Snowy River Cycling

FAQ Guided Tours

You will almost certainly not be the first person to ask a question about our tours. Have a look at these Frequently Asked Questions about our most popular tours.

Snowgums to Seaweed FAQ

Gippsland Trails Tour FAQ

Snowgums to Seaweed Tour Frequently Asked Questions

How fit do I need to be?

This tour will suit cyclists who are fit and regularly cycle 40 km or more once or twice a week. As a guide, you should aim to be comfortable riding at least 60km in a day, including extended steady climbs (ie at least 2 km) and unsealed roads, to be ready to ride all of the tour. There is more downhill than uphill over the whole tour, but you will still regularly be riding uphill on roads that may have a loose surface.

This is a great introductory tour for those who have done most of their riding on sealed paths and want to discover the joys of riding off the beaten track. While this is not a technical mountain bike tour, you will frequently be descending on gravel roads which could occasionally be rough, and are likely to encounter minor obstacles such as forest litter and sandy patches. We strongly recommend that you spend some time training for this ride on unsealed roads if possible.

Your training program for this tour should include cardio vascular fitness; some strength building (short sharp climbs on a loose surface can ask a bit from your muscles) and endurance. There’s nothing like spending hours on a bike to prepare your body and mind for ....well …. spending hours on a bike. A medical check up is recommended before starting any fitness training program.

Don't forget that a support vehicle is available on all tours if you prefer to shorten your days ride.

What sort of bike do I need?

A mountain or hybrid type bike with front suspension, tyres with good grip and a minimum of 35 mm wide, and a wide range of gears is required for this ride. A comfortable seat (its an intimate relationship - be selective) is essential, and you should ensure that you have been properly fitted to your bike with correct seat position - your friendly bike shop should be able to do this for you. Your bike must have had a recent service before coming on tour.

If you don't have a suitable bike, or it is inconvenient to transport, you can hire a mountain bike from us for the tour.

How remote is the tour?

The human inhabitants - if there are any - of many areas we ride through would drive at least one hour to buy a loaf of bread, and in some areas two hours to get to a supermarket. Much of the ride area is out of range of mobile phones – although you can pick up messages and calls in some surprising places! Our tours utilize satellite phones and radios to maintain contact between vehicles and riders, and between tour guides and the outside world. For everyone's peace of mind we do strongly recommend that you have ambulance or travel insurance that will cover your evacuation in a medical emergency

What’s the weather like?

East Gippsland receives typical Victorian weather which can include long stable periods as well as warm to hot northwesterly systems followed by cold and sometimes wet southwesterly winds. At any time of year a wide variety of weather conditions can be experienced over the space of a few days. As a general rule, the coastal areas of East Gippsland have milder weather than Melbourne: a degree or two warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Some days' rides are into areas over 1000m high, so can be much cooler than on the coast. Spring and autumn generally provide terrific cycling conditions.

How much traffic is there?

Wallabies, lyrebirds, goannas, kangaroos and the occasional stockman with a mob of cattle are all common users of the roads our tours travel on. Occasional sightings of rare motorized specimens occur from time to time. At times of mass migration up to five vehicles per hour may occur on the busiest roads.

What type of roads do we ride on?

The routes utilize a variety of roads that take us to the most scenic and interesting places as well as providing an enjoyable ride! The tour itineraries describe the road surface types based on the following definitions:

Forest tracks: formed but unsurfaced, could include sections with sand, loose rocky surface or forest litter; a few sections only passable by 4WD, however most would allow a 2 WD vehicle to be driven with care. Unsealed: Formed road with gravel surface, generally well maintained. Sealed: Surfaced with asphalt or concrete: all sealed roads used in these tours are extremely quiet.

Are there hills?

Most of Australia is flat. The bottom right corner – where East Gippsland lies - is crumpled. This gives rise to a staggering variety of landforms, ecosystems and roads that wind up and down. On our tours you will find some little hills, long hills, short sharp hills: what goes up must come down. The "Snowgums" tour overall has less hills as some of the longer climbs are taken care of by the bus.

Each route is test ridden before we take you on it, so we can advise you each day exactly what the day's ride entails. You can choose your hills! – ride some, all, or catch a lift in the support vehicle. Hills are definitely not all bad: as well as the huge sense of achievement at the top of each climb, they slow you down to take in more of your surrounds, they’re great for forming a real sense of camaraderie and importantly, justify an extra piece of cake at morning tea.

How long do we ride for each day?

Most days we will be on the road riding by 9 am and finish riding by 4 pm, with enough time during the day to absorb the view, explore some short walking tracks off the route and relax with a cup of tea or coffee at lunch. Some days could be a little longer than this, depending on the groups speed and tendency to be distracted from riding;on longer days we may start a bit earlier.

