Our trip plan was to ride from home, Sandy Beach, about 20k north of Coffs Harbour, on the east coast of NSW (Australia)… to Sydney.
Total distance – around 600 + k, and around (at least) 8-9 days. . as coastal as possible, and staying off the highway as much as possible. A bit of dirt. The occasional ferry.
This is the start of (hopefully) regular tandem tours, both here in Oz, and overseas, and so this first big trip is a bit of a practice run for a proposed trip over to the US next year to buy a new tandem and then give it a whirl down the US west coast.
We perhaps don’t qualify as hardcore bike tourers – we’re in the credit card tourer category… slumming it in motels. Weight and space on the tandem plus middle age are our excuses for not lugging camping gear.. at least for now.
Because the plan was to travel as light as possible, we also planned on only taking phones (not a laptop). I blogged via phone app as we went (mainly to keep family and friends updated each day on how we were going. I’ve come back afterwards to fill in the details (and change it from a sort of present tense to past tense.)
As a bit of a background, we have hardly ridden the tandem at all this past year, (and I was sick for several days leading up to our trip) so we figured we’d ‘train’ as we went, and not go too overboard with the daily distances. As well as the trip being a practice run for what gear to take, it would also serve as a trial for our optimum daily distances, need for rest days, and the like.
I booked ahead with accommodation for our first two nights at Nambucca and then Crescent Head. After that, we decided we’d book as we went.
Future trips won’t be quite so easy for transporting us and bike to either (or both) the start and finish. For this trip the cheapest and most logical option was for me to drive our van to Sydney a couple of days beforehand and leave it at my sister’s place. I nabbed a $50 flight back to Coffs the next day, and we set off the next morning.
This is a link to a rough plot of the route we intend to take:
Road conditions, weather, or fatigue (or Marc pulling a stunt on Monday night to get back to Coffs for a touchy footy final and then back again!!) might change things.
At the start our proposed overnights were:
Nambucca, Crescent Head, North Haven, Forster, Bulahdelah, Newcastle, Terrigal …
UPDATE: We mostly stuck to that route, but as you’ll see in the blog posts, we ended up staying in Port Macquarie (instead of North Haven/Laurieton), and we skipped Bulahdelah by taking a National Parks locked gate road between Seal Rocks Rd, and Mungo Brush.