Cyclists of all persuasions are increasingly combining their hobby with their holidays, taking their bikes around the State’s coastal roads, mountain trails, family-friendly tracks and gourmet cycling escapes.
One of Australia’s premier cycle destinations, Victoria’s High Country, is home to a network of more than 250km safe, scenic, off-road rail trails in the regions of Mansfield, Mt Buller, Milawa, Bright, Rutherglen, Beechworth and King Valley, catering to young families, cross-country beginners and downhill trailblazers.
The daring 7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge, is for serious mountain bikers and starts on 27 October. This is where cyclists take on the toughest road climbs in Australia over five months at their own pace. In contrast, the food lover’s Pedal to Produce routes are a great way to combine cycling with gourmet stop-overs around the picturesque villages of North East Victoria. Visitors can pick up the High Country Cycle Guide which is the definitive go-to for cycling in the region.
Well established rail trails wind their way across regional Victoria, catering to all levels of riding. Suggestions include the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail (Wangaratta to Bright); Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail (from outer Melbourne to the Yarra Valley region); Great Southern Rail Trail (in Gippsland region from Leongatha to Foster); and the Bellarine Peninsula Rail Trail (South Geelong to Queenscliff). The trails take cyclists through spectacular scenery dispersed with tempting local gourmet delights along the way.
The Great Ocean Road region offers scenic rail trails and road cycling in and around Victoria’s most iconic coastal drive. Technical mountain biking can also be enjoyed in the Great Otway National Park with 40km of purpose-built tracks at Forrest. Nestled in the heart of the Otways, Forrest has gained a reputation as one of Australia’s best mountain bike destinations. However no doubt the jewel in the crown for the region is the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. A professional one day road race for women and men with a people's ride for amateurs to join in on the action from 25 - 28 January 2018.
More heart-pumping mountain bike action can be enjoyed in the Pyrenees area within the Grampians region or weaving through old mining sites on the Goldfields Track between the towns of Ballarat and Bendigo. Cycling enthusiasts can also tackle the steep rocky landscapes at Lysterfield Lake in the Dandenong Ranges, one of most popular mountain biking destinations in Victoria.
Within the city, Melbourne offers a Metropolitan Trail Network spanning 1,200 kilometres (of existing and proposed trails), an extensive network of bike paths, a number of bike hire schemes and cycling tours. Some popular cycling trails include Bayside Trail along Port Phillip Bay, the Capital City Trail which circumnavigates the city or the Bay Trail through beach side St Kilda.
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