Great Southern Randonnée (GSR)

Ride Start Date: 2021-11-07

May 13, 2020

The GSR Sub Committee has been meeting regularly to assess the potential impacts from the COVID-19 global restrictions on the running of this year’s GSR. Our discussions have primarily focused on ensuring rider/community safety, the need to allow sufficient riding time for adequate levels of fitness and our desire to meet the strong international interest in the event (currently we have 40 OS riders on the Interested Rider’s List, with good numbers in particular from the USA and UK).


As you are all aware, the Audax Australia calendar has been shut down and remains so since March. Regular reviews of this decision are taking place by the National Committee and given recent relaxing of restrictions for recreational activity, a decision on the calendar may not be too far away. Social distancing protocols as part of recreational activity will be advisable for some time even when the calendar is re-opened.
 It appears in all likelihood that international travel restrictions will remain in place for the remainder of 2020, with the potential for exceptions for Aus-NZ travel. This will obviously preclude all other internationals from entering, a huge disappointment for those having expressed interest and also for the ride itself – the inclusion of OS riders in recent GSRs has raised the profile and atmosphere of the event – creating a mini Paris-Brest-Paris!


Based on the above and taking into account all safety and logistical factors, as well as looking to maintain the special characteristics of the ride, the GSR Sub Committee has decided to postpone the full GSR to November 7, 2021. An earlier timeslot around Easter 2021 was considered but local accommodation options are extremely limited at that time. A further consideration was that a number of 2020 international 1200’s will also be rescheduled to 2021 leading to a saturated calendar, so retaining the November timeline made sense. The Sydney-Melbourne 1200 (with a new route) has been rescheduled to April 3, 2022 – thus removing a potential clash with the GSR.


In addition to the full GSR, a local GSR version (30 entries) with limited support (similar to the Geelong Flyer) and domestic entries only may be offered in November 2020 if it is safe to do so – further updates on this will be issued in upcoming months as the Covid-19 situation becomes clearer.


We appreciate your patience in waiting for this notification. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we are out there pounding out the BRM/BA/Perm kms!


Regards…..your GSR Sub Committee

*** PLEASE REFER TO THE COVID-19 Update tab for the latest information on a start date for the GSR. ***

Great Southern Randonnée (GSR)

The Great Southern Randonnée (GSR) is a premier 1200 km randonnee with a tradition of fabulous support provided by enthusiastic volunteers. It is Audax Australia’s equivalent of the iconic Paris-Brest-Paris 1200km randonnee, similarly being run every four years.

Riders can elect to start in the evening, on an overnight loop of the Bellarine Peninsula first, or could elect to start in the morning and head along the grandeur of the Great Ocean Road first, leaving the Bellarine Peninsula loop until the end .

The seventh edition of the GSR will be held on Sunday 8th November 2020. 
The format will be similar to the 2016 GSR, with the course and list of controls to be finalised by the end of March.
Website details for 2020 will be updated as planning proceeds. 
It is expected that registrations will open around April 2020.
For further information or to register for the Interested Riders List, email gsr@audax.org.au.

Please note that riders on the Interested Riders List will receive a priority entry which will be made available 2 weeks prior to the opening of entries for the general public.

Interested Riders List

There are a number of things you’ll need to do before the ride:

  • Decide whether to enter the 1200km (evening or morning start), 1000 km or 300 km event;
  • Complete a qualifying ride;
  • Decide if you need pre- or post-ride accommodation;
  • Decide if you will attend the pre-ride dinner or post-ride breakfast;
  • Work out how you will get to the start;
  • Register (full payment is required); and
  • Order an event jersey & other merchandise!

The Great Southern Randonnée will be held from 8 -13 November 2020. In the meantime, planning is underway and the key dates are shown below.

March 2020Draft routes published at http://ridewithgps.com/events/Great-Southern-Randonnee-GSR-2016.  Cue sheet entries to be updated.
January 2020Open for rider expressions of interest online.
April 2020Entries open and offered for the first 2 weeks to those who have registered to express their interest.
31 August 2020– Cutoff date for completing qualifying rides
Entries close
– Refund period closes
– Final version of routes & controls announced
1-31 August 2020Event merchandise orders open
29 October 2020 (tbc)Volunteers’ ride departs at 6am from Anglesea
8 -13 November 2020The Great Southern Randonnée!

