Now that the dust has settled after the Brisbane COVID conundrum and states have re-evaluated their border policies with Queensland, we have been able to put plans in place to keep moving west with only slight delay. Meanwhile, we lucked into a beachside campsite at the Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park for the WHOLE Easter long weekend – maybe the covid gods were on our side for once? If you’re ever down on the start of the Great Ocean Road, I highly recommend calling in for a night or four!
One thing we wouldn’t let be turned upside-down by COVID was our training routine – and thus the “Torquay Training Camp” was born. Sounds a little less haphazard than “we just got stuck in Victoria for another 8 days”, eh?
We eased into Training Day 1 greeted by crisp sea air and a beautiful sunrise for a flat 46km loop from Torquay to Barwon Head. By far our favorite part of the ride was the gravel section through the Breamlea Reserve out to Point Impossible, although we may have needed to make sure we still had all our dental fillings after the corrugations along Point Impossible Road. We made sure to enjoy our weekend beachside headquarters and relax for the afternoon with nibbles and drinks watching the last of the surfers catching waves as the sunset.
Day 2 brought on more of a challenge. When planning the route, both Craig and I looked at Komoot’s estimated time and thought “What rubbish! It’s not going to take 5 hours to do 65kms!”. Oh boy were we wrong! 2 hours later and only 25km in we were eating our words. That being said, the gravel tracks were heaps of fun taking us through Great Otway National Park out to Point Addis and on to Anglesea. We’d planned to go all the way to Aireys Inlet, but decided to shorten the morning ride to 46km and loop around back of Anglesea and head back to Torquay for a quick ocean dip to cool off while warm weather and sunshine was still on the menu.
After caning the legs on gravel and single track, Day 3 saw us opt for a slightly altered route from Day 1 and head across the bridge from Barwon Head to Ocean Grove (61kms return). Following a relaxing lunch of chilli scrabbled eggs from BumbleBeez Café in Anglesea, I decided to take advantage of the warm afternoon and squeeze in a second ride for some fast gravel practice. This time heading down the Surf Coast Track to Bells Beach (10km return) and then finishing with a paved sprint through town before dinner. Note: DON’T ride the gravel track down to Bells Beach, unless you want to hike-a-bike up and out – rookie error!
Day 4 had us looking appropriately dressed like matchy-matchy giant pink easter eggs and ready to take on the 65km return trip to Aireys Inlet, this time without the 25kms of gravel. After somewhat of a gloomy start, the weather gods turned up the sunshine for our entrance into Aireys Inlet where we played tourist at the lighthouse and enjoyed coffee in the garden at The Lighthouse Tea Rooms Café before scooting back to Torquay.
You can check out all our rides on Strava here.