. A fast run on the highway shoulder. Hills, curves and gentle grades. (BL)

​26. 30th May. Cloncurry to bush camp. 100 km sealed. Mostly flat, scrubby grazing country. (BLD)

27. 31st May. Bush camp to Burke & Wills Roadhouse. 80 km. Mostly flat, scrubby grazing country. (BLD)

28. 1st June. Burke & Wills Roadhouse to bush camp. 100 km. Mostly flat, scrubby grazing country. (BLD)

29. 2nd June. Bush camp to Normanton. 100 km. Mostly flat, scrubby grazing country. (BL) Becoming more tropical. Squeeze in an afternoon ride on the Gulflander train.

30. 3rd June. Normanton to Karumba. 70 km. Flat riding across Gulf Country. You'll be pleased to see the sea shore - the finish line! (BL)

31. 4th June. Rest day in Karumba. REALLY RELAX!! Take a cruise up the river (own cost). (B)

32-33. 5-6th June. Transfer to Cairns by our bus. Via Croydon, Cobbold Gorge, Undarra Lava Tubes and Atherton Tableland. Note, this is a 2 day trip to allow sightseeing with an overnight at Cobbold Gorge.​ Approx 950 kms.  Travel from Kuranda to Cairns is included.  Meals and gorge cruise are extra.

​34-35. 7-8th June. Option to travel 2 days on the Savannahlander rail motor from Forsayth to Cairns.



ABC INTERVIEW

NEARLY HALF-WAY

"It's something I’ve dreamt about for many years, actually I never thought I’d be on the Birdsville track, and here I am on a bicycle, and we’re only about 80 kilometres from Birdsville now, and its been absolutely marvellous, its been difficult, hard, the flies have made it worse of course, and the sand and the dust". 

Helmut Gebels speaking to ABC Radio, Birdsville Track Inside Route, May 2005

BIKE 'N wheels expedition 2019 

AUSTRALIA'S GREAT 'GULF 2 GULF' TRANSCONTINENTAL RIDE

4 MAY-JUNE 2019


One of Australia's great bike challenges, Outbike's Gulf-to-Gulf blazes a trail across the heart of our amazing continent, south to north. 

These ancient lands reflect the heritage of Australia's First Peoples and the courage, tragedies and successes of European explorers like the famed but unfortunate Burke and Wills - and the settlers who forged their existence in such unforgiving remoteness.

Week One explores the majestic Flinders Ranges to reach the desert railhead of Marree.

Week Two traverses the legendary Birdsville Track.

Week Three is across Queensland's vast Channel Country to Mt Isa.

Week Four rides the Gulf Country to Normanton and Karumba.

For 2019 we have 15 registered (mid Jan) - WE ARE CONFIRMED TO GO AND HAVE SEVERAL PLACES STILL AVAILABLE!


For more details, scroll below the images...

THE RIDE in Brief

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5 May 2019 start from Pt Augusta 

4 May from Adelaide on our bus

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Going Gulf to Gulf, we'll ride Spencer Gulf all the way to Gulf of Carpentaria in 30 days!

In 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2016, riders set forth from SA's Port Augusta to ride 2200kms to eventually reach Karumba, Queensland - crossing the continent on the way. 

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In 2019, we're going again!

Maximum 20 riders (minimum 12).

Staff of 3 to 4 plus helpers to give a high level of service together with 3 or more support vehicles.

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You need to be ready to cycle many days of 80km on dirt roads (altogether 700km) of varying surfaces! On the sealed roads (altogether 1500km), many days are 100-120km. About 200km has been sealed since our earlier events a decade ago.

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Ride includes 33 nights camping (11 at bush sites), daily hearty breakfasts, lunches on ride days, most dinners, extensive rider support and transfers (from ADL and to CNS).

Participation per rider in 2019 will be $7000.

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Past images (most thanks to Helmut Gebels  from the 2005 ride):