Great Top End Escape

Event Info

COVID-19 Event Update

At Bicycle Network, we see events as an important opportunity to bring the bike riding community together, spread awareness and share the joy of riding bikes. While 2020 has seen dramatic changes to the event landscape, we’re busy planning our 2021 event program to continue to deliver a range of exciting bike riding opportunities – with the health and safety of riders, volunteers and spectators at the forefront.

Across all of our events, the below four key operations will be in place to keep you safe and our events running smoothly. In addition, event specific information will be sent out in the ride guide.We ask everyone to familiarise themselves with these guidelines and keep up to date with information provided by state and federal governments regarding COVID-19 regulations.

Our team want to make your riding experience as enjoyable as possible, so please follow their instructions as we tackle these challenges together. As we know, changes can be implemented quickly, so please continue to check the Bicycle Network website as we move closer to event day.

COVID-19 Icons - Social Distancing
Social Distancing

Please remember to stand and ride at least 1.5 metres apart at all times. To avoid congestion, start line procedures will be spread out and in waves.

COVID-19 Icons - Sanitation
Hand Sanitiser

All our events will have hand sanitising stations across the course and conduct regular cleaning of all surfaces.

COVID-19 Icons - Signs
Follow The Signs

Event sites are designed to prioritise safety and keep everyone moving in the right direction. Please look out for directional signs and follow our team’s instructions.

COVID-19 Icons - Support Staff
Support Staff

Our support crews will always have your back, but some things may look a little different or take a little longer than you’re used to. Thank you for your patience.

Discover the Top End

Info night

Join us for the Great Top End Escape information night. 

We’ll be holding the session online via Zoom, but you’ll still be able to learn everything there is to know about our newest bike riding adventure.

You’ll be able to meet the event team, get some hot tips about the ride and ask any questions. This a free event for Bicycle Network members and bike riders. Please register below to receive details on how to join.

When: 6:00pm | Wednesday 30 September

A friendly reminder that less than 50 tickets remain. If you haven’t already now’s the time to secure your ticket. 

REGISTER INTEREST
BN Info Night

Fully supported cycling tour

When you join the Great Top End Escape you can rest assured that every detail is taken care of from start to finish. While you’re out on your bike soaking up everything on offer, the dedicated Bicycle Network team will be working hard behind the scenes to make sure you have an unforgettable holiday.

What’s included?
  • Three to five star accommodation each night
  • Breakfast and dinner at our accommodation and an energy-packed lunch along the route in a unique location each day.
  • Full on-route support including rest stops with snacks, water, shade and mechanical assistance as well as a 24-hour on call team if you need us.
  • Coach transport, or our SAG (support and gear) bus for those who can’t go on, want a rest or aren’t up to the full distance for the day.
  • Special cultural and natural experiences as outlined in our itinerary.
  • Unique and scenic routes, marked with our directional signage to ensure that you won’t get lost and have the freedom to travel at your own pace.
  • Luggage transfer for the duration of the event and coach transfer between locations when required.
  • Daily event briefings giving you time to ask questions, find out about the riding conditions and prepare for the weather.
  • A complimentary event jersey (see jersey size chart) and gift on arrival to commemorate your ride
  • Bicycle Network members receive a free tour t-shirt
  • All the fun (and more) that you have come to expect from our cycling tours
Fully supported cycling tour

Event Info

FAQs

Here are the answers to your most common questions. If your question isn’t in the list, please contact us on 1800 639 634 or via our contact page

What type of bike should I bring?

We recommend bringing any bike that you feel comfortable riding 80km on. If you have a road bike, we suggest using wider tyres of around 28mm-35mm.

Ebikes are welcome on the Great Top End Escape 2020, subject to our event ebike policy. Batteries can be charged in hotel rooms each night.

E-bikes?

Can my e-bike be sagged?
– Yes we will be able to sag your e-bike. Because they are heavier than most bikes, our team may need your help to lift the bike. 

