Great Vic Bike Ride

Packing for the Great Vic

Knowing what to pack can be the hardest part of any trip. Throw in a bike and some camping gear, and Great Vic packing can quickly become overwhelming.

We’ve compiled some top tips and handy information below to help make packing a breeze for this year’s greatest Great Vic yet.

YOUR BAGS

What to pack

Forgetting to pack something is never a great way to start a holiday. Here’s our basic guide to packing your bags for the Great Vic. You can add to this list of recommendations as you please.

General camping at the Great Vic
  • Tent, bed roll or mattress and sleeping bag
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Toiletries
  • Thongs
  • Warm clothes
  • Waterproof gear
  • Suitable cycling clothes (be prepared for all weather!)
  • Plate, bowl, mug, cutlery and tea towel
  • Torch or head lamp
  • Laundry supplies
  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen

*New 20kg weight limit guidelines

Rather than one 20kg bag, we ask that all riders please bring two bags with a max. 10kg weight limit each

One of the great things about Great Vic is that everybody pitches in to help, including with luggage loading and unloading each day.

The new 2 x 10kg bag approach is in line with our OH&S policy, and aims to reduce the risk for everyone who will be handling luggage – including the owner of the bag, their fellow riders and our team.

We recommend one bag for camping gear and one bag for personal items. As you will be expected to load and carry your own bags around the campsite, and set up your tent at each stop, we recommend packing as small and light as possible.

For the safety of all involved, bags identified as over 10kg will be tagged, and will not be handled by our team or fellow riders.

Expert packing tips

Check out our top 10 tips of things to pack on the Great Vic, put together by a group of Great Vic veteran volunteers.

GET THE TIPS

YOUR BIKE

Riding gear to pack

  • Your bike – You won’t get very far without this! If you’re using our transport service, see information about how to pack your bike for our trucks in the drop down below.
  • A helmet – It is mandatory to wear a helmet at all times when riding on the Great Vic. It is also the law when riding on all roads and paths in South Australia and Victoria.
  • Bike lights – A white one for the front and a red one for the back to use in dark conditions. Also remember a charger or spare batteries.
  • Water bottles – While we have rest stops along the way, we encourage all riders to bring two water bottles, and have cages on their bike to carry them while they ride.
  • Spare tyre tubes – Repair kit and bike tool. While we will have mechanical assistance on the ride it is a good idea to always have some spares on you.

Packing your bike

We recommend using a bike bag or box to transport your bike to and from the Great Vic if using our transport

The following advice for bike packing is taken from a 2011 edition of Bicycle Network’s Ride On magazine.

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 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.

You then have to fit it all in, and add padding to vulnerable parts. A spacer to go between the front forks is a good idea (ask your bike shop for one) and pad the bottom of the forks.

The rear derailleur hanger is vulnerable. Before disassembly, shift it on to the gear closest to the wheel (your easiest gear). Protect it with cloth, or bubble wrap. Consider using bubble wrap or foam pipe lagging on other vulnerable parts of your frame.

Your chainrings (front sprockets) may cut through the cardboard: cover their underside in padding strips while securing the pedal crank arms in a horizontal direction.

Use cable ties (toe straps are an excellent, reusable and less damaging alternative; see your bike shop) to secure detached items to the frame, and use plenty of packing tape. And don’t forget to pack tools for reassembly!

If you are travelling with your bike regularly, you may opt for a hard case. They can come with wheels, which helps for transport, and usually have built in padding. But they can cost hundreds of dollars, can add extra weight, and don’t give much room for a lot of extras.

Another alternative is a soft bike bag. They are light and convenient, but offer reduced protection, so make sure you use plenty of padding.

*Worried about lugging an empty bike bag / box around for 10 days while you ride? Rotary will take it off your hands and have it ready for you when it’s time to pack up your bike again, for a small fee!

Do you have any other Great Vic packing tips to share?

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