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Get up close on a holiday with 5000 other kindred spirits
The RACV great Victorian bike ride is on again riding from Mount Gambier to Geelong on Saturday, 23 November through to Sunday, 1 December 2013.
With entry fees ranging from free to $995 it is certainly set to bring a diverse group of people to our roads.
For those who think of a vacation as an opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family - this may be just the ticket, with is a classic cycling holiday along the Great Ocean Road through the Otways to celebrate the 30th RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride.
If you are the sort of person who likes to get away from it all on your own, this may not fit the bill for you, as there will be over 5000 riders taking part, aged from 10 years to over 80.
However if fitness and the great outdoors is your style this 610 km bike riding holiday will be sure to inspire you with dramatic rock formations as you travel past the 12 apostles, postcard beautiful scenery through the Otway Ranges and perhaps even a swim in some of Melbourne's finest beaches.
The RACV Great Victorian bike ride commences in Mount Gambier, South Australia at the Blue Lake. From here they plan to stop overnight at Nelson on the 23rd, then Portland on the 24th, Port Fairy on the 25th, Port Campbell for two nights on the 26th and 27th, continuing onto Gellibrand on the 28th, Birregurra on the 29th, Torquay on the 30th and will conclude in Geelong.
If you would like to be part of it but really can't get away for the week or wouldn't want that much exercise, you can still join in a three day RACV Great Victorian Getaway which travels from Gellibrand to Geelong.
I haven't personally experienced this event, but a couple of my friends have done it and they said it is quite awe-inspiring being on a bike at one with nature and cycling through these amazing sceneries and as it is a fully catered camping holiday over nine days, you're completely taken care of.
They advised me that there was a full backup support team which included all your luggage transported along the way, a licensed cafe under canvas and heaven forbid if anything should go wrong, they had medics on board and also bicycle repair service people.
If you don't want to ride, but still long to be involved, you can come along and volunteer with the other 400 volunteers that make this such a well catered for event.
Saturday the 23rd to Sunday, 1 December 2013
From Mount Gambier to Geelong
You have three ride options
The RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride has just advised me that there are currently only limited places available when this article went to publication, so if you are thinking of joining in, get in quickly so that you do not miss out. The last time that RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride travelled along this route, the ride sold out very quickly.
Although this is a bike ride, it is also a camping holiday and most of the riders will pitch their own tent every day on the different campsites.
Some tips to ensure that you get the most out of this event: Make sure your bike is in good condition, perhaps taking it in for a service beforehand. Although it can be fixed along the way, this will slow down your experience and have you sitting on the side of the road instead of riding.
Check all of your camping equipment and make sure it is in good condition. You'll be setting it up and taking it down every night and every morning so you may like to consider a quick and easy way to do this, however you will also need to think about which ones are best suited to your preferences and your requirements.
There is no guarantee over the weather and you are in Victoria, so it could be scorchingly hot one day and blizzard cold the next day; make sure you have a variety of clothing for all climates and weather conditions.
Although you can take any bike you want, the route is better suited to a road bike as you will be travelling along many roads.
Each day the rider route will open at 6:30 AM in the morning and close at 9 AM with the exception on the first day when it opens at 9 AM and closes at 12 PM.
The campsites are well maintained by the local councils and menus are available from the RACV.
They do have a sleep easy accommodation program - at the time of publication the sleep easy accommodation was currently sold out.
The early bird discounted price has currently been extended until October 30 for all RACV members, therefore you can save $100 when you enter the three or nine day ride options.