‘The Rock’ Ride 2015

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‘The Rock’ Ride 2015

Adelaide to Alice Springs

Saturday 30 May, 2015 to Sunday 14 June, 2015

This ride has everything to offer the cyclist that yearns for that uniquely Australian Outback experience.

From the beautiful autumn views of the Clare Valley to the rugged and spectacular landscapes of the outback. You’ll stay in classic outback homesteads, desert resorts, roadhouses and even 4 and 5 star accommodation as you explore Coober Pedy and Ayers Rock (Uluru). Enjoy the haunting ‘Sounds of Silence’ evening as the sun sets over The Rock before retiring to your room at the world renowned ‘Sails in the Desert’ before pushing on to Alice Springs, the Centre of Australia.

The places, the people, the atmosphere, the wildlife – it all adds up to a unique experience that you will never forget.

BONUSMates Rates Group Discounts. Group discounts for 3 or more cyclists.

The Rock Ride – Adelaide to Alice Springs
Dates: 30 May – 14 June 2015
Duration: 16 days, 15 nights. 14 actual ride days. 2 rest days.
Distance: 1942km
Ave. Daily: 138km (longest day 252 / 200km – bus available)
Bike Type: Road Bike
Terrain: Good bitumen roads – often with a shoulder
Group Size: 20-30
Difficulty Rating: 8/10 No significant hills but a few very long days (bus available)
Accom.: Sails in the Desert, Underground Hotel, Homesteads, Hotels & Roadhouses
Meals: Most meals, morning & afternoon teas
Price: This ride date has passed
Deposit: $400

Highlights

  • Two nights at ‘Sails in the Desert’ 5-star Ayers Rock Resort
  • Two nights at The Desert Cave Hotel 4-star Coober Pedy accom
  • ‘Sounds of Silence’ outdoor gourmet dining experience at sunset at Uluru
  • Rest Day to explore Uluru (Ayers Rock) & the Olgas
  • Rest Day at Coober Pedy, opal capital of the world
  • Massage Therapist
  • Cycle through the Clare Valley
  • A genuine Australian Outback experience – not just the tourist attractions
  • Amazing wildlife and classic local characters
  • The sheer open space of the Australian desert landscape
Crossing Australia has been the dream of many explorers, and what better way than by bike? Today you have the opportunity to become a modern-day explorer as you cycle from Adelaide to Alice Springs, taking in not only the tourist highlights but absorbing a genuine Australian outback experience as you pass through the towns and communities powered only by your rotating pedals.

Clare Valley is a dream, especially in Autumn with rows of golden grapevines stretching forever, interspersed by stone cottages and farm house wine tasting rooms. It gets even better as we skirt Mt Remarkable, a cyclist paradise, alive with kangaroos and rugged red gum tree trunks. Further north the landscape thins, with saltbush, red earth and treeless plains. Salt lakes extend forever, like this timeless land, bringing you the real feeling of The Outback. Explore underground at Coober Pedy, the opal capital of the world, littered with luckless mines and surrounded by white mounds of mullock. Stay underground in our 4 star accommodation with a sauna and swimming pool. We really spoil you with 5 star accommodation at Ayers Rock, where you can explore The Rock and the Olgas and marvel at nature’s masterpiece. Enjoy the luxury of the truly Australian ‘Sounds of Silence’ evening before the final push to Alice Springs, the Centre of Australia.

The array of roadhouses, people, wildlife and landscapes is vast and so are the stars at night. Cycling this country is the best way to appreciate it and you will never forget this journey.

Ayers rock bike ride
We are happy to answer any other questions you may have

Feel free to contact us at any time through our website ‘Contact Us’ page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what’s on your mind and we’ll help you make your decision.

Support bus availability

Our support bus is there to support the tour and also pick up riders who need to jump in for any reason. This vehicle can be quite popular on some days – especially long days or days with big hills! There is no shame in riding in this bus so if you are considering a tour but are not 100% sure if you will be up to it on the toughest day(s), just go for it – our vehicle and staff will be there to help out. It’s better to give it a try than to miss out all together. The bus is also sometimes used for part-time riders who only ride certain sections of each day – these are often partners of someone else on the ride.

