Ok better late then never - sorry for the super late response guys.
Day 1 - Melbourne to Jan Juc. http://app.strava.com/rides/3230017
In all pretty decent with good riding conditions. NOt sure of the name of it but hooked up to a Bike bath out to Werribee and then pretty much stayed on the Old Princess highway thru to Geelong. There was a bridge you go under here you merge with the freeway about 15K out of Geelong but I backed off and stayed on the back roads. I was totally expecting to back roads from Geelong to Torquay, but the princess highway was fantastic here, full shoulder for almost the entire journey. Got a bit hot out of Geelong, but some nice people in a a Florist topped up the fluids.
Torquay was pretty ugly, then a nice ride to Jan Juc where I stayed at the caravan park.
Day 2 - Jan Juc Apollo Bay http://app.strava.com/rides/3230016
Some gut busting hills (three of them) just out of the caravan park and coming back up to The Great Ocean Road. First two were managable but with a touring load, the third was a walker. Nice ride through to Apollo bay, road condition was generally good, although I did need to merge onto the road for some corners. Got a huge sense of deja vu through here with all the climbs and decents down over river mouths. It pretty much runs like this, climb hill, decend with a long right hand sweeper, left over the river and then climb again. I think there was at least 4 of these.
I think day two is when I learned to really appreciate the 60km an hour signs as meaning you are so close to your destination. Very good night at the Apollo Bay YHA, good new years party with some backpackers.
Day 3 - Apollo Bay to Princetown. http://app.strava.com/rides/3230015
Big climbing day. Road was about standard as TGOR goes. First climb and decent into Hordon Vale was good. Hit the low 70s on this decent which was a lot of fun.
Second climb up to Lavers Hill was tough, especially with the heat. While I've done a lot of climbing in the past I really had nothing to compare to climbing fully loaded. There were quite a few sections where I walked, but this was more for energy conservation than anything else. Its an epic bike ride, I didn't need to ride up every single hill.
Lavers Hill was pretty basic at the top, a choice of a few different cafes. Mostly downhill from here to Princetown. There was a nice section where I could take the full lane decending at the recommended speed behind a car. Good not worrying about what is behind you for a while.
If you are camping, I'd well and truly steer clear of Princetown. It is very basic, carry in everything and purify your own water. You'd be better off travelling to the next town which actually has facilities.
Day 4 Princetown to Port Fairy http://app.strava.com/rides/3230068
Warrnambool PF strava seciton got corrupted
This was one of the hotter days. Nice views along TGOR until it became too hot to pay attention. I had to stop in Warrnambool for a good few hours for the temperature to drop down enough to push through to Port Fairy. I think this was the hottest day, temperature was pushing 49 on the tarmac. It was doable though, you just needed a hell of a lot more fluid intake. Rolling was the best option, if you stopped you would just bake on the side of the road.
Stayed in the backpackers at Port Fairy, in all a good might with a nice early start planned for the next day.
Day 5 - Port Fairy to Nelson
BIggest thing I learned on this day was not to trust Google for Towns. This was again a really hot day but with a headwind that didn't quit - think doing 12kmh for two hours, that sort of headwind. Very long dusty sections. I'd started to stop and eat at any service station/cafe/dive I could find at this point and it helped. Still, very tough headwinds on this section.
I scooted around Portland and headed inland through to Nelson, thinking there was at least 2 town on this stretch of road. There wasn't, the towns were just clusters of buildings, no shops nothing. Luckily I was carrying 6 litres of water, but the ride up to Nelson was very isolated. The pine tree plantations coming in to Nelson were also boring as all hell. No animals, running arrow straight etc. Very forced environment, it was a weird place to ride.
Did have a scare this day with the sound of a car skidding behind me. There was an approaching car and I think the guy behind just misjudged his overtaking clearance. It turned out fine, but it was a bit of a shock. This was one of only two 'scares' the entire trip.
Day 6 - Nelson to Mt Gambier http://app.strava.com/rides/3230067
to Beachport http://app.strava.com/rides/3226963
Day started out Ok, fairly cool but with this strong southerly. As I was clocking up the Ks into Mt Gambier I seriously though I was getting ill. I broke this cold sweat in the morning and couldn't seem to warm up. Not quite sure what was going on I grabbed a hoody from a pannier and kept on riding. I felt like utter rubbish by the time I got into Mt.G. My bike had developed a bit of an issue where it wouldn't really change from the 6th to the 7th cog. Dropped it by a bike shop and the tightened the gear cable, mostly fixed the problem.
