14 Jan OUTBIKE – GULF 2 GULF
NEXT RIDE 4 MAY- 6 JUNE 2022 – OPEN FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST
One of Australia’s great bike touring challenges, Outbike’s Gulf-to-Gulf blazes a trail across the heart of our amazing continent, south to north.
These ancient lands reflect the heritage of many nations of Australia’s First Peoples – who lived out there admirably well – and the courage, stubbornness, successes and tragedies of European explorers like the famed but unfortunate Burke and Wills – and the settlers who forged an existence in what was for them, a land of unforgiving remoteness.
Week One starts in Port Augusta and explores the spectacular Flinders Ranges to reach the desert railhead of Marree.
Week Two traverses the legendary Birdsville Track.
Week Three rolls across Queensland’s vast Channel Country to Mt Isa.
Week Four rides Carpentaria’s Gulf Country to Normanton and Karumba.
THE RIDE IN BRIEF
5 May start from Pt Augusta, arrival Karumba 3 June.
Riders can transfer from Adelaide on our bus on 4 May – and from Karumba to Cairns 5-6 June.
The Gulf to Gulf rides Spencer Gulf all the way to Gulf of Carpentaria in 30 days. A quarter of the route is unsealed, notably the 520km Birdsville Track. Since we began the event in 2005, about 400km has been sealed. It’s getting easier!
For 2022, ride rest days are in Marree, Mungerannie, Birdsville and Mt.Isa.
The ride schedule in the first week will vary slightly from previous, with night stops in Quorn, Hawker, Wilpena, Angorichina Village, Copley and Marree. This splits what was a long day (Quorn to Wilpena 120km) into two days, gives more time at Wilpena and moves a rest day up to Marree.
Karumba has a rest day at ride’s end on 4 June.
Day by Day <approx distance>: Port Augusta <40> Quorn <65> Hawker <55> Wilpena <80> Angorichina <85> Copley <115> Marree x 2 nts <55> Clayton Station <85> Coopers Creek <65> Mungerannie Pub x 2 nts <315 in 4 days> Birdsville x 2 nts <190 in 2 days> Bedourie <195 in 2 days> Boulia <300 in 3 days> Mt Isa x 2 nts <120> Cloncurry <185 in 2 days> Four Ways <200 in 2 days> Normanton <70> Karumba Point.
BACKGROUND: Previous rides ran ‘under our command’ in 2005, 2006, 2016 and 2019. Between 2007 and 2012 several more ran when when Outbike was in other hands.
Riders: We aim for between 12 and 20 riders. We will accept up to 22 registrations to allow for possible withdrawals.
Crew: Staff of 2 to 3 plus a few helpers (free trip) to give a high level of service together with 2 or 3 support vehicles.
Daily Grind: Typical cycling distances are 80km a day on dirt roads (of varying surfaces) and 100km on sealed roads (longest 120km).
Included Meals, Nights, Transfers: Ride includes 33 nights camping (11 at bush sites and rest areas), hearty breakfasts on all days, snacks galore, lunches on 26 ride days, dinners on 11 bush nights (dine at local pubs or make use of campsite-kitchens the rest), extensive rider support and transfers on our bus from Adelaide and on to Cairns.
Cost: Participation per rider in 2022 is $7000 (same as 2019)
2022 RIDER INFORMATION
Bikes: MTB recommended. Hybrid and cross-country bikes OK if you’re expert through sandy patches. Two sets of tyres suggested, knobblies for the dirt and narrower for bitumen. Make sure your bike is comfortable for successive long days.
Hire: We will have a number of MTBs for hire at $500 for the 30 days with two sets of tyres, knobblies and road.
Transfer from Adelaide to Port Augusta: By our mini-coach on 4 May and included in the rate. Our mini-coaches have wide-opening windows, XL-legroom and comfy reclining seats.
Transfer from Karumba to Cairns: Departing on the second day after arrival in Karumba. 2 days with a night camped at Georgetown and a visit to Undara Lava Caves. Transfer and camping is included, while meals and Undarra admission are extra.
Camping gear: We provide Malamoo or Speedy pop-ups (pairs and singles). For mattress, we provide 2 layers, a closed cell insulation mat and a self-inflating soft foam mat. Sleeping bags are available for hire. Spares bags and blankets are carried for colder nights. For the campsite, we have gazebos (some with insect mesh), awnings to use on the sides of vehicles, tables, stools and comfortable chairs. We have a shower enclosure and solar heated water bags. On many nights we will have a campfire.
Bar, entertainments: At bush overnights, alcoholic drinks will be available, usually from 4pm. There’ll also be a bunch of books, games and sports gear. We have a number of documentaries and movies themed to the country we travel.
Power: We have a generator, solar panels and battery storage to provide power in remote locations.
