Explore like never before with RIDE Media’s #RideRoadTrip video series, presented by Let’s Go Motorhomes.
Cycling Holiday // Video Series – By Rob Arnold
The aim was to ride somewhere different, to take some time to explore new places and get quality time on the bike. A road trip to Wiradjuri Country (in the Central West region of NSW) provided the perfect opportunity to enjoy a fantastic cycling holiday with rides in Orange, Cowra, Grenfell and Forbes, on the road and on gravel.
– Click the link above to watch part 1 of the video series – the introduction.
Every ride has a story, as you’ll discover when you watch the new #RideRoadTrip cycling holiday series on RIDE Media’s YouTube channel. Scroll down the page to discover more about a journey to the Central West of NSW – Wiradjuri Country – which was made possible with the support of Let’s Go Motorhomes.
Click the links to the series of videos (below) and join me as I go west from Sydney and find fabulous places to ride.
It begins at the ‘Newcrest Orange Challenge’ with around 700 other cyclists during a ride organised by the Bicycle Network and after that I was on my own to plot out a course of discovery in places I’d never been before.
With only a rough idea of where I might go and what I might see, the routes for rides were chosen as I went along. There was minimal planning and no script; just ride… and see what happened in different locations, with plenty of distractions. It was a reminder of how much satisfaction can be found when you take a moment to explore.
I hope you enjoy seeing some different places and find inspiration for the next time you get the chance to have a cycling holiday of your own.
About the Motorhome: Let’s Go ‘Roamer’
Built around a Renault Master, the ‘Roamer’ motorhome was the ideal vehicle for the #RideRoadTrip that began with cold conditions on the weekend of the Newcrest Orange Challenge mass participation ride. With temperatures dropping below zero, it was still snug inside.
The Roamer comes complete with a motorised drop-down double bed, shower, toilet and kitchen – including cooktop, microwave, fridge, freezer and all the cooking utensils you could hope for. There’s plenty of storage room, including the nook above the cabin which housed my luggage for the time I spent away.
During the day (ie. when the bed is neatly packed away, up near the ceiling) there’s enough seating for 4-6 people and a central table that is surprisingly stable and suitable for dining and/or working on the laptop. And when it’s time to rest, it takes little time to lower the table, store the seating backrests and lower the bed into place courtesy of an easy-to-use motorised ‘lift’.
Almost everything you need comes as part of the Let’s Go rental package, including: bedding (pillows, doona, sheets, etc), towels and shower mat, outdoor table and chairs, fold-out awning, television, DVD player, radio… and, of course, air-conditioning should you need it.
This was the first holiday I can remember having without packing a bag. Instead, it was simply a case of pulling up outside the office and loading the motorhome with my bikes and kit, setting up the Bluetooth connection (which includes a touch-screen GPS complete with Apple CarPlay for easy connectivity) and driving away.
There is the option of adding a bike rack to the back but, as it was just me on this trip, I opted to pack my bikes – one for the road, one for the gravel – inside the motorhome while driving. When I was parked-up for the evening, I wheeled the bikes outside while prepping dinner; and at night, I lifted the bikes into the front cab (where they easily fit without having to take the wheels off) for a little peace of mind while I slept.
This was my third adventure in a Let’s Go motorhome. The first two were trips with my kids: one with my eldest, a cycling holiday in July last year (when I crashed early on our first ride, fractured a few ribs and punctured a lung… therefore cutting the holiday short), and another with my youngest when we opted for a ‘base on wheels’ when visiting Adelaide for the AFL’s ‘Gather Round’ in April.
Thanks to these earlier experiences, I knew that the motorhome was nice to drive, surprisingly easy to park (with a total length of 650cm). On rougher roads, it can get a little loud during the drive, especially if you haven’t invested some time in ensuring everything is neatly packed away. On this trip, however, the actual drive time was minimal as I never went too far each day – ensuring there was always enough of the day to squeeze in a good ride (or two).
During the trip to South Australia earlier this year, we ventured up into the Adelaide Hills and drove some of the winding, complicated and narrow roads and the Renault managed it all without a fuss.
With an automatic gearbox and a camera up high on the rear that serves as your rearview mirror, it’s easy to drive and you can do so with a standard driver licence.
