Topbike Tours - European Cycling Holiday Specialists

David Olle and Emma Colson

An Australian company, Topbike has a fully equipped European base and its own fleet of high quality hire bikes and E-bikes.

We specialise in quality cycling tours with small groups and are famous for looking after our clients.

+61 415 866 061 (mobile)
PO Box 1717 Collingwood VIC 3066 AUSTRALIA
holiday@topbike.com.au
- SINCE 1997 -

Tour of the Otways
2020 Long Weekends - GRAVEL

MELBOURNE Pick-Up & Return
TOUR I: Sept 4-8, 2020 (FULLY BOOKED)
TOUR 2: Sept 11-18 2020
TOUR 3: Nov 13-17 2020

The Topbike Tour of the Otways will be a long weekend (four days), of riding the gravel roads of the Otway Ranges.

While we will visit the well known towns of Lorne and Wye River along the Great Ocean Road, the emphasis will be on staying off the busy roads, keeping amongst the trees and avoiding as much traffic as possible. 

Also noting that the highest point of the Otways is just on 670m (Mt Cowley), so you won’t be spending all day on one climb. 

All rides are fully supported, starting and finishing in Forrest. We’ll be aiming to ride different roads on all days, with a minimum of overlap.  Initially there will be just 8 places, but we have a possibility for more, if demand increases.  Accommodation and all meals – sourced from local providers (with low food k’s) included.

2020 Tour Dates*

Tour of the Otways
Long Weekends – Gravel
Sept 11-15 2020
Nov 13-17, 2020

Melbourne pick up and return, from your own home/workplace/airport.

Meet up:  12-4.00pm, Sept 11/Nov 13, Melbourne/airport, your address TBA

Drop off:  2-6.00pm, Sept 15/Nov 17, Melbourne/airport, your address TBA

The home pick up will only happen if carpooling is allowed, which it is NOT at present, due to Covid19.


We recommend a gravel style bike to be the most suitable for this ride, or a mountainbike or an Ebike version of either of the aforementioned.  Hire bikes/Ebikes can be organized at an additional cost.  

2020 Tour Price: $1680 (AUD) (Per person)

Rides will average 70k, along with >1600m vertical, per day over 80/20 gravel/bitumen roads.

Topbike Hire Bikes & Electric Bikes

Topbike Hire bikes can be organized at an additional cost.  We have ten 2017 full carbon handmade Italian Casati bikes, all with di2, disc brakes and compact gearing.  There’s also new Wiliers from 2018 and 2019.


Topbike Electric Bikes are also available: E-Bikes are a great option for those occasional riders or partners of riders who want to come on tour. All of Topbikes’ Cycling Tours are achievable by anyone on one of our E-Bikes.

We have ten Garmin 800s (with euro maps) available to use while on tour.

  • Destination

  • Tour Start / Finish

    Based in Forrest VIC
  • Cycling Fitness/Experience

    Any + E-Bikes Available
1

2020: Day 1 |

Melbourne Pickup TOO 1: Fri Sept 11 | TOO 2: Fri Nov 13 |
  With your pick up details confirmed, we will arrive to pick you, your bag, and bike up, during the Friday afternoon.  Once we have everyone aboard we will transport to Forrest, approximately 2h drive from the top of the Westgate Bridge.  Once in Forrest we can set up bikes, ensuring they will be ready to perform over the next four days.  Pre-dinner drinks at the Brewery, followed by a welcome dinner, served inhouse.

Accommodation

Forrest Guesthouse.

Dining

Excellent inhouse dining

2

2020: Day 2 | Big Clockwise Loop to Great Ocean Road (95km)

TOO 1: Sat Sept 12 | TOO 2: Sat Nov 14
Big Clockwise loop down to the GOR & return (95k) 
We are starting with our biggest day on the bike. So, there’ll be breakfast, with plenty of coffee, before we start, and ride north out of Forrest, towards Barwon Downs. Here we leave the bitumen as we turn onto Delaneys track, and head towards Lorne, climbing all the way to the top of the ridge, and Mt Sabine Rd. We descend past the Falls Festival farm, down to Lorne, turning towards the south-west, stopping for coffee at Wye River. Now we stay on the great ocean road until Kennett River, where we take the Grey River Rd and commence our second climb for the day up towards Mt Sabine. After passing the highest point of todays ride -635m- (possible picnic spot) we join the Kaanglang Rd, and descend all the way back to Forrest. Aperitifs on the back deck of Topbike HQ, followed by dinner at the Guesthouse.