Qualifying rides will apply for those entering the 1000km & 1200km distances.

To qualify you must have completed either a 1000 Km or greater ride (including PBP) in the 2018-19 season (November 1 to October 31 2019), or a 600 Km or greater ride in the 2019-20 Audax season by August 31.

See the Audax online ride calendar for some great options.

Other qualifying rides may also be accepted at the discretion of the event organiser.

Riders must obey the Audax Australia Ride Rules and the Victorian Road Rules as it applies to bicycles. Riders observed breaching these rules may be disqualified by the ride organiser.

In Victoria all cyclists are required by law to wear a helmet. See https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/cyclist-safety/wearing-a-bicycle-helmet.

Between sunset and sunrise they are required to have a front (white) and rear (red) lights and a red reflector. Lights must also comply with Victorian Road Rules, visible from a minimum of 200 metres.

Audax Australia strongly recommends that a spare front and rear light is carried and that reflective clothing is also worn at night and at times of low visibility.

As well as Lighting requirements, you are required to wear reflective clothing – see the Audax reflective garments guidelines for details.

You should make sure that you’re equipped with clothing for a variety of weather conditions – weather can be highly variable and change rapidly. See the Weather page for further details of expected weather in November.

Remember the old adage – “There’s no  such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing.”

A GSR polo shirt is included in your entry fee.

Other GSR merchandise, including a ride jersey, will be available when the shop is open from August 1-31.

Victoria will be in late spring in November, and typically the weather will be fine and warm – it can be a wonderful time of year to ride with great conditions. But it’s important to be aware that the ride includes a wide variety of landscapes from winding coastal roads to the hills of the Grampians, and that the weather can go through several extremes in a short period of time.

In general, prevailing winds will be from the west to southwest. You will need to be prepared to face strong winds (particularly on the exposed parts of the coastal Great Ocean Road), sudden squalls, extreme cold if the wind swings to the south and brings cold air from the Southern Ocean, or even extreme heat if the wind swings northerly and brings in hot air from the red centre of Australia.

Temperatures can reach into the high 30’s (centigrade) during the day on the coast – as high as 100F – or be as low as freezing (0C, 32F) overnight in the Grampians. Melbourne is well known for having 4 seasons in one day, so do make sure that you’re well prepared.

Anglesea

(data from Bureau of Meteorology’s data for Airey’s Inlet)

Daily average maximum temperature is approximately 20C, but can be as low as 12C or as high as 37C. Notably both of these records were set within a fortnight of each other, which indicates how variable the weather really can be.

Daily average minimum temperature is around 11C but has been as low as 4C.

Average rainfall for November is 60mm, with around 11 days with rain.

Port Fairy

(data from Bureau of Meteorology’s data for Port Fairy AWS)

Daily average maximum temperature is approximately 20C, but can be as low as 12C or as high as 38C.

Daily average minimum temperature is around 11C but has been as low as 2C.

Average rainfall for November is 45mm, with around 11 days with rain.

Halls Gap and Stawell

(data from Bureau of Meteorology’s data for Hamilton Airport and Stawell Aerodrome)

As you travel through the Grampians, the weather will be changeable. Daily average maximums are between 21C and 24C, but maximums may be as low as 9C and it has reached 41C in Stawell before in November.

Daily average minimums are around 8-10C, but again it may drop considerably lower and frosts are not unknown with lowest minimums around 0C.

Average rainfall for November is 44mm, Stawell has only 7 days of rain, but Hamilton is higher with an average of 12.

The Great Southern Randonnée offers three rides:

  • 1200 km
  • 1000 km
  • 300 km

Entries are will be open in April 2020. Please click here!
The cost for the 1200 km and 1000 km options is A$625 (tbc).
The cost for the 300 km option is A$135 (tbc).

Support for the 1200 km options is designed for the ride to be completed in 80 to 90 hours (giving maximum sleep and enjoyment); however it is possible to complete the ride in about 65 hours if the 6:00 pm evening start is chosen.

