I am also doing the Great Western but unfortuneately live in the south eastern suburbs near Jells Park. So I do not see myself doing regular rides bayside.
Maybe closer to the ride we can have a get together of Melbourne riders and do some some Sunday training rides. If other riders are interested I was also thinking about maybe forming a travel group for riders booked on the same planes. It is so much easier if you have somebody you can leave your bag or bike (or both) with while you take a walk.
I have booked with Virgin for the earliest flight Saturday morning (going to the Commonwealth Games Friday night) so have limited options to arrive in Albany on Saturday.
Enjoy the preparation.