Training for a long distance tour

You really need to be a reasonably keen cyclist, however not necessarily fast, but consistent. If you can sit on an average speed of 20-25 km/hr on the flat, and build your kilometre total distance in training to gradually attain about 100km + a day for 2 days straight, that will usually put you in a good position to be ready for most of our long distance tours. We have a training schedule specific to each ride which we send to you after you place your deposit, however we are more than happy to send this to you earlier when you are considering the tour – just ask us for a copy and we will get it out to you straight away.

Insurance – IMPORTANT

Obtaining appropriate insurance is your (very important) responsibility – even if you live in Australia.
*** Travel Insurance for lost deposits and cancellations ***
travelinsurancedirect.com.au/
travelinsurancecover.com.au/
Lost deposits: We very strongly recommend you take out travel insurance for your trip – even if you live in Australia. This should include cover for cancellation fees, lost deposits, and stolen or lost luggage. We cannot emphasise enough how important this is. There are many unforeseen reasons why cyclists may need to withdraw from a ride – injury, health or other. Cancellation fees can be a major financial loss to you and as a small business we need to adhere to our cancellation policies. Please go to the ride page on our website for your ride and click the ‘Terms & Conditions’ button to see the ride’s cancel policy (note that most travel insurance policies will not include your bike as luggage so that may need to be covered under your home contents insurance or under a specialist bike insurance).
Travel Insurance: Domestic travel insurance cover tends to be significantly cheaper than international cover (approx $50 for one week). Above are two websites that offer both international and domestic travel insurance that you can look at. You can also speak to your local travel agent, or often airline booking websites will offer travel insurance as an optional extra as you book your flight.
*** Cyclist insurance for accidents & medical ***
bicyclenetwork.com.au/general/membership/
bq.org.au/join-us/member-benefits/
This is also very strongly recommended. We cannot emphasise enough how important this is. Cycling can be a dangerous activity and you must be prepared for the worst. You may have an accident in training for the ride, on the ride itself, or cycling down to the corner store. If you are a cyclist coming on our tour you should be 100% prepared for the unexpected.
Cyclist insurance can be bought separately, or it comes with cycling memberships such as Bicycle Network or Bicycle Queensland. If you are involved in a crash or collision they will support you with personal injury costs, loss of income, third party liability insurance, assistance in completing your claim paper work & free legal consultation.

Bike mechanical assistance provided

A staff member with good bike mechanical knowledge will be part of our crew and will have a stand pump for different valves. The mechanic will often be able to help you with a safety check, general tips and advice about your bike and its upkeep, as well as fixing mechanical problems. We will have limited parts available for replacement which will be charged at shop prices. Labour is free for the first fifteen minutes, there after costs may be incurred at the mechanic’s discretion.  Cyclists with rare or different bikes are asked to contact us at AllTrails as parts can often be very difficult to obtain.

Sharing rooms – how does it work?

On the online entry form you can nominate any travelling companions that you would like to share a room with and/or be accommodated close to so that couples or friends can be grouped together. This can be in a double bed or in twin beds. If you are travelling alone like many of our riders, Single Supplement is available for those who would like their own room for the whole trip. On some tours you can also choose to ‘twin share’ where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender and changed at each accommodation to create interest in sharing rooms. On other tours you may need to put your name down on a Twin Share Request List and we will try to match you up. If you are a snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room. If you are coming on your own and have booked in as twin share, this usually means that you will share a room with one other single twin share traveller, however in some cases we may have larger rooms (eg. two bedroom apartment or a B&B/house with multiple bathrooms) where we may have 3 or 4 single twin share travellers together.

Travelling alone?

Not a problem! You’ll find other like-minded cycling companions taking part in our rides. If you’re a solo traveller we can pair you with other solo travellers of the same gender in twin share accom (early bookers only) or you can opt for Single Supplement (additional cost) to receive a room of your own.

Snorers can enjoy their own room

If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room (single supplement cost). This is not just a courtesy to your fellow travelling companions, but will also give you the space & privacy you need to enjoy your sleep after a long day on the bike.

