Cycling the Great Ocean Road

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The Great Ocean Road (GOR) is one of the best roads Australia has on offer. The road takes you through Rain forests. As well as beaches and spectacular cliffs and offers beautiful scenery & breath taking coastlines. You’ll feel like you’re riding on a race track as the road twists and winds its way around the coastline. It’s certainly a playground for cyclists and it’s a hell of a spot to ride your bike!

Great Ocean Road CCdoh1 Flickr
Image taken by CCdoh1; courtesy of Flickr

The GOR follows the coast along the south-eastern coast of Australia.  Its 243 kilometres in length windinng its way through varying terrain along the coast and provides access to several prominent landmarks.  Including one of Australia’s most iconic attractions; the Twelve Apostles.

Great Ocean Road Jimmy Harris Flickr
Image taken by Jimmy Harris; courtesy of Flickr

The GOR attracts some of the best riders from around the world.  It is host to several internationally famous events including the Cadel Evans challenge & Amy Gillets Gran Fondo.

Great Ocean Road Dawolf Flickr
Image taken by Dawolf; courtesy of Flickr

The area is steeped in history & is known as the Shipwreck coast. There are approximately 638 known shipwrecks along Victoria’s coast, where gales, human error and, in some cases, foul play caused these vessels to be wrecked.

Explorer Matthew Flinders said of the Shipwreck Coast, “I have seldom seen a more fearful section of coastline.

Cycling the Great Ocean Road

History

It was envisaged that the road would connect isolated settlements along the coast & to become a vital transport link for the timber industry and tourism.

The road was originally built in-between 1919 to 1932 and 3,000 returned soldiers were hired to construct the road. The GOR was dedicated to soldiers killed during World War 1.

Construction was done by hand.  Workers used explosives, pick and shovels, wheel barrows, and some small machinery.  At times construction was dangerous, with several workers killed on the job.

The final sections along steep coastal mountains being the most difficult to work on. In its original state, the road was considered a formidable drive.  Given that it fitted only a single vehicle comfortably at any given time. Areas with sheer cliffs would be most hazardous.  With only few places for drivers to pull over to allow others to proceed in the opposite direction.

Verdict

Whether you head out to ride a small section of the GOR or attempt the full distance this is a bucket list ride.  It is arguably one of Australia’s best stretches of road to ride.

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2 thoughts on “Cycling the Great Ocean Road

    Dave Edwards said:
    March 2, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Oh man, this road is simply stunning to ride a bike on. The flow of the bends, the climbs, the surface, the views, everything. It is excellent.

    Brendan responded:
    March 2, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Especially when you use it as a warm-up ride eh Mr Edwards?

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