Brisbane to Sydney: A Tale of Scorching Intercity Cycle Touring (Prologue)

Nearing the start of the summer, the mercury can only travel upwards in the coming months. Summer in Brisbane can be very unpleasant for cycling, let alone long rides spanning the entire day. Not much time left now to fit in one long ride before it gets too hot. For reasons I’ll explain later, I had to do this ride, and I want it done soon, maybe in December? NO, sooner! Okay how bout the end of November, so that I can get a couple of weeks to condition my legs. But wait, only 2 weeks for training, who am I kidding – it won’t make any difference. Next week it is then! So that was basically my thoughts process on a Saturday morning that led me to the decision to ride that 1000km journey to Sydney, commencing only three days later on Tuesday. Phew, that was easy! But of course now comes the hard part, to actually act on it…

That's the plan!

The number of days planned for this ride was 5, averaging 200km per day. Any shorter would require sacrificing some sleep, as I don’t believe my current physical fitness is up for a fast ride like that. Any longer would be costly accommodation wise as I don’t intend to camp since not one of my bikes is currently equipped to hull camping gears. Speaking of carrying capacity, since I won’t be camping, I can travel lighter and faster that way. The ideal bike for this ride is of course my carbon high racer, Carbent Sea Dragon. One large seat bag and two smaller frame bags should be enough to carry one set of cycling apparels, a set of normal clothing, toiletries, sunscreen, backup lights, powerbank, bike tools, pump, a couple of tubes and a tire. Food and water was kept to a minimum as I pass many townships along the journey so I can refuel frequently.

The bike was setup for long Audax rides, so nothing much else needed to be done to make it suitable for a credit card cycle touring. I did however made a few changes, actually they were more like general upgrades. The dynamo headlight was swapped with a higher model B&M Luxos U that comes with USB plug that I use for charging my Garmin GPS and smart phone. The GPS was also upgraded to a newer model Garmin Edge 520 with Open Street Map installed for full navigation support. My existing 44-32-22 triple chainrings were swapped with larger and surprisingly more lightweight 48-36-24, which should reduce the times I run out of gears on the high end. I didn’t measure the overall touring rig weight, but my guesstimate is around 20-22kg – quite a bit less than my 50kg touring behemoth back in 2011!

By far the best upgrade on my high racer!

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