It was without a shadow of doubt one of the most frequently asked questions the E-Bike Cycle Tourists fielded during our 27,800km world record-breaking e-bike adventure.
“Why did you decide to set a new world ebike long distance record in mainland Europe and the UK and not your home country of Australia?”
Aside from the fact that we are unabashed Europhiles – we simply can’t get enough of the culture, scenery and history that Europe, the UK and Ireland offers – the truth of the matter is that when we were planning our trip we truly didn’t believe it was safe enough to cycle anything up to 30,000kms on Australian roads.
Given the well recorded antipathy Australian drivers show to cyclists we couldn’t for the life of us see how we could safely negotiate the big distances required to set a world record – so Europe it was.
As a result, given all of the above, even I am having difficulty believing what I have been doing over the past three days - scouting a suitable route for a planned Brisbane to Melbourne e-bike tour on our AVE Adventure SH11 and TH11 electric bikes at some stage in the near future.
The opportunity to scout the route suggested by the well credentialed CycleWayz app presented itself when we decided to head to Victoria by car from our home base at Kalbar in south-east Queensland for a few weeks of e-biking on the fantastic rail trails of Gippsland and north-east Victoria and to attempt to climb the peaks of Mt Buller, Mt Buffalo and Falls Creek.
So Far So Good
So far – and it is only an interim report given that I am currently in Sydney and still have to scout the proposed Victorian part of the route – things don’t look too bad at all.
The route from Brisbane to Sydney for the greater part of the journey hugs the coastline except for the North Coast of New South Wales where it ventures inland to Lismore, Grafton and Casino before re-joining the coast at Coffs Harbour.
For a large part of the journey low volume traffic secondary roads are traversed that range in the quality of the riding surface from excellent on the old Pacific Highway to dedicated off-road trails to even badly corrugated and dusty unpaved roads through a few National Park sections.
But from our perspective corrugated, dusty and even muddy roads are much preferable any day compared to major highways with huge transport trucks whizzing uncomfortably by.
How to Negotiate Sydney?
Clearly the biggest problem with the journey is the section through Sydney itself, with even the CycleWayz app admitting that you are “on your own” in Australia’s most unfriendly cycling city.
Anyway, while the locals don’t like it, I firmly believe Sydney can be conquered safely as long as you stick to footpaths and constantly think “safety at all times”.
The next section of the proposed journey I will be investigating over coming days from Sydney initially aims for Canberra before heading due south to Gippsland before winding its way to Phillip Island and eventually to Melbourne.
Clearly our cycle touring addiction is far from cured - so much so that we might even end up doing that previously dreaded long distance tour in Australia sooner rather than later (if this article has inspired you to plan your own tour click you can read my tips to get started here)
Stay tuned for a final assessment of the route.