Hello cycling friends.
We sincerely hope you and your loved ones are safe, healthy and you’ve been able to enjoy some time on your bike in your part of the world.
A little warning and apologies for the long-ish newsletter, it’s been a while between newsletter updates and it’s been a trying year for many of you too. We’re all in good spirits but not many of us could have foreseen the scale of the ongoing international crisis.
We’ve been a little quiet on the newsletter platform for some time, mainly due to the loss of two family members, my Dad, and Uncle. They passed away just 21 hours apart in Pat’s hometown of Adelaide, South Australia – Home of the Tour Down Under.
The trip home to Adelaide from Melbourne meant an 800km drive in a less than ideal travel format, dealing with a few stumbling blocks relating to the full lockdown that was in place at the time. Fortunately, we made it on time, which allowed us to say our final farewells and give tributes to two great men in our lives.
We took some time out to help us come to terms with the changes. The experience taught us a few things, to enjoy what we do have & that we’ll be watching the 2021 cycling season and Giro d’Italia from the comforts of home in Melbourne, Australia
Vale Pat Fitzpatrick Snr.
International travel into and out of Australia at the moment is still very limited, hence we chose to support a bunch of local cycling events, on-road and, some superb gravel events too. We’ve taken the opportunity to travel to the events all which happen within our state of Victoria, with our small family, a lot of luggage and a lot of bikes :-)
Great times with the family, catching up with many of you who are local, meeting up with old and new passionate cycling friends.
International travel confidence is growing, we are pleased our North American friends are optimistic about the years ahead as we see strong vaccine rollouts occurring in many countries around the world.
We are all looking forward to the positive changes, you can continue to count on our flexible approach, particularly in introducing new schedules and events to cater to things as changes occur. Rest assured that we will keep you updated and continually communicate with everyone regarding tours and travel.
If you have paid for a tour deposit or made tour payments, we can inform you that our suppliers of Hotels, Restaurants, Sportive events, etc have confirmed the rollover of our bookings and payments until things improve in individual areas, they are also keen to see us back enjoying the world by bike.
A Change of Plans in Australia
Meanwhile, here in Australia, our guests’ safety and interstate travel confidence is our top priority. We discussed our collaboration tour plans and concerns with the Rapha Australia team. After lengthy deliberation, we decided that it wasn’t going to be the best time for organised group events, although the groundwork had been done for the scheduled tours for the Australian Alps and Tasmania, we were not confident that we could move people around safely. Health and safety will always be our priority, we all agreed the group events should be postponed and rescheduled until later in the year and early 2022 if things pick up.
You can see more information about the Rapha Tasmanian Trips here, where you can also register your Expression of Interest (EOI).
Our Weekend Package Plans
We currently have additional weekend packages available for Australia, perfect for small groups, families, private groups, cycling clubs, etc. These trips can be organised as all-inclusive type packages, self-guided, DIY, etc.
Locations include but are not limited to:
- Yarra Ranges, Victoria
Experience the beautiful Yarra Ranges area in Victoria and the Black Spur. It’s a rewarding long weekend escape that showcases scenic attractions. Enjoy the finest food and drinks that the Yarra Valley offers, along with superb accommodation, golf for those who’d prefer 18 holes over bikes, and many great rides we have put together just for you.
If you’re up for the challenge, we’ll climb Mt Baw Baw, which is considered one of the hardest climbs in the country. We will also take on Lake Mountain, whose summit stands at over 1,400 metres above sea level. Mt Donna Buang, with around 1,200-metre elevation, is also a noteworthy pursuit.
- Goldfields Region, Victoria
Part of one of our recent family long weekend escapes was to attend the inaugural Dirty Pig & Whistle, an exciting Gravel event in Creswick.
We’ve now added luxurious cycling tour options for you to enjoy the area with your friends, small groups, and families to enjoy these chic weekend packages for road, gravel, and or MTB riding. There’s some superb riding, a bike-friendly community and hotel, beautiful local produce, a fantastic inhouse restaurant, golf for those who’d prefer 18 holes over bikes, and wildlife aplenty in this historic gold mining region.
- Melbourne, Victoria
Experience Melbourne, Victoria differently for a weekend or week-long getaway. We’ve teamed up with a lovely cycling-friendly hotel in the heart of Melbourne, its off-bike facilities are first class, they have some of the best gym, pool, and restaurant facilities we’ve ever had the privilege of seeing.
Your experience by bike in Melbourne can be tailored to take in the best daily riding experiences Melbourne has to offer on road, gravel, mountain bike, and or by Tern e-bikes which are perfect for foodie, coffee, art, sports, and or exploring Melbourne tours, these are great for “non-cycling” partners who still like to be active and explore Melbourne safely by bike.
It’s a rewarding long weekend escape that showcases the scenic attractions Melbourne has to offer, it’s a city that has fast become Australia’s premier cycling city with plentiful cycling routes into and out of the city, landscapes and terrain appropriate for riders of all levels, you’ll enjoy the finest food and drinks personally selected by us, that the city of Melbourne has to offer.
