Bike Ride Ararat to Warrnambool. Total distance 350km
December 2009

Tour Summary
Day 1
Train Southern Cross to Ararat and ride to Halls Gap via Moyston. Lunch along the way and made own dinner at Halls Gap. Overnight in Takaru Bush Retreat in hike tent. 65km.

Day 2
Halls Gap to Cavendish via Glenelg Creek Road and other back roads. Lunch at Boreang Camp and dinner at Bunyip Hotel in Cavendish. Overnight in Cavendish Recreation Reserve in hike tent. 95km.

Day 3
Cavendish to Mt Eccles National Park via Hamilton and Macarthur. Lunch at Byaduk Caves and made own dinner at Mt Eccles. Overnight at Mt Eccles camping ground in hike tent. 85km.

Day 4
Mt Eccles to Port Fairy. Lunch in Port Fairy and dinner at Chinese in Port Fairy. Overnight at Port Fairy camping ground in hike tent. 70km.

Day 5
Rode Port Fairy to Warrnambool then train to Southern Cross. 35Km.

Noel (66)
Rick (62)
Kevin (62)
Two mountain bikes each with two panniers loaded with provisions and sleeping gear. One touring bike with 4 panniers loaded with provisions and sleeping gear.

Best Scenery
Grampians along the Glenelg River Road.

Fastest Riders
Noel and Kevin.

Biggest Show Off
Kevin. Whilst riding along the Glenelg River Road we passed a National Park ranger sitting in his car just off the road. Kevin waved to the guy as we passed and then he crashed his bike just in front of the car. The ranger raced out to help. Luckily, Kevin only grazed his leg below the knee. See this photo of Kevin and Noel talking to the ranger.

Sleeping Arrangements
Some people may think from this photo that the three of us slept in the one tent and the other tent held our provisions. However, both tents were hike tents with room for two persons only. Noel & Rick slept in one tent and Kevin in the other (at a good distance because he snores).

Best Dinner
Chinese Restaurant at Port Fairy.

Hardest Riding
No section was particularly difficult except that we either had a head or side wind every day. In some places we rode in single file to ease the wind problem.

Water Problems
On day 2 from Halls Gap to Cavendish we did not go through any towns and Rick & Kevin ran out of water. We stopped at a few sheds but were unable to obtain any water. We eventually found a farmhouse close to the road and the elderly lady who came to the door was very obliging. She wanted to have a chit chat but we were running late.

Friendly Locals
Everyone wants to talk to you when you are on bikes loaded with all your gear. Met some interesting people.

Liveliest Town
Cavendish. We were there on a Friday night and the place was buzzing. The population was listed as 120 and everyone must have been in town that night. Admittedly, there were a few functions on that night.

Best Firewood Pile
At Warrnambool station
. See this photo. Kevin has an open fire and is always on the lookout for firewood. This was the best pile he saw.

Best Camping
All of the places we camped at were very good. Mt Eccles National Park camping ground and Takaru Bush Retreat in Halls Gap had lots of wildlife.

Bike Problems

Lousiest Person
The guy in the general store in Macarthur who would not fill up our drink bottles with water. We did buy some drinks there first so we gave him some business. We found water in the Public Toilets in the main street. Kevin was not very happy with this guy.

The Breakaway
About 10km from Port Fairy, Noel and Kevin stopped briefly and Rick went on ahead. Rick decided to try to beat them to Port Fairy. Took them a while to realise what was happening and then they began the chase in single file (peloton). Caught Rick about 3 Km from Port Fairy.

Average Speed
18 to 20 Km/hr.

Dullest Town
Macarthur. The town has lavish facilities in the main street. Pool, Tennis, Bowls. Did not see one person using these facilities on the Sunday morning we passed through.

Low 20's every day. Drizzly rain for periods on most days. Head or side wind every day.

The Silliest Thing We Did
We took the advice of Kevin's friend and rode from Ararat to Warrnambool. He claimed the prevailing winds would be in our favour. He was completely wrong unless the winds decided to blow in the opposite direction for the 5 days we rode. Our ride was based on one detailed in the Bicycle Victoria magazine and they rode from Warrnambool to Ararat.

How Difficult Was The Ride
Easy to moderate.