Accommodation on our rides

We always try to obtain great accommodation in the best location for you to rest your weary head (and legs) in each town whether it be a motel, hotel, cabins or similar, usually 3, 3½, 4 star. We choose the best and most welcoming motel for cyclists and our tour group needs. On occasion we travel through some very small towns where accommodation is extremely limited. If for whatever reason, such as limited options, the accommodation one night is below normal standard, we strive to improve this with an extra good room the next night or nights following.

Carrying personal items on the bike

We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and rain gear if it’s threatening, on your bike with you. We transport your luggage, day packs, food & extra water. A detailed list of what is required and provided will be sent to you in your pre-tour info pack.

Meals and food

Always a big part of any cycling holiday! Check tour details for meal inclusions on your ride. Our emphasis is on fresh food and balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and vegies catering for a cycling holiday. We successfully cater to most dietary requirements, however feel free to contact us with any questions. Most meals are included as part of our tours, however you may be required to purchase some meals. See the ‘Day to Day’ tab for more details, or click the ‘Download Itinerary’ button.

Non-riding partners and part-time cyclists

We realise that often our riders want to spend their holidays with loved ones who may not be as keen on the bike as they are themselves – we are happy to accommodate those non-riding partners and part-time riders who want to only ride part of each day, or only certain days. We will generally try to allocate pickup points along the route every day. The entry price will be the same for non-riders and part-time riders.

Safety

We have a great safety record, but accidents can happen. We have comprehensive First-Aid Kits with trained 1st aiders as tour guides and drivers, mobiles and a satellite phone for emergency calls and the locality of hospitals in the areas that we travel through. We also have vehicles that can take anyone injured or sick for further treatment. You can also help by immediately stopping or slowing on-coming traffic if a fellow cyclist does have a fall. Safety discussions are held throughout the tour as part of the daily briefings.

Tandem bike

Our good friend Peter Howell hires tandems (including e-bike tandems) and if you want a tandem, he is your man. Pegasus Tandems stock a wide range of great imported tandem bicycles for you and your partner. Call Peter on 0427 200 533 or check out his website www.tandembicycles.com.au.

Speak to a past client

We will be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of people who have participated in the ride or a similar ride to the one which you are considering. Where possible we will provide you with the details of someone within your city or state.
Another good place to look is our ‘Testimonials’ page.

Group discounts

Bring your friends and save some money! For all groups of 3 or more entrants you will receive 5% discount off your respective entry fees. This excludes any optional extras such pre and post tour accom, cycling jersey, t-shirt etc. Contact our office for more details and information.

Group info session

Contact us if you would like to find out about booking an info session for your group of friends, or if you would like to find out about a travel talk happening near you in the future. Be inspired, hear from the experts, learn more about a destination and even book your tour on the night.

Changing or cancelling a tour

We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for all our Australian rides at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel. For our international tours we require all participants to have Travel Insurance to assist you in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, personal liability, cancelled tour or any other trip related issues.
Should you wish to change your booking with AllTrails to a different tour, there will be a very reasonable service charge. We try to keep this figure as low as possible to allow flexibility where we can as we want to make sure that you get on the right tour for you. For cancellation and refund policies for your tour click the ‘T&Cs’ tab on the relevant tour page of our website.

What sorts of people join our rides?

People from all parts of Australia and overseas.  Ages generally range from 30 – 70 with the average age about 50 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.

Packing tips

We recommend you bring a soft bag or backpack. We advise against bringing a suitcase as they are bulky, difficult to stow on board vehicles or trailers and heavy. You may be required to lift or carry your own luggage from time to time, e.g. into accommodation. We expect your bag to be no heavier than 15kg, making it easy to manage for you and the staff. Any excess luggage may need to be stored or forwarded on to your final destination at your own expense. Information about what to pack is included as part of your Pre-Departure information. Generally we advise that you pack as light as possible.

Bike type – which is best?

A comfortable racing bike, road bike or touring bike with a good seat and road tyres with slick or near-slick tread. A hybrid or mountain bike is also possible if you are comfortable riding the daily distances and average speed of the tour, however these bikes can be around 20% slower than a road bike. Ask us for the ‘Training Tips’ document for this ride to get an idea of distances and speeds you need to train for.