How do I recharge my battery?
– You will be able recharge your battery in your hotel room each night.

How can I get my bike to Darwin?
Fly with your bike

With a little bit of planning, flying with a bike doesn’t need to be an overwhelming, or expensive, option. Most airlines will allow you to travel with your bike for a handling fee. Each carrier has its own rules and pricing structure, which can change with little notice, so it’s best to confirm the latest charges directly with the airlines before purchasing a ticket.

All airlines require your bike to be boxed or bagged which you can learn more about below. Most bike shops will assist with packing your bike, and Bicycle Network can help in Darwin.

Bicycle Network bike transport 

Bicycle Network can transport your bike to Darwin and back in at no extra cost. Your bike must be in a bike bag, box or wrapped, and the Bicycle Network team will help you reassemble your bike in Darwin.

You will need to drop your bike with us at our workshop in Sunshine North approximately 2 weeks prior to the start of the event. Please also allow two weeks after the event to pick up your bike.

Bicycle Network Workshop: 11 Hawthorn Ave, Sunshine North VIC 3020

What should I pack?

The weather in the NT in June can be both cold and hot. We recommend being prepared for all weather conditions and using layers of clothing so you can easily dress up or down as the weather changes.

Here’s a list of the essentials:
  • Riding gear (consider all conditions)
  • Helmet
  • Bike lights
  • Water bottles x 2
  • Bike lock
  • Spare tubes, repair kit, bike tools
  • Gloves
  • Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
  • Swimwear
  • Swimming towel
  • Small day pack – for change of clothes on swimming days
  • Neat casual clothing for evening meals and non-riding activities
What is the terrain and total distance of the ride?

Riding in the Top End is mostly flat and will be on the bitumen. However, do expect a bit of dirt when entering and exiting rest stops and going off the road to do some sight seeing at waterfalls and swimming holes.

Our riding times are based of an average of 15km per hour, and riders who have moderate fitness levels should find the riding enjoyable.

The total distance is 356km over eight days. 

I'm keen to volunteer. How do I get involved?

We welcome expressions of interest from interested volunteers from the local community. Applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Please send your details through to volunteer@bicyclenetwork.com.au

When are payments due?

Deposits:

Your $1,000 deposit is due before Friday 2 October 2020. We understand a deposit may be difficult in this current climate, so please call us for more options.

Final payments:

Are due on Friday 2 October 2020.

As outlined in the Terms and Conditions, final payments not received by the due date will be deemed incomplete and Bicycle Network reserves the right to cancel the ride participant’s entry.

How many tickets are available?

Bookings are capped at 120 guests.

Getting there

Guests should aim arrive in Darwin before 2pm on Saturday 19 June or Saturday 3 July for the respective tours. This will allow plenty of time for hotel transfer, check-in and bike set-up.

Flight packages

Brought to your by FBI Travel

We’re thrilled to be partnering with FBI Travel to help make getting to and from the Great Top End Escape a breeze!

FBI Travel are the Top End experts and are a great source of information for anyone looking to extend their stay. Check out some recommended tour options below or speak with their team of professional advisors on something else you might have in mind.

FBI Travel have negotiated competitive airfares for the June ride dates – Learn more here.

FBI Travel logo - Great Top End Escape 2021

Marcus Leonard
Travel Adviser
Email: marcusl@fbitravel.com.au
Phone: (03) 8573 0900 or 1800 359 324

Extend your stay

Keen to stay on in the NT after the Great Top End Escape? FBI travel can help you out – with a wide range of diverse post-tour options suitable for all time-frames and budgets, for couples, groups and singles. 