I’m gluten intolerant….

Meat eaters, vegetarians and special diets can all be catered for. Just indicate on your registration form if you have particular dietary needs.

Is it suitable for children?

Snowgums to Seaweed may be suited to some children, but we recommend you phone and talk to us to discuss whether our tours will suit your family. We do not accept children carried on bike seats, however young children in a trailer may suit tours, likewise children on ‘tagalongs’ (but you will need to be extra fit!) The tours could be ridden by very fit, enthusiastic children from as young as eight, but both you and the children would need to be very well prepared.

Children travelling in the support bus must always have their parent/ carer travelling with them. Children over 4 years of age pay the same fare as adults.

Why do I need to sign an "Exclusion of Rights to Sue" waiver?

This waiver is a legally binding document in which you accept the inherent risks associated with cycling. Without the waiver, common law in Victoria says that you are entitled to sue if someone sells you goods or services which cause you to die or sustain injury. Any "adventure" activity carries an inherent risk due to the nature of the activity. Many tourism businesses in Victoria stopped operating, until a law was passed in which participants can be asked to set aside this specific right. It is now a common requirement of adventure activity to require participants to sign this or a similar waiver, with most insurance companies requiring that we do so!

It does not remove your rights if there has been negligence on the part of the operator, causing you to suffer injury or death.

Rider safety is of paramount importance to Snowy River Cycling. We have a comprehensive Risk Management Plan to do everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable tour for all riders.

Gippsland Trails Tour Frequently Asked Questions

How fit do I need to be?

This tour will suit cyclists who are fit and regularly cycle 30 km or more once or twice a week. As a guide, you should aim to be comfortable riding at least 40 km in a day, to be ready to ride all of the tour. Ideally you should do some of your pre ride training on unsealed tracks and trails to adjust to the slightly slower and less smooth ride.

Don't forget that a support vehicle is available on all tours if you prefer to shorten your days ride.

What sort of bike do I need?

We recommend that your bike has tyres with a minimum width of 32mm, a robust tread ( you don't need knobbly tyres, but slicks aren't appropriate), at least five gears and a seat that you have ( or are prepared to develop) a long term relationship with. This will generally mean most hybrids, cyclocross, adventure bikes and mountain bikes. Pedal assist, or E Bikes that are similarly equipped are welcome on this tour.

If you don't have a suitable bike, or it is not convenient to transport, we can provide bike hire for the tour.

How remote is the tour?

The tour passes through a small town at least every 20 km, except for the last 2 days. Most days we also pass through a larger regional town. For most of the tour there is mobile phone coverage with at least Telstra; other carriers will have more frequent dead spots.

What’s the weather like?

Gippsland receives typical Victorian weather which can include long stable periods as well as warm to hot northwesterly systems followed by cold and sometimes wet southwesterly winds. At any time of year a wide variety of weather conditions can be experienced over the space of a few days. As a general rule, the coastal areas of East Gippsland have milder weather than Melbourne: a degree or two warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

How much traffic is there?

There are no motorised vehicles on Rail Trails! Other cyclists, walkers, horse riders and wallabies are the only things we have to share the trail with. On some days there will be short on road sections - usually less than 1 km - to get to our accommodation from the trail.

Are there hills?

Rail Trail gradients were designed for trains, so are very gradual. There are a couple of notable 'climbs' where the trail climbs up into the hills over several kilometres, but do so very gently. There are occasional locations where trails have been diverted around the original rail alignment and these can make for short but steep climbs in a few places. These are generally less than 100 metres long.

How long do we ride for each day?

Most days will have about 4 -5 hours riding time, depending on how fast you ride. We are usually setting off at around 8.30 n the morning, and arrive at our accommodation before 4 pm in the afternoon.

I’m gluten intolerant….

Just let us know when you book if you have any specific dietary requirements and we will do our best to cater for you. Most lunches and evening meals are purchased by riders at cafe's and pubs who usually have a range of options available.

Why do I need to sign an "Exclusion of Rights to Sue" waiver?

This waiver is a legally binding document in which you accept the inherent risks associated with cycling. Without the waiver, common law in Victoria says that you are entitled to sue if someone sells you goods or services which cause you to die or sustain injury. Any "adventure" activity carries an inherent risk due to the nature of the activity. Many tourism businesses in Victoria stopped operating, until a law was passed in which participants can be asked to set aside this specific right. It is now a common requirement of adventure activity to require participants to sign this or a similar waiver, with most insurance companies requiring that we do so!

It does not remove your rights if there has been negligence on the part of the operator, causing you to suffer injury or death.

Rider safety is of paramount importance to Snowy River Cycling. We have a comprehensive Risk Management Plan to do everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable tour for all riders.