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Cycling the iconic Great Ocean Road to fight poverty

Alia Parker's picture
A cyclists curves along the Great Ocean Road on last year's 25000spins ride.

Cycling Victoria's Great Ocean Road is on the bucket list for many, and if you're going to take on the famous route, it's a good opportunity to raise some funds to help those in need.

“It is breathtaking. Every twist and turn brings another stunning view and moment you cannot help but wish to snap with your camera,” says Craig Shipton, organiser of the 25000spins Great Ocean Road charity ride.

“It’s a fantastic ride with heaps of challenges which keep encouraging you to continue the adventure.”

The next 25000spins ride to conquer the Great Ocean Road runs from January 31 to February 2, 2016. It's a three day, 300km fully supported jaunt from Geelong to Warnambool.

Open to all

The annual ride is limited to just 90 riders divided into three groups, allowing the event to cater for riders of different abilities so that everyone can ride at a comfortable pace.

Cycling the Great Ocean Road. Cycle Traveller

“I have had riders from 13 years old to 70 years old,” says Shipton. “I have riders who haven’t been on a bike in years and those that are out on their bike every day logging 100s of kilometres on Strava.”

He said the fast riders average about 32-40km/hr and are given an extra route to ride to boost the challenge, while the medium and slow paced groups also have a support vehicle each.

There is also a bike mechanic van, professional photographer and videographer to snap riders cycling past sites like the Twelve Apostles, and even a free masseuse to squeeze out the lactic acid at the end of the day.

Shipton says the small group sizes makes the ride a very sociable event and ensures each rider gets all the attention they need.

“It’s completely different to other charity rides in that you end up meeting a lot of new people; support people know you by name and you will most certainly make a bunch of new friends,” he says.

Included in the cost is hostel accommodation, breakfast, lunch and snacks – leaving riders free to explore the Apollo Bay and Port Campbell of an evening – as well as a return transfer for you and your bike.

Fighting poverty

While the ride aims to make the experience an enjoyable one, at it's heart, it aims to help those who don't have such luxuries in life. Riders can choose from five charities to direct their fundraising efforts towards. These are: Fred Hollows Foundation (restores sight to the blind), ADRA (disaster relief work and micro financing), Compassion (sponsor-child charity), Watoto (support for children in poverty), Bikes4life (giving people living in poverty bikes to transform their life through transport).

25000spins Great Ocean Road charity bike ride. Cycle Traveller

“Each of the charities has a common theme of solving poverty and making a difference to people in need,” says Shipton.

“When 25000spins started seven years ago, 25,000 children were dying every day from things that money could solve. Thankfully that number is lower today.”

How to register

Registrations for the 25000spins Great Ocean Road charity ride are now open. To register, or to find out more, please visit the website.


Images: Cyclists on the 25000spins Great Ocean Road ride, 2015. Source: 25000spins. Copyright


Have done this ride twice now and highly recommend it to anyone to do it is a well run event by Craig and the team

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