The Long Red Ride is a cycling trip from Melbourne to Darwin via the Stuart Highway. The total trip is about 4700 km.
– 1100 km from Melbourne to Adelaide, going the long way via the Great Ocean Road
– 300 km from Adelaide to Port Augusta, which marks the beginning of the Stuart Highway
– 1300 km from Port Augusta to Uluru, which is roughly halfway through the country
– 2000 km from Uluru to Darwin, via Alice Springs
Along the Stuart Highway, there are roadhouses or service stations where it is possible to refill water and get food. On the entire trip, the longest stretch between two service stations is from the roadhouse of Glendambo -112 km from Port Augusta- to the town of Coober Pedy, a distance of 253 km.
According to records of people who have done this (because there are several who have done it!), it takes about 2 to 3 days to make this distance on a loaded bicycle. They also mention a spare water reserve of 10 to 12 liters for this stretch, which is also what I had in mind (so a lot of extra weight the first day)
Timewise, I expect to be able to cycle around 100 km in a day, and I came up with this number like so:
if you cycle 6 hours in a day (spread out, with breaks, lunch, pictures, etc.) at an average speed of 15km/h (which is an easy speed on flat road), that’s already 90 km. so cycling a bit longer or a bit faster than that, doing 100 km in a day should be ok.
I give myself 3 months for this trip, mainly for visa reasons, and also because I want to go home at some point. 4700 km in 90 days, that’s 53 km per day.
That means that if I cycle 100 km in a day, I can rest the next day and be on schedule. Or I can cycle half a day, and rest, and wait the next morning to go on. In other words, the trip will be half cycling, half resting.