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Bike SA’s Outback Odyssey is the ultimate off-road bike tour. It’s an adventure. It’s an experience, and it should be a bucket list ride. Here’s a few questions answered on just what the Outback Odyssey is all about. 

What is the Outback Odyssey?

Outback Odyssey is a 900km ride over 16 days that ventures along the Mawson Trail from Adelaide into the South Australian outback. This ride pushes riders limits, riding through the heat, the cold, dust, and relentless wind all made worth it because of the beautiful scenery, personal triumphs and camaraderie of doing it with 200 other cyclists.

What is the Mawson Trail?

The Mawson Trail is a mountain bike path, which starts in the Adelaide CBD and works its way through the hills, the Barossa and into the outback to the Flinders Ranges. There is a mix of quiet dirt roads, forest tracks and singletrack in order to minimise traffic and bitumen roads. This track is the ultimate test of bikes and riders alike and BikeSA hosts this event to encourage people to experience this test in a supportive group environment. The Outback Odyssey caters for different fitness levels and interests; you can ride a section of the trail, or if you’re really up for the challenge ride the whole 900km, it’s up to you.

Daily Life on the Outback Odyssey

In the mornings riders prepare by filling up on a big breakfast and backing their bag of essentials for the day, which mostly contains fruit, trail mix, electrolytes and of course cake, to get them through the day. Then 200 riders set off into the outback for the day through the dust and dirt of the rugged outback. Throughout the day riders ride through smooth dirt roads with picturesque surroundings, and not too long later find themselves ploughing through mud after overnight rain. The Outback Odyssey throws everything at you. With tea stops along the way where riders can refuel and discuss how the day has been going, eventually they head off again making their way to the next destination. There riders rest up after a long day on the bike, clean of and head to the bar area to share their experiences of the day. They then eat a huge dinner to fill themselves up and are provided with a briefing about what the following day has in store for them.

Getting to the final destination

Riding over the finish line after gruelling days on the bike is a triumph for all riders. 200 cyclists celebrate after facing challenges and overcoming them at the end. This physically and mentally demanding ride through the beautiful south Australian outback is over, but has been an unforgettable experience for all.

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Want more info?

Journalist Leon Hill took part in Bike SA’s outback Odyssey in 2015 and has written about his experiences, you can  Read his article here.

Otherwise, jump over to the Bike SA website for details on dates, pricing, what to bring etc.