Entry includes:

  • Assistance with accommodation for overseas/interstate entrants
  • Assistance with transport to/from the Anglesea start/finish
  • Overnight accommodation for the duration of the ride on Monday 9, Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 November.
  • Breakfast on Monday 9 is included
  • Full support (breakfast/dinner) with bag drops at the overnight sleep controls at Port Fairy, Hamilton and Anglesea
  • Meal support at Port Campbell (limited sleeping available on return), Wangoon and Halls Gap
  • Lavers Hill, subsidised food at a café (outbound), out of hours support with meals on return (limited sleeping available)
  • Out of hours tea/coffee/soup/sandwiches support at Queenscliff, Macarthur (out and back) and possibly Apollo Bay (return)
  • Sag wagon, motorcycle marshal, photographers on course and about 50 volunteers
  • Event polo shirt
  • Engraved finisher’s medallion
  • Event photos DVD

Also available (at extra cost):

  • Transport between Melbourne and Anglesea
  • Pre- and post-ride accommodation
  • Pre-ride dinner
  • Post-ride breakfast
  • Event jersey and other merchandise

Can I swap start times?

You will be able to swap start times up until the event, provided the maximum number of riders per start has not been exceeded.

Is there a limit on the number of riders who can enter?

Yes, the event limit (constrained by the sleeping/eating facilities at the overnight controls) is 120.  Also, there are limits on the number of riders per start time.

Will there be a wait list if the rider limit is reached?

Yes, a wait list will be established.

What if I have to cancel?

Check the general Terms and Conditions when entering for Audax Australia events.  The schedule for reimbursements will be added to these T&Cs (date tbc) and clearly outlined.

Cycling

Cycling from Melbourne to Anglesea can be done by riding down either side of Port Philip Bay. While the eastern side of the bay involves a longer ride of around 160km to get to Anglesea, the route from Melbourne to Sorrento, with a ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff and then a coastal ride to Anglesea, is arguably much more picturesque as compared to the relatively flat, boring and higher traffic route through Geelong.

Cycling from Geelong is a shorter 40km ride, you can get to Geelong by train with your bike (see below).

GSR Bus Service

A bus & bike trailer (with limited capacity) will depart central Melbourne at midday on November 7, and again on the morning of November 8 before the ride. It will return after the post-ride breakfast on November 13. This will be at additional cost; please indicate whether you need this service when registering. The bus will depart from (and return to) Abbotsford Cycles at 27 Swan Street, Richmond (underneath Richmond Station).

GSR transport via the bus or local riders/volunteers can be booked at the GSR Supplementary Payments portal.

Hitching a Ride!

Many local Melbourne riders and volunteers will be heading to Anglesea, and it is expected that they will be able to transport additional passengers, luggage and bikes. You can put your thumb out for a ride with one of our volunteers at the GSR Supplementary Payments portal.

Public Transport

V-Line trains run from Melbourne to Geelong on a regular basis. It is approximately a 40km ride from Geelong’s railway station to Anglesea for riders in the 1200km and 1000km events. Trains have bike-carrying facilities.

V-Line trains run from Melbourne to Warrnambool a few times a day. Warrnambool is just under 30km from Port Fairy, the location of the start of the 300km event. Trains have bike-carrying facilities but capacity is limited so please check with V-Line before you travel.

Driving

The 1200km (both evening and morning starts) and 1000km start in Anglesea is approximately 90 minutes from Melbourne by car, via Geelong. Off-street parking will be available for participants during the event, but please be aware that this is not secure parking.

For 300km riders, Port Fairy is about 3.5 hours west of Melbourne by car, on the inland route, or you may prefer to drive the world famous Great Ocean Road and spend a day (or two) getting there instead. This route is a 6+ hour drive, depending on how often the stunning scenery makes you stop.

Parking

During the ride you cannot leave your car at the Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park, unless you have booked a unit or tent site for the duration of the ride.

On street parking is available outside the Holiday Park in Murray Street, and around the corner in Noble Street (was used without issue during the 2016 GSR).

