Written by Lucie
Disclaimer: blog post has been written very much in retrospect. Photo credit to Caroline.
Over a three-day weekend (Grand Final public holiday in Victoria) the Adventure Gang drove out to Allestree and pulled over on a small road next to the coast (we would later come back to this point for our Great South West Walk).
We rented a house in Port Fairy (roughly in the middle of the route) and with a bit of car shuffling were able to do the route in three-day sections.
Allestree to Port Fairy, 62km
We unloaded the bicycles and got everything ready to start riding when there was a very loud ‘pop’, and Jens blew a tyre. Off came the panniers and a replacement tube was fitted. When we were ready a second time we hopped on the bikes and set off!
We started by riding along a small, quiet coastal road. A short way along, it got even smaller and quieter and then we found out that despite what was shown on the map, it was a dead end (for bicycles) and so we turned back.
We rode on the A1 for a very short distance before turning off onto a smaller side road, but then re-joined the A1 around to Tyrendarra. From there, I can’t remember if we stayed on the A1 the whole way to Port Fairy, or took a longer route to cycle on the smaller side roads. I think it was pretty quiet and we did the A1… At some point along the way we came across this rather puzzling and extensive fence of shoes.
As is common for Adventure Gang weekends away, we had an amazing meal back at the house.
Port Fairy to Peterborough, 75km
On day two we set out from Port Fairy to continue heading east. We did a few laps of the roundabout outside the house to warm up and then set off.
We started out on the very small coastal path, sandwiched between the bay and Belfast Lough, before once again being forced onto the A1. Fortunately, like the day before, the roads were quiet (obviously everyone was busy watching the game). We left the main road to visit Tower Hill and then at Warnambool we got off the A1 and took a break to walk down to the beach and generally enjoy nature.
Back on the bikes, we did our best to take side streets and smaller coastal roads with nice views, rather than riding on the highway. We were much more successful with this during the second part of the ride and managed to stay on smaller streets for most of the way between Warnabool and Nirranda. Then, it was a small section of the Great Ocean Road to reach a car we had dropped off in the morning, and Jon, Vanessa and Mark waited for their pickup in a nearby pub.
Peterborough to the 12 Apostles 27km
On day three we split up, a few people heading back to Melbourne early, others hitting the country op shops and Jon, Vanessa and Julia taking one for the team and hopping back into the saddle. Picking up from where we left off the night before, they rode along the Great Ocean Road, dodging tourist traffic, enjoying the major sights of the beautiful coastline and meeting up with the rest of the team at the Apostles. In the meantime. Team Fun and Appreciation wound their way along the road (after the shopping was done), taking longer to enjoy the sights and the coffee on offer. The sky was quite grey and it was cold, but it remained dry.