Breakfasts and Lunches: Fuel up on healthy buffet breakfasts. Pack lunch before setting out and we’ll keep it cool for you to pick up at the lunch rendezvous. Dietary requests can be advised and we will cater for these.
Support vehicles: We plan to use 2 or 3 of our 21 seat mini-coaches (with large enclosed trailers) and our 4wd Nissan X-Trail. One vehicle will stay to the rear of the last rider and act as a sag-wagon at day’s end for riders in distress or who have fallen well behind.
Chores: We have most things covered with our staff and helpers. For the 11 bush campsites where we prepare dinners, we’ll run a roster for riders to assist. If you can’t help wanting to help, we’ll find some things you can assist with.
Water points: Each day we will set up water containers at points advised on the day.
Morning Tea: Our crew and vehicle will be typically at 25-40kms with thermoses of brewed coffee, cold drinks, fruit, cake, biscuits and other snacks. Staffed by a crew member or volunteer helper.
Crockery, cutlery: We ask riders to bring their own plate, bowl, cutlery and coffee mug and cup, best kept in a calico bag or similar.
Lunch stop: Typically at 50-80kms with one of our crew and a vehicle on site.
Afternoon Tea: On our longer days we will have an afternoon tea at 75-100 kms.
Volunteer non-rider helpers: We can use up to 3 non-riding helpers for campsite, rider support and catering tasks. It’s a great way to see a lot of Outback Australia at next to no cost.
Fitness: Riders should have experience at completing 100km days and competence at riding on dirt roads.
Medical: Registrants will be required to complete a form advising of medical conditions. We reserve the right to ask for a doctor’s letter if we have concerns about an entrant’s ability to safely ride.
Communications: Several UHF hand-helds will be issued amongst riders. Ride vehicles have UHF radio. A satellite phone is carried.
First Aid: Comprehensive first-aid kits will be on vehicles. We carry plenty of sunscreen and personal insect repellants.
Traffic: The full ride does 2200 kms along remote highways including around 700 kms on remote dirt roads. As it is mostly in Outback SA and Queensland, none of the roads are too busy however care needs to be taken, especially with single lane bitumen, dust clouds, passing trucks and road trains. We recommend riding with a mirror and being prepared to pull over if a large vehicle is likely to pass closely or create serious dust (eg if it also faces oncoming traffic – or on sections where you are on narrow road).
How busy are the roads? Traffic volumes per day, total in both directions approx (using recent annual estimates divided by 365):
Birdsville to Bedourie on the Eyre Development Road 30
Bedourie to Mt Isa on the Diamantina Development Road 45
Mt Isa to Cloncurry on the Barkly Hwy 600 (this section may be busier than the highway’s average). WE HAVE SCHEDULED THIS STAGE ON A SUNDAY TO LESSEN THE NUMBER OF MINING TRUCKS AND GIVE THE OPTION OF RIDING ON THE INLANDER TRAIN.
Cloncurry to Karumba on the Burke Development Road 75
Source: http://rdafcw.com.au/wp-content/uploads/RDA_Northern-Queensland-Strategy_Final-Report.pdf Item 2.3 chart (Cummings Economics derived from vehicle count data from Queensland Department of Transport & Main Roads).
Ride Guide: We issue a descriptive day by day ride guide.
Signage: Our vehicles will display ‘CYCLISTS ON ROAD’ signs. Be advised we do not place marshalls and signage along the daily route. Instructions will be given ahead of any route aspects that may be confusing.
Route Diversions: Conditions in the Outback are subject to change due to occurrences such as rains and floods. Diversions could range from a few hours to a few days and may involve travel on our buses. In 2016 we made it to Birdsville with hours to spare before a deluge that held us up for 4 days – which we managed to catch up on. In 2019 flood water closed the upper Birdsville Track from February to June and for nearly 5 days so we drove around via the Strzelecki Track, Innamincka, the Dig Tree and other dirt trails to reach Birdsville.
* $7000 full ride (same as 2019)
Deposits and payment schedule:
* $100 deposit holds a ride place up until 31 December 2021;
* A second deposit payment of $900 is due by 31 December 2021;
* Full payment is due by end of March 2022.
Rider Registration: Upon receipt of your registration form and deposit, we will write back to confirm receipt and your place.
Expressions of Interest: May be made through 2020.
* Deposits of $100 and $900 are NON-REFUNDABLE.
* Cancellation between 1 April 2022 and the event commencement shall incur a 50% LOSS of the full amount paid.
Travel insurance: Consider a travel insurance policy to cover cancellation or other unseen events.
Cancellation by Outbike: If for any reason we cancel the event, rider monies will be refunded in full.
Fund raising for charity: While we have not linked the event to any specific charity, if any rider seeks to raise funds through their participation they are welcome to advise us of the cause. We can put an item on our home page with a link to help promote.
For expression of interest please email email@example.com or message via the inquiry form below.