Alannah MacTiernan

Alannah MacTiernan

Minister for Planning and Infrastructure

    Great Western Australian Bike Ride draws closer

    30/09/2005 12:00 AM

    Western Australians are urged to register next month and receive a free bike for entering one of the most exciting new cycling events in Australia, a two-week ride from Albany to Perth.

    The Main Roads LifeCycle Great Western Australian Bike Ride begins in March next year; a fully supported, two-week cycling tour through the Great Southern and South-West Regions of WA.

    Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said cyclists who signed on and paid their entry fee by October 28, would receive a free flat-bar touring bike.

    “With just four weeks of the free bike offer to go, I know there are thousands of fit, active or just brave Western Australians keen to take part in this unique event and who will enjoy the South-West of their State at close quarters,” Ms MacTiernan said.

    “Now that spring is here, it is a great time for those who register to get out and start getting in shape for this fantastic event.

    “As the leading sponsor, this event marks an important direction for Main Roads WA and is part of the Gallop Government’s commitment to encourage cycling and other alternative modes of transport.”

    The ride starts in Albany and winds through coastal and forest areas around Denmark, Walpole, Manjimup, Nannup, Augusta, Margaret River, Busselton, Bunbury and Pinjarra, finishing in Perth on the banks of the Swan River.

    “These towns see the ride as a great opportunity to showcase their unique Western Australian attractions and many have already started planning for the event,” the Minister said.

    A moving ‘tent-city’ travels from town to town during the tour and the Great Western Australian Bike Ride covers an average of 75km a day, with a total distance of 827km.

    Along with a free bike, participants will be provided with meals, luggage transport, medical services, massage, entertainment, mechanical support, as well as one volunteer ‘cycling expert’ per 13 riders. Participants have all day to cycle to the next campsite, knowing they are fully supported the whole way.

    Each night the campsite comes alive with entertainment. The Cafe de Canvas is there for riders to relax and share their experience with other participants. There are three rest days during the tour, and one of these includes a concert at the famous Leeuwin Estate.

    Ms MacTiernan said while many people would enter the full 14-day event, two shorter options were available for those unsure about lasting the distance - days one to nine from Albany to Margaret River, or days eight to 14 from Augusta to Perth.

    “WA’s climate is highly conducive to cycling, with great facilities complementing our good weather,” she said.

    “We believe the event will build on the Government’s cycling initiatives and encourage more people to ride more often.”

    The Minister said the event was modeled on similar long distance bike rides conducted by Bicycle Victoria (BV) in Victoria, and the WA ride could attract several thousand cyclists.

    “Already there is strong interest from enthusiasts in Victoria and South Africa where the LifeCycle is being marketed,” she said.

    Main Roads WA has a proven record of providing high quality shared paths and Perth's bicycle network is one of the best in the world, with more than 134km of bicycle paths constructed.

    Another 354km of on-road facilities have been provided through Main Roads WA, the Department for Planning and Infrastructure and local government.

    Traffic counts show the result of this investment is an increase in bicycle use each year.

    Due to the popularity of the first free information evening, a second session will be held on October 19 for those who would like to learn more and have their questions answered by the event organisers. For information, call Main Roads WA on 138 138.

    The ride is organised by BV and WA’s own Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

    More information is available at or by contacting Holly Wilson at Main Roads WA on 138 138.

    The free bike available to entrants is on public display at Main Roads WA’s head office in East Perth.

    Minister's office: 9213 6400