Wrap up of Events
We attended and rode at the following events listed below, we love our cycling community, it’s a joy to lend a hand to fix pre-event mechanical issues, we had our tour equipment with us to assist with a quick repair, last-minute talks of encouragement & or pre-event giggles, or anything else that every one required before the events.
It was great to catch up with so many people and provide a place to rest under the shelter of our event tents and provide a place to store bags, kit, mingle and tell some big stories of triumph after each event.
The following are some of the recent events, their details, and some early bird dates for 2022 events that have popped up already. Each event has a link that will either direct you to a page on our website or to the individual event webpage where you can get more information. Let us know if we can assist to bring a weekend package together for any of the events listed.
Hell of the North – Rapha RCC Ride
Original Date: 11 April, a superb day out on a route curated by ourselves and Rapha over Melbourne’s finest paths, pave-cobbles, laneways, and off the beaten track Melbourne adventure was experienced by all.
Rescheduled to October 2021 and Early 2022 in some parts of the world, please check your location for more details.
Please note that Hell of the North is a global event. Ride International assists with the planning of the Melbourne event. You may want to check if your location is on the list via the Rapha website.
Date: April 1-3, 2022
Location: Warburton – Yarra Ranges, Victoria
The Giro Della Donna weekend wrapped up recently and was a total success! This superb weekend is one of my favourite events each year, it consisted of Gravel cycling, family rides, and a delightful Coppi Dinner everyone loved. Of course, there was the challenging yet memorable Giro Della Donna event, which took place on 28 March.
Date: 2022 to be advised
Location: Beechworth, Victoria
It was a marvellous weekend indeed! About 350 people were in attendance to witness the beautiful views and experience Beechworth’s gravel roads. It was a jam-packed event with activities with different gravel grades, breathtaking views, tricky climbs, and some much-appreciated refreshments.
Date: 23rd-24th April 2022
Location: Creswick, Victoria
We invite you to be a part of this upcoming event in late April 2022. Be sure to contact us and register your interest. You will receive an inclusive style weekend package, which includes staying at the fantastic bike-friendly hotel in the centre of the ever-lovely Goldfields Region.
Photos below from the 2021 Pig & Whistle gravel event
Date: May 22nd – 2022 date to be advised
Location: Brunswick, Victoria.
A ride route curated by us at Ride International in collaboration with Bridge Road Brewers for the Good Beer Week festival.
Our brief was simple – design a ride so that everyone involved in the “Liver Destroying week” would have something to look forward to over varied parkour of greater Melbourne’s finest paths, gutters and backtrails, with optional cobble, gravel and Melbourne’s steepest street sectors for the super adventurous to assist infuse some goodness and healthy habit’s back into everyone.
It was a superb morning of fun and two-wheel adventure around the 50km course. To top it all off Bridge Road Brewers shouted everyone their first post-ride beer! A raging success, bravo to everyone who came out.
If you love racing, we highly recommend tuning in to the current and upcoming European events via television or internet subscriptions. We’re currently loving the excitement of the Giro d’Italia, we’ve also witnessed a few remarkable events close to us personally already this year, including the women’s races, where Australia’s Grace Brown from Greenedge | Bike Exchange won “Three Days of Bruges-De Panne” held in late March and again recently in Spain Grace has returned to her winning ways.
It has been a delightful experience to be a member of Grace Brown’s support team, Grace has been such a joy to watch as she has claimed her spot at the head of the women’s peloton. Just a few years ago, we started working with Grace to help finetune her technique and improve her race craft, mostly on Melbourne’s cobbled lanes, sprinting – attacking techniques, and overall bike skills.
Grace’s recent races showed the boost in confidence that she has gained, Grace has recently been selected for the Australian Olympic squad bound for Japan for the Road and Time Trial teams. Bravo Grace, congratulations.
Grace has received the Ride International skills coaching scholarship for the last three seasons. This scholarship is handed out every year, we donate the scholarship to a rider with a promising future. Once on tour with us, we always like to infuse plenty of foundation biking skills into all who are interested in improving their bike techniques, ask us how.
Reach Out to Us
The Ride International team is always happy to hear from you. Contact us through email, phone, or video call. You choose whichever works best for you.
Don’t miss any updates by connecting with us on our social media pages, including our Facebook group. Join the group to get essential guides, with a special focus on smaller races such as Volta a Catalunya or the Tour of Catalunya, held in Northern Spain each year, or the route du sud the lead-up race to the Tour de France.
Additionally for Melbourne – Australian locals, connect on our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter accounts as we often host social ride events to honour Europe’s finest races.
Please accept our genuine appreciation for your support. We thank everyone for making past cycling travel trips here in Australia and our European tour events such a success. We share the same sentiments with you, as we see some light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine distribution. In line with this, we’re enjoying looking ahead, feeling more confident in travelling and looking forward to experiencing some more beautiful parts of the world by bike once again soon.
Take care, stay safe.
All the best