Bike Hire

We do not have a fleet of our own hire bikes however we can usually help you out with organising bike hire through our local contacts near our office in Melbourne, or closer to a ride departure location. When you make your booking just let us know that you would also like to hire a bike and we will get the ball rolling for you and put you in touch with the right people where possible. You can also bring your own seat and/or pedals to give you that little bit of ‘home comfort’.

Tour dates, ride direction and prevailing winds

Each stage has been specifically scheduled to take place when as many factors important to a great cycling holiday are likely to, or will, occur. We have taken into consideration the prevailing winds, hence the anticlockwise direction of the circumnavigation of Australia as well as the south to north crossing for stages 17 & 18 from Adelaide to the Top End. We have also taken into account the temperature range, potential risks, possible rainfall and the best times to view the attractions on route. Of course, we can’t ever control the weather however this only adds to the adventure and excitement of your travel experience!
For more specific weather and climate information visit www.bom.gov.au

Buying a new bike – what to consider

If you are purchasing a new bike for this ride or wanting to make some upgrades here a few points to consider:

Bike set up: Unless you are accustomed to riding long distances or are very flexible set your bike up for comfort rather than optimum aerodynamics. A more comfortable upright position is most easily achieved by raising the handle bar and moving the seat forward.

Wheels: Do not go too light. High-end road bikes often allow you to choose different wheel sets or if you are considering upgrading, the lightest wheels might be the fastest, but they are not always the strongest. The heavier you are the more important this is. Cheaper wheels are heavier and generally have more spokes, but are also quite robust and easy to repair, so if this is your price bracket then there is not too much to worry about. If you looking at getting some fast wheels and you are over 90kg ask your bike shop for advice and even do some research online or within your bike community.

Tyres: Durability is the most important feature for long distance rides. When choosing your tyres look for features like anti-puncture and Kevlar lining. A harder rubber also allows you to get more kilometres out of each tyre. A popular choice amongst our cyclists are the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in either the 23mm or 25mm width.

Gearing: As a rule; the more gears you have the easier it is to climb hills. The standard configuration of gears found on road bikes does not suit everyone. If you find yourself running out of gears while climbing, needing to get out of the saddle to get over a hill or ride with a high cadence it might be worth considering one or both of these options. Replace the cassette with a larger one (more teeth)and/or get a compact crank. A compact crack tries to do what the triple chain ring crank does in just two chain rings. If you already have a triple, this is not for you. The compact crank slightly reduces your big chain ring size and significantly reduces your small chain ring size making it much easier to climb hills and spin your legs faster rather than harder.

Getting there and back (Rock Ride)

For a relaxed beginning to your cycling holiday and to minimise the impacts of any flight delays, we suggest you arrive in Adelaide at least one day prior to the start of the tour which would be Fri 29 May (or earlier). We are staying at the 5 star Rendezvous Hotel as our pre tour accom and you can choose to stay here also (optional extra on the booking form). You can arrive in to Adelaide any time on that date.

You will arrive in Alice Springs at the end of the ride on Sun 14 June. It is a 92km ride that day so it is feasible to fly out that evening if you need to however we suggest sticking around for a day or two in Alice and departing on Mon 15 Jun or Tue 16 Jun. You can book one or two nights extra at our post tour accommodation on our booking form.

Exact details of registration and meeting times will be sent out in the ‘Day Sheets’ and ‘Ride Guide’ 3-4 weeks before departure.

Why book with us?

We only run approximately 10 tours per year. This makes every tour as special to us as it is to you because we are not repeating the same rides over and over again week-in week-out. Every tour is meticulously planned and we are just as excited to be there as you – there is no bulk production-line here! On most occasions the owner-operators of the business will be on tour with you looking after everyone on the ride.  The safety and confidence that comes with that is one of many great reasons to book your cycling holiday with us.
AllTrails is a proud Australian owned company with a great reputation in the bicycle tour industry. We have earned that reputation through hard work and dedication and we sincerely care about every person on every tour. Our large community of loyal AllTrails riders that keep coming back year after year are testament to the high standard of tours that we provide. We consider ourselves the best in the business and we always make sure that our tours represent great value at a fair price.