FBI Travel 10-Day-Kimberley-Cruise
Kimberley Cruise Darwin to Broome (10 days)
Learn more
FBI Travel Bamurru-Plains-Safari-Lodge
Bamurru Plains Safari Lodge (3 nights)
Learn more
FBI Travel El Questro 3 night stay
El Questro Wilderness Park homestead (3 nights)
Learn more
FBI Travel - El-Questro-Wilderness-Park-Station
El Questro Wilderness Park Station (3 nights)
Learn more
FBI Travel - El-Questro-Wilderness-Park-Emma-Gorge-Resort
El Questro Wilderness Park Emma George Resort (3 nights)
Learn more

These are by no means the only options! Choose from a large range of day tours, Cruise/Rail packages, Broome ‘beach and bush’ itineraries, Self-Drive tours (including 4WD and campervan), a number of other cruise suggestions and much more.

If you have any questions, want some more ideas or just like to see what else is available please contact Marcus at FBI Travel.

Bike transport

Bicycle Network bike transport

Bicycle Network can transport your bike to Darwin and back in at no extra cost. Your bike must be in a bike bag, box or wrapped, and the Bicycle Network team will help you reassemble your bike in Darwin.

You will need to leave your bike with us in Melbourne at a date and location to be confirmed.

bike transport
Flying home

Flying with a bike

With a little bit of planning, flying with a bike doesn’t need to be an overwhelming, or expensive, option.

Most airlines will allow you to travel with your bike for handling fee. Each carrier has its own rules and pricing structure, which can change with little notice, so it’s best to confirm the latest charges directly with the airlines before purchasing a ticket.

All airlines require your bike to be boxed or bagged – learn more below.

Packing your bike

You can normally scrounge a cardboard bike box from your bike shop, and for a fee, they may also pack it for you.

The standard way of packing for a bike box is to remove the front wheel and pedals, drop the seat post down (or remove it), loosen the handlebar and turn it parallel to the frame, and take some of the air pressure out of the tyres.

A spacer to go between the front forks is a good idea (ask your bike shop for one) and be sure to cover or pad the bottom of the forks. Also consider using bubble wrap or foam pipe on vulnerable parts of your frame, cable ties to secure detached items to the frame and plenty of packing tape to keep everything secure.

Remember to: 
  • Place any loose accessories into a bag then place in the box
  • Seal the box and label with your name and phone number
  • Ensure no part of the bike is protruding from the box
  • Take photos of your bike in the box for records in case of damage
  • Pack some tools for reassembly, but don’t worry too much as we’ll have a team members on hand to help. 

Riding on event

Road and route

We’ll be there to support you along every kilometre. On some days, guests will travel on buses from the hotel to a location to start riding. We’ll start together, with a big cheer!

Luggage will be transported on buses each day. We recommend guests carry a day pack with them when riding including; water, Bike pump, Spare tube(s), Warm/Rain layer, Sunscreen and any other essential items (e.g. medication, etc). There will be signage, rest areas, nutrition, water and mechanics along the route. And, if it all gets a bit too much, give us a call and we’ll come pick you up and bring you back to the accommodation.

Each day, the riding route will have an official close time. Times will be based on a slowest riding time of 15km/h, plus plenty of time to stop for photos and admire the scenery. The times will have you back at the accommodation ready for activities and evening meals. It also allows the Bicycle Network team to pack down and set up the following day, plus enjoy the evening with you.

Road conditions

The ride will mostly be on bitumen. There will be the odd bit of dirt as you enter/exit a rest areas or should you wish to venture off the route for some extra site seeing.

Keep in mind the surface is likely to be very course and the edges of the road can be a little uneven. We recommend bringing any bike that you feel comfortable on for riding 100km+. If you have a road bike, we suggest using wider tires of around 28mm for the best riding experience. It would be ideal to carry one or two spare tubes with you each day.

Our mechanics will be available at the rest sites to help you out as much as possible, however stock and resources will be limited.

On-event bike transport

Some days on event we will be transporting your bikes to the start location. All bikes will need to be packed onto the trucks between 5:00pm – 6:00pm the previous night as we head off early each morning and bike loading will not be possible. Your luggage will be packed on the buses each morning as you hop on the bus.

Bikes do not need to be packed away in boxes during the event. We will assist with packing the bikes each night.

Call now to secure your spot on the Great Top End Escape 2021

Learn more