I got two very important things in Mt Gambier - a few tubes of shotz electrolyte tablets and a merino long sleeve base layer. Turns out what I was feeling was the cold southerly wind - on a 30 degree day no less, and dehyrdation. I had been using a gatorade power, but it wasn't enough. The shotz tablets were freaking awesome. Probably the best electrolyte I've used.
After a few hours rest in MtG, I rolled on through to beachport. Much better riding after the gear tweak, and after I sorted myself out. From Mt.G the towns were really well spaced out for food/rest stops - tops 35K apart. I highly recommend a route of this sort of distance between towns. Any longer, and you just start to feel the isolation.
Beachport I had the luxury of a Motel as the caravan parks were full. Very cool little seaside town. Like Port Fairy but smaller.
Day 7 Beachport - Robe http://app.strava.com/rides/3226961
- Kingston http://app.strava.com/rides/3230070
It seems that long isolated stretches are bearable in the morning. Very flat riding. I'm pretty sure I was still rocking the merino on this day, but just long flat riding. Awesome lunch at robe, and then i pushed through to Kingston with my first and only tail wind for the entire ride. Ignore the max speed on the strava segment, I don't know what that's all about, but the average speed was spot on, I flew into kingston with the tail wind.
Nice cheap caravan park in Kingston. It was the only night I went to sleep zipped up in the sleeping bag, right near the beach it was chilly
Day 8 Kingston to Meningie http://app.strava.com/rides/3230073
The long flat day.
Had a late start today. For some reason i forget I had taken off the back wheel at some point. Noticed that the allignment was off a smidge becuase the chain wasn't going onto the 32 cog smoothly (you need this sort of cog touring). When I was getting the wheel out again I accidently popped one of the break pads out of the calliper. Fair bit of dicking around getting this sorted as I hadn't worked on discs before. Local bike 'shop' was useless, wanted an hour to see the bike. So I just sat out the front and with some patience, fixed it.
Saw a Belgian tourist swing by with some broken spokes. He wasn't getting any help from that store for sure. I'm not canning the store, I'm just saying that it was a petrol station that also sold bikes - they didn't have a swarm of mechanics available.
Really not much else to say here. I thought riding The Coorong would be pretty cool, but its just one long straight road with very little of the water visible. Knowing this was a 145K day, I was loath to stop and sight see as well.
The day pretty much went like this. Ride, stop at a truck stop for a breather and an energy bar, ride, truck stop etc etc. About 80K in you hit Salt Creek. A road house. Rest here, its the only place you can get food/drinks along The Coorong.
As the day was ticking on, I made a courtesy call to the caravan park I was staying at. Turns our they closed at 7, not the usual 8 I was accustomed to. Had a nice 30kmh average speed for the last hour to make the caravan park in time. Nice late arrival at the caravan park. Chated to some locals, downed my dehydrated meal and it was sleep time again.
Day 9 Meningie to Murray Bridge - AKA hell day http://app.strava.com/rides/3226960
There seems to be a missing segment in here. Wellington to Murray Bridge was fine. Nice back country lane, the wind had died down a bit it was smooth riding.
Meningie to Murray bridge i was contesting with side winds that were blowing me on to the road. I would have walked about 90 minutes this day. I even lost all dignity on this stretch and put the thumb out. Two chances with a loaded touring bike, but the weather was just nasty, demoralising. Seemed like there as a sand storm or something coming in and I was stuck in the middle of nowehere. I almost pulled off the side of the road and pitched a tent.
This stretch was definitely the low point. Probably the least fun I've ever had on a bike.
I was planning to go around Lake Alexandrina down to Port Elliot. As soon as I crossed the Murray to Wellington though, I changed my plans. It wasn't far to Murray Bridge, so I thought I'd just roll on there and save the legs. Decent Gyros in Wellington surprisingly. Notice how melbourne is getting all Kebab centric? Its hard to actually get a Gyros these days it seems.
Luxury again tonight - Motel
Day 10 - Murray Bridge to Adelaide
Ok I'll fess up, I didn't ride all the way to Adelaide. My support crew landed in Adelaide on Sunday morning and drove out to get me from Hahndorf.
This was another blustery day - the last two had been particularly bad. Generally nice rolling country through to Hahndorf but there was definitely more uphill than downhill. I was well over my walk-up-hill-ophopia at this point, and was probably riding half, walking half. Its just about saving the legs more than anything else. Getting up with the minimum effort possible.
Nice riding all round on this day though, would like to do it on a roadie some day.
So Apologies for the missing strava segments, but here's the report. Finally