‘The Rock’ Ride 2015
Adelaide to Alice Springs
Saturday 30 May, 2015 to Sunday 14 June, 2015
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.
BONUS: Mates 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.|
|Ave. Daily:||138km (longest day 252 / 200km – bus available)|
|Bike Type:||Road Bike|
|Terrain:||Good bitumen roads – often with a shoulder|
|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|
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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.
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.
Our support bus is there to support the tour and also pick up riders who need to jump in for any reason. 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. 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 and are ‘in the ball-park’ in terms of your fitness and preparedness, but not 100% sure if you will be up to it on the toughest days, 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. If you feel that you are extremely far off the fitness level required and cannot commit to enough training that will get you fit in time then you may be better off booking a later ride or a different type of tour – just give us a call or email to discuss.
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.
Obtaining appropriate insurance is your (very important) responsibility
IMPORTANT: Travel Insurance – even for trips within Australia
- When you consider the cost of cancelling your tour if something goes wrong before or during your travel, insurance is good protection.
- Domestic travel insurance is usually considerably cheaper than international.
- Purchase your travel insurance as soon as you have booked your tour and your travel – don’t wait until just before you go.
- Some credit card travel insurances do not apply to domestic Australian travel – check with your provider.
- There are lots of travel insurance providers – cyclists should do their own research to ensure they are covered adequately.
- Here are two options as an example:
- International travellers should always have a comprehensive travel insurance.
IMPORTANT: Cyclist insurance for accidents & medical:
Cyclist Insurance is different to Travel Insurance and is often included as part of cycling memberships such as Bicycle Network or Bicycle Queensland or can be bought separately. Cycling can be a dangerous activity and you should be prepared for the worst. If you have an accident in training for the tour or on the tour itself cyclist insurance can help with medical, income protection and third party coverage. Check out the benefits here:
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.
On the online entry form you can nominate any travelling companions who 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 twin beds. If you are travelling alone like many of our riders, a Single Supplement price 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 (often changed during the tour to allow solo travellers to meet other solo travellers). 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 ask that you book your own room at the Single Supplement price. 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 cyclist or crew member, 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 more single twin share travellers together.
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.
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.
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.
We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and rain gear, on your bike with you. We transport your luggage, drawstring day bags, food & extra water. A more detailed list of things to bring and not bring is on our ‘Tour Preparation Guide’ which is sent out to you before the ride.
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.
We realise that often our riders want to spend their holidays with loved ones who may not be a keen cyclist as they are – we are happy to accommodate non-riding partners and part-timers who only want to 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 part-time riders and usually non-riders as well depending on their tour plan.
We have a great safety record, but accidents can happen. We have trained First Aiders as crew, comprehensive First-Aid Kits, a list of hospitals in the areas that we travel through, as well as mobile phones and a satellite phone for emergency calls when we are out of cellular range. Safety discussions are held throughout the tour as part of the daily briefings.
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.
Bring your friends and save some money! Many of our tours have group discounts for 3 or more entrants. Check out the ‘pricing’ tab on each ride page to see if group discounts apply to that tour. This generally excludes any optional extras such pre and post tour accom, cycling jersey, t-shirt etc. Contact our office for more details and information.
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.
Our tours have been specifically scheduled to take into consideration the best time of year to travel to that destination. This takes into account the temperate range, possible rainfall and the prevailing winds. 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 or for our international tours visit www.worldweather.org
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.
If you need to cancel your tour, a travel insurance policy will cover cancellation fees due to most unforeseen events. This is why we provide links to travel insurance options and highly recommend that you investigate and purchase travel insurance for all our rides (including Australian domestic tours) at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel (see Travel Insurance FAQ). 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 other trip related issues.
People from all parts of Australia and also some overseas guests. Ages generally range from 35 – 75 with the average age about 50-60 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.
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.
A comfortable racing bike, road bike or touring bike with a good seat and road tyres. A hybrid 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.
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 25mm, 28mm or 32mm width. Generally the wider the tyre the more comfortable, but check how wide a tyre your rims, forks and frame can accommodate before purchasing.
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.
If you want to hire a bike for one of our tours just let us know on your online booking form and we will get the ball rolling for you. You can also bring your own seat and/or pedals to give you that little bit of ‘home comfort’.
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.
Our meeting day in Alice Springs is Fri 17 May and your accommodation is included on this night. Try to get there by mid afternoon on 17 May for our pre-tour registration and briefing at our tour hotel followed by the welcome dinner. Cycling begins on Sat 18 May.
There are some great tours around Alice Springs, in particular the West MacDonnell Ranges tour, so if you have time we suggest arriving a day or two early to do this tour and check out the town of Alice. Alice Springs Day tours and any accommodation prior to 17 May is an optional extra on the booking form.
Qantas and Virgin both operate flights to Alice Springs from most major Australian capital cities. Alice Springs airport is 10 min drive south of the town and you can catch the Alice Wanderer airport shuttle into town (approx $16pp) or catch a taxi (approx $30-40).
You will arrive at Yulara (township near Uluru) at the end of the ride on Tue 21 May and we have included one night of accom on that evening as part of the package along with the Sounds of Silence Dinner Experience. Wed 22 May will be a day for exploring Uluru and the surrounding area – see the ‘Pricing’ tab for tour options such as walking, coach, helicopter and scenic plane tours.
Some cyclists will be travelling north after this ride to join us on our ‘Top End Tour’ from Darwin to Broome. AllTrails will take your bike and any luggage you wish in our vehicles as we drive north – we suggest you fly to Darwin on 23 or 24 May for our meeting day in Darwin on 25 May.
Both Jetstar and Virgin Australia fly daily directly between Ayers Rock Airport (AKA Connellan Airport) and Sydney. Jetstar has 4 flights per week to/from Melbourne. Qantas has daily flights to/from Sydney via Alice Springs. All three airlines offer connecting flights to most capital cities. Qantas has a daily connection to Darwin via Alice Springs for those travelling to our Top End Tour. Complimentary transfers to Ayers Rock Airport from our accommodation are available approximately 2 hours prior to each flight departure (10 min drive).