Accommodation

Forrest Guesthouse.

Dining

in-house dining

Ride: < 95km, < 2200m asc, 60% gravel
 asc.

Terrain: 2 big bergs with 20k of flat GOR in the middle

3

2020: Day 3 | Medium size loop, out to the north-east
 (85km)

TOO 1: Sun Sept 13 | TOO 2: Sun Nov 15 | 
We’ve got an 80k loop today, as we head out of Forrest to the north-east. Starting with two long climbs, we have a flattish run in through farmlands to finish. Our first climb is up Thompsons Track, which is an excellent road for spotting wildlife. As I once rode side by side with a wallaby along here, for a short stretch. We use Cowley track as a descent back into the big smoke of Barwon Downs, where we hook right and start the second climb up Neck track. Remembering today, that both our peaks are under 600m. Wickham track runs us out of the hills, before we turn for a long ramble home through farmlands, across the top of the mountainbike park, with the Rail Trail home to finish. Late lunch on the back deck of Topbike HQ. NB we do not pass one shop on today’s ride, so any coffee stops will have to be of a ‘creative’ style.

Accommodation

Forrest Guesthouse

Dining

In-house dining

Ride: 92% Dirt / 1900m asc.

Terrain: 2 big long climbs, spread out. Flattish to finish.

4

2020: Day 4 | Anti-clockwise loop, heading west-sou-west
 (80km)

TOO 1: Mon Sept 14 | TOO 2: Mon Nov 16 |
Another medium sized loop today, as we head out of town on bitumen, towards Colac. While we do go a long way south into the heart of the Otways, we really only have ‘one and a half’ climbs today, and most of the climbing is completed in the first 30k, before we reach our southern most point of Beech Forest. We’ll stop for coffee at Ferguson, and ride the Gellibrand rail trail north, and home again through a different selection of farmlands.

Accommodation

Forrest Guesthouse

Dining

In-house dining

Ride: 77k, 1444m asc, 91% dirt.

Terrain: little hill, big hill, flattish to finish

5

2020: Day 5 | Wednesday 1000 loop – albeit on Tuesday

TOO 1: Tues Sept 15 | TOO 2: Tues Nov 17 | 
Our traditional Wednesday morning winter ride, but now it’s on Tuesday, in spring. We start with a climb out of Forrest up the Kaanglang Rd – that we used as descent home on Saturday. Turning left onto the Mt Sabine Rd for a short while, then left again onto Thompsons track. Down-up-down all the way back around to Forrest. We’ll have lunch back at the Guesthouse before loading the cars and returning everyone back to Melbourne..

Ride: 95% dirt.

Terrain: one long climb, with a couple of lil' ‘up’ kickers on the descent

Included in your tour is all transport from Melbourne to Forrest and back again, for you, your bike and one bag, accommodation, all breakfasts, lunches and all dinners. Also included are your experienced and knowledgeable guides, maps, training tips, coaching (if required) and mechanical back-up for your bike. Please also see our recommended list of things to bring.
NB: The itinerary above is to be used as a guide only, as Topbike Tours are well known for making use of all (and creating some extra) opportunities, expect that variations from the above can happen at any time. Please note all distances are approximate and subject to change.

2020 Topbike Tour of the Otways - 'Long Weekends -Gravel'

Melbourne - Melbourne, with our Base in Forrest

The Topbike Tour of the Otways will be a long weekend (four days), of riding the gravel roads of the Otway Ranges. While we will visit the well known towns of Lorne and Wye River along the Great Ocean Road, the emphasis will be on staying off the busy roads, keeping amongst the trees and avoiding as much traffic as possible. Also noting that the highest point of the Otways is just on 670m (Mt Cowley), so you won’t be spending all day on one climb. All rides are fully supported, starting and finishing in Forrest. We’ll be aiming to ride different roads on all days, with a minimum of overlap.
(*NB: Locations shown above are approximate only.)