Ben Stanton is a world traveller with a flair for photography. He recently took on a 1,200km bike ride along the coast from Sydney to Melbourne using the Reid Granite 3.0. Read on to see how Ben went on his ride!
'I should start this review by openly admitting that I am far from being a professional bike rider. Before I decided to ride from Sydney to Melbourne the furthest I had ridden in a day was around 40kms. Nevertheless, I had decided that riding 1,200kms along the coast from Sydney to Melbourne in the middle of winter with next to no training was a good idea.
A little bit of background about myself:
5 years ago I was stuck behind a desk working long hours as a Chartered Accountant. I was earning a decent salary, but the long hours were wearing me down and I felt like there had to be more to life. Having had travelled a bit previously I decided to take “a year off” to explore more of the world. One year quickly snowballed into 2 years; into 3 years; etc. During this time I discovered a passion for creating and fell in love with photography. I’m now lucky enough to travel the world working as a travel photographer and have since visited close to 80 countries on 6 continents.
It’s been shown that you can tour the world on pretty much any bike, however, some bikes are definitely better suited to touring than others. I was searching for an all road bicycle which could handle long distances, was capable of gravel rail trails, and that I could mount pannier bags too. The Granite 3.0 suited my needs perfectly.
Within a few weeks of the initial decision to take on this bike ride I found myself peddling southward out of Sydney. The first few days on the bike were smooth sailing until my body started to let me know that a few training rides might have been a good idea. My knees were feeling the strain of the 4 previous 100km+ days of riding and I found my self-struggling on each hill a little more than the last. A rest day was in order and the NSW beach town of Merimbula couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
After spending a relaxed day exploring the town and it’s beaches I was back on the road feeling like a new man. The next few days were a breeze and I quickly found myself crossing the border into Victoria. Coincidentally this is about the time when the cold weather hit and it made waking up first thing in the morning to jump on a bike an even tougher task. 300kms from home my support vehicle (aka my dad in a motor-home) arrived and I was able to lighten my load a little and only carry the essentials. This made an incredible difference, hills were no longer a problem and I was arriving at my daily destinations hours earlier than I had during the previous week. The last few days quickly flew by and before I knew it I was cycling through the Dandenong Ranges on the last leg of my 1,200km journey back home to Melbourne.
My advice if you’re looking to complete a similar bike tour:
- The Reid Granite 3.0 is a very solid bike touring option. The Granite 1.0 & 2.0 look to be good choices as well if you’re after more budget-friendly options.
- Don’t rush your trip or give yourself a deadline to reach your final destination. Take it slow and enjoy the sights along the way.
- Try and take the scenic back roads whenever you can, riding along the side of busy highways for hours on end is no fun.
- Massive training rides in preparation aren’t essential, you’ll become bike fit after a few days in the saddle.
- Don’t give yourself a deadline that you need to arrive at your final destination. (You’ll feel the pressure of riding long distances each day and won’t be able to stop on a whim along the way to enjoy places you pass).
- There will always be more hills that you anticipate. (I took the coastal route and was still surprised at how many hills there were).
- Bring lots of water, you’ll drink more than you think and sometimes it’s a long ride between towns.
- Don’t pack too much stuff - I had a lot of heavy camera gear with me because I needed it for work and I definitely felt the extra weight riding up hills.'
Follow Ben on Instagram - instagram.com/benpstanton to see more of his travels and to stay updated on his future adventures.
To learn more about the Granite 3.0 click here