It is a diesel with a large tank and I managed over 800km on country roads before needing to top up with fuel. (The Let’s Go rental agreement comes with unlimited kilometres, so there’s no need to be concerned about going over a limit and then paying extra should you venture a little further than you might have planned… easy to do, as I have come to learn.)
Let’s Go ‘Roamer’ details
- Rental price: ±AUD$238 per day.
- Minimum hire period: 7 days… but “shorter durations may be available upon application, though liability reduction packages may be restricted for shorter durations”.
- Let’s Go branch locations: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart, Canberra, Geelong, Cairns, Townsville, Broome, Gippsland and Coffs Harbour…
And you can collect at one and return at another, although there is an additional charge for ‘One Way Rentals’. (Check site for specifics.)
Stories of my rides
Have wheels, will travel..! After picking up the Let’s Go ‘Roamer’ motorhome, it was time to pack a couple of bikes and set off on what would become a fantastic cycling holiday.
Scroll down the page to find the links to the YouTube video series and a quick summary of what each ride of my road trip was about….
Let’s Go Motorhomes and Jayco Australia have a long history of supporting cycling in Australia and my hope for this series on RIDE Media is to showcase why these brands are ideally suited to the #CyclingLife.
It’s no secret that the owner of Let’s Go, Gerry Ryan, is a fan of cycling. Over the past 30 years or so, he has invested more into the sport in Australia than anyone else and he remains committed to backing Australia’s only WorldTour registered teams, men and women, for many years to come.
If you’re considering your next cycling holiday, I can highly recommend the Let’s Go Motorhome offerings; not only is this an ideal way to ‘explore like never before’, it also gives back to the businesses that have given so much to cycling.
Note: I would like to acknowledge the Wiradjuri people who are the traditional custodians of the land where this video was recorded. I pay my respect to Elders past and present of the Wiradjuri Nation and extend that respect to other Indigenous Australians. – Rob
#RideRoadTrip video series
Part 2: The Bicycle Network’s ‘Orange Challenge’
The only organised ride of my road trip was the ‘Newcrest Orange Challenge’, an intro to Wiradjuri Country and a chance to join ±700 other cyclists for 170km of exploration.
Part 3: Mount Canobolas – time to climb
If you find yourself in Orange, NSW (Wiradjuri Country) on a fine, still day with a bike and time to spare, what better way to spend a lunchtime than go for a ride up Mount Canobolas. That’s what I did on the Monday of my week away.
In the morning: a reconnaissance drive to the top… then, back down to prep for the ride up and back down again.
Part 4: Exploring on the road around Cowra
The second overnight park-up was in Cowra. After a night in the campsite by the Lachlan River came a very satisfying flat ride on the valley roads…
Flat, fuss-free cycling comes easily when you’re on rural roads. The #RoadTrip / #CyclingHoliday series continues as I explore Cowra and surrounds with a beautiful, relaxing, and surprisingly scenic ride to Billimari and back.
Straight roads, minimal traffic, and time to look around and appreciate the beauty of a region that is ideal for cycling… it’s a reminder of how nice – and easy – it is to get out of town and see somewhere different.
Part 5: Grenfell gravel…
Visit the Weddin Mountains National Park, go off-road… and get lost on the flat trails and farmland that beg to be explored.
While driving from Orange to Cowra I saw the Weddin Mountains in the distance and said to myself, “I’d like to go there.” So I did.
This is essentially the (very long) story about exploring Grenfell, the Weddin Mountains, and surrounds on my gravel bike during a cycling holiday.
I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed riding it.
Part 6a: Start of the last ride… Forbes to Bedgerabong
The idea was, frankly, to make the most of the time I had left on my trip out west. I wanted to ride. And ride. And ride… until I got tired.
I wanted to see Lake Cowal (just because it was there) and I was enjoying the scenery all the way from Forbes towards my rough idea of a destination. So, I took in the sights, meandered (a lot), talked (a lot) and kept on riding… on road, gravel, trails and tracks, but not up any hills.
It was fantastic! A most enjoyable ride.
Part 6b: Rounding out the riding adventure
Continuing with my plan: to keep riding until I was tired – and satisfied. I achieved that with a 150km loop from Forbes, through Bedgerabong, Warroo, Corinella and onwards to Lake Cowal.
It was flat, flat, or flatter and yet there was plenty to keep me amused while I pedalled along wondering where the adventure might end.
Eventually I would find contentment after a week of discovery in a Let’s Go motorhome and plenty bike riding.