Off street parking close to the start (about 300 metres) is available at the Anglesea Historical Society/Commmunity House car park. They have offered us the use of 24 spaces. Cost is a small donation to these charities, payable via the GSR Supplementary Payments portal.

Flying from Overseas

If you are coming from overseas, the closest major airport for both start locations is Melbourne. Bus and taxi services operate from the airport into Melbourne, and also Gull Bus operates a service direct to Geelong.

Melbourne

Melbourne offers a huge range of accommodation to choose from over the internet, whatever your budget.

We have a limited number of billets available with local cyclists in Melbourne and Geelong, but are seeking to source some more. These can vary from a private double bedroom to sleeping on a mattress on the floor. If you would like to stay with a local cyclist, email gsr@audax.org.au and we’ll do our best. Priority for these places will be given to our international guests first.

GSR transport from/to Melbourne will depart from/return to Abbotsford Cycles, 27 Swan St, Richmond (under Richmond Metro Station). The closest hotel to Abbotsford Cycles is the Richmond Hill Hotel (1 km). It is an older style 3 star hotel with a variety of room options (from economy rooms with shared bathrooms, standard rooms with ensuite bathrooms and self contained apartments), very central and close to public transport and lots of restaurants. Breakfast included, guest bar. There is no lift, but you can ask for a ground floor room. They are bike friendly – you can keep your bike in the room (so long as it is clean). But you can read the reviews and make up your own mind Richmond Hill Hotel reviews. If you contact them directly via rhhotel@bigpond.net.au, they are offering a 10% discount for the GSR (quote ‘Audax Australia Cycling Club’).

Anglesea

The GSR is being run from the very comfortable 4 star Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park. It comes complete with indoor pool, bouncing pillow, giant chess set and even grazing kangaroos. We have booked all unit accommodation on Sunday 8th , Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th. This has enabled us to have 24 hour access to the Campers Kitchen for serving meals, and come and go throughout the night as randonneurs are want to do. For the duration of our stay, it will become a real randonneur village.

Accommodation at Anglesea on Wednesday 11th is included for all 1000/1200 Km riders as part of entry, accommodation on Sunday 8th (pre-ride) and Thursday 12th (post ride) was optional. Check in time is 2 pm on Sunday 8th (unless Saturday accommodation has also been booked). Checkout time on Friday 13th is 10 am (no late checkout available due to heavy booking on the weekend).

All Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park bookings need to be finalised by 31st August when payment for our accommodation is due.

If you want to make additional bookings as an extension to the above you can contact the Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park directly – contact is Jess who is handling our booking and works on Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays (phone +61 3 5263 1640, email info@big4anglesea.com.au). Quote the ‘Audax Cycling Group’ and they are offering a 15% discount.

The cheapest accommodation at the Holiday Park is a tent site (all powered), $35 for 2 people per night. There is also the Anglesea Backpackers right next door, another Caravan Park and a motel nearby.

Evening Start Riders

Evening start riders who have selected pre-ride accommodation on Sunday 8th November can check in for the ride on Sunday morning (check in opens at 10 am), then have access to their cabin in the afternoon and also when they return from the 200 km Bellarine Peninsula loop on Monday morning (for a change/shower/sleep, control closes at 7:24 am).

However, an option exists for these riders to purchase Saturday 7th accommodation as well so they maintain the same bed throughout the weekend:

Anglesea

The 1200km and 1000km rides start and finish in the picturesque seaside town of Anglesea, approximately 115km south-west of Melbourne at the start of the world-famous Great Ocean Road. Anglesea is approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne.

Port Fairy

The 300km ride starts in the beautiful Port Fairy and returns to Anglesea. Port Fairy is close to 300km west of Melbourne, a short distance past Warrnambool.

A pre-ride dinner will be held at the Anglesea Hotel on November 8 at 4:00pm prior to the 1200km evening start at 6:00pm. See the dinner menu here.

After the ride, there will also be an organised breakfast at the Anglesea Hotel on November 13 at 8:00am. The breakfast menu is here.

Please indicate on the registration form if you would like to join us for the dinner or breakfast.

2016