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About Us

Alia Parker's picture
Alia and Simon Parker from Australia's Cycle Traveller.

Back in 2010 we were cycling along the magnificent Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada, when we bumped into two French cycle tourists – a lovely couple whose bike tour had taken them all over the world. They were absolutely loving cycling along the Icefields, and who wouldn't – it's stunning! Unfortunately, their memories of cycling Australia weren't as great; they didn't like the roads.

These were two very experienced tourers with a legitimate gripe, but it left me feeling a little empty and embarrassed that they didn't enjoy their time cycling in my home country, especially since I knew there were so many rides in Australia they would love. The unfortunate thing was they had chosen some horrible main roads to ride along; roads I would aim to avoid myself. But how were they to know? There was no central resource for helping a cyclist plan a bicycle tour in Australia.

A new bicycle touring hub

Pedal forward to September 2012 and Cycle Traveller was born. By early 2013, word had spread that Australia had it's own online cycle touring portal and riders began to share their own experiences, helping to inspire more and more people to get out and see Australia by bike. Australia is a country like no other on earth; its ancient landscape, unique flora and fauna, and its ocean border tell a story, a story born of The Dreaming. There are so many wondrous places to explore and there are quiet, beautiful and enjoyable roads on which to let your adventure unfold. Our aim is to help you find those roads and experience the joy of cycle touring. Find out more in our growing Bike Routes section and read the experiences of those on the road in Riding Now, or if you want to know something specific, jump in our Forum.

Cycle Traveller is continuing to grow the resources on this site to help you love your adventure. If you think you've got something to add, drop us a line! We always love to hear from other cyclists or cyclists-to-be.

About Alia Parker

Alia Parker, Publisher and Editor of Cycle Traveller.

Alia is the Publisher and Editor of Cycle Traveller and is the person behind the scenes pushing the buttons and interacting with you on social media. A journalist by trade with an itch in the foot for travel, Alia has worked as a sub-editor at China Daily in Beijing, a finance reporter at Australian Associated Press, the economics reporter at The National Post in Canada during the Global Financial Crisis and the founding editor of the Switzer Super Report. 

A passion for outdoor adventure led Alia and Simon to go beyond remote backcountry hiking and mountain scrambling to cycle touring in 2010, riding through British Columbia and Alberta in Canada and then mountain biking from Canada to Mexico along the Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Trail before returning to the road to head east through the United States. The experience was not only one of the best things they ever did, but they even paused en-route to get married. The cycle travel continues, with the two having cycled extensively through parts of Australia. Immersing herself even deeper into the cycling world, Alia is now the resident tourer at the famous Clarence Street Cyclery in Sydney.

Simon Parker, route planning, Cycle TravellerAbout Simon Parker

Simon is not only Cycle Traveller's most famous model, but the key bicycle route researcher as well. With a love for travel planning and organisation, Simon is always working on preparing a blueprint for the next adventure.

When off the bike, Simon is a senior manager at a Sydney-based publishing company with extensive experience spanning Australia and North America. He has a love of all sports and will happily watch anything that moves.

Stay riding my friends!

Alia Parker
Publisher & Editor | Cycle Traveller
alia@cycletraveller.com.au

 

Image: 1. Alia and Simon Parker riding along the coast of Alabama, US. 2. Alia Parker. 3. Simon Parker. Copyright Cycle Traveller.

Comments

Greetings from Canada to the two of you. I just got the current Australian Cycletraveller and I am amazed at what you have done in a brief 18 month time span. It is a really good and useful website and fun to read and follow even over here in BC. I am currently on a committee that is trying to get the Trails of the Okanagan to connect for biking and walking the Okanagan Valley from Osoyoos at the southern end and US/Washington border, all the way to Sicamous. Many parts are already there, just some connecting bits are proving to be problematic but will be solved as the communities along the way get involved and realize the economical potential of such a route. Will keep you posted. Definitely a reason to come back!!

Alia Parker's picture

Thanks for your support Ellen!

The work you're doing in Canada sounds fantastic. We would absolutely love to come over and ride the trails. Such a beautiful part of the world to cycle in.

Alia :)

Hi,
Great site!
I am seeking info about touring in Australia. We are landing in Melbourne and flying out from Brisbane three weeks later. I'm hoping a combo of public transit/rail and bike to get us from point to point, and maximize our visit. We are both experienced cyclists. Do you have any suggestions as to where the must visit routes would be? We are looking at camping options as well as Warm Showers.
Thanks from the States,
Iris

Alia Parker's picture

Hi Iris,

So many options :) Perhaps decide if you would like to spend more time near the coast or inland in the ranges. Both are beautiful. 

One of my favourite areas is around Bright, Victoria. The area has a popular rail trail called the Murray to the Mountains, but it's also great for road cycling. You can then head toward Canberra via the Snowy Mountains then maybe do a train trip from Canberra (or Gouburn) up through Sydney and north (maybe somewhere like Coffs Harbour) before resuming cycling again along the coast to Brisbane. There's a little info about cycling from Sydney to Brisbane here.

Or you could to it the other way around ... cycle the Victorian/NSW South coast, and get the train up via Sydney to somewhere like Casino and explore the hinterland areas of Queensland around near the Scenic Rim. All very pretty options and you will have a good time either way.

Check the train service you plan to use. You can just wheel your bike on to the local trains, but if it's an intercity service, they make you box your bike. The city networks can extend quite far. For example, the Sydney network will get you as far south as Goulburn or as far north as Dungog without having to box your bike. You'll need to check with individual bus companies about their policies depending on where you go.

In general, try to avoid main roads as best you can, especially near the east coast as these get pretty busy (particularly on holidays).

You should come across plenty of camping options. Use apps like Wiki Camps or Campee to track them down.

Best of luck!

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