ESCAPE THE SYDNEY SNARL WITH FOUR GREAT DAYS OF TRAINING ON NSW'S BEST CYCLING ROADS
Bicisport and RST Sport with the support of Happy Wheels, presents the Tour de Bello, a road cycling training camp held in and around the delightful Coffs Coast towns of Bellingen and Urunga.
Enjoy challenging rides through beautiful scenery on quiet, safe, cyclist friendly roads, with support vehicles and ride guides for extra convenience and peace of mind. Afterwards you can relax and recover in spacious and comfortable resort accommodation, have a leg rub from one of the massage therapists on hand or a nice post ride recovery nap. You'll refuel with great local food, have your bike attended to by our tour mechanic and take the opportunity to discuss your training with our top of the line cycling coach and learn about how to achieve your riding goals and gain that extra encouragement.
We have everything ready to help you bust out of the winter blues, get your training back on track while having a fun tour experience. And to top it all off, there are some wonderful local attractions to visit while you are here. Alex, Mike and the Tour de Bello training camp crew are very much looking forward to welcoming you on Tour and enjoying your company.
The Tour de Bello offers a range of training rides and support services to suit riders of varying abilities. As a guide, you are most likely a member of a cycling club and usually do some group riding or race. No matter your grade, this training camp is for you. If you are unsure about the camp's suitability for you, please contact us and we'll help you make the right choice to ensure you have a great experience.
Recent improvements to the NSW Pacific coastal freeway, which now bypasses the towns of Nambucca Heads, Urunga and Bellingen (and Macksville later in 2017), has opened up a whole raft of great cycling options in the region. No traffic, no lights, just endless tarmac rolling through glorious countryside. All this just 5.5 hours drive from Wahroonga at the southern end of the M1 freeway, or a lazy hour's flight from Sydney.
It'll only get better when the Macksville bypass and remainder of the freeway between Port Macquarie and Kempsey is completed in 2017 making the drive north an easy 5-hour cruise control trip on uninterrupted dual lane high-speed freeway. There are even direct flights from Melbourne to Coffs Harbour for any of our southern cousins seeking to get some great rides in warmer conditions. Of course those of you local to the region are also most welcome to book in and join the Tour !
The Tour is held over four days / three nights, from early afternoon on Thursday through to late Sunday morning, enabling plenty of travel time to arrive from and return home while not dipping too much into your precious leave time.
All rides will start and finish at the resort complex meaning you can unpack and relax. On some days we will have longer and shorter ride options to suit riders of different abilities. The longer ride option will be for the fastest group so overall time and effort spent training will be suitable for everyone.
Day 1: Thursday 31 August
Morning: Travel to camp (fly or drive), arrive, check into your apartment, unpack and check your bike is all OK ! Don't worry if there's a problem, our trusty mechanic will have you up and running. Forgotten something ? Just let us know and we'll sort something out !
Afternoon: 35km ~1.5 hours (The Bellinger)
We'll do a mostly flat river/coastal ride to spin your legs out after your travels and one optional pinch of a climb to prime you for the harder rides in the days ahead.
Evening: Dinner in Bellingen will be at a great local pub with an excellent menu. We'll also do a camp briefing and introduce the team.
Day 2: Friday 1 September
Morning: 80km/100km ~3.5 hours (The Promised Land)
Yes, there really is a place called The Promised Land. Experience the delights of the local countryside as we wind our way along the roads around the Bellinger Valley and the Kalang River. A lumpy course in parts that will nicely work the legs over, Two ride options will be available to suit riders of different abilities.
Afternoon: Perhaps a leg rub down and a bit of local sightseeing, or just a nice chance for a recovery nap. A drive to visit the Sky Pier north of Coffs, or the Skywalk near Dorrigo National Park is well worth the 40-minute drive up the mountain on Waterfall Way. Perhaps a visit to the eclectic mix of shops along Bellingen's main street.
Evening: Dinner and training talk Q&A session with coach Alex.
Day 3: Saturday 2 September
Morning: 105km/130km ~5 hours (The Buccaneer)
The Queen stage. This morning we set out on a challenging route with a long climb, a ride through a rainforest and lots of gorgeous rolling country terrain to lap up. A shorter ride option (including the climb) will also be available.
Afternoon: If the past three days hasn't quite satisfied your training appetite and you are keen on adding some extra intensity and kilometres to your camp training schedule, CA Race licence holders can sign up for an afternoon road race held on a rather nice circuit at Bonville and run by Coffs Harbour Cycle Club. Start time: 2pm (sign-on 1:30pm). A-grade 50km, B grade 40km, C & D grade 30km. $5 entry. The racing is not included as part of Tour de Bello schedule but if you are keen, let us know and we can help out.
For everyone else, maybe today is the day for your leg rub, or to go for a refreshing walk along the Urunga Boardwalk, or perhaps a trip to the Butterfly House to see these fascinating creatures flutter all around you.
Evening: Alex, Kath & the team will be hosting a BBQ where you can admire the views of the Great Dividing Range of the Dorrigo National Park overlooking the Bellinger Valley and The Promised Land.
DAY 4: SUNDAY 3 SEPTEMBER
Morning: 50-60km ~2 hours (Bonville)
Today we'll finish the camp with a rolling ride around the lovely Bonville region. You'll see why one of the best golf courses in the country is located here. This picturesque route on excellent roads will be a great way to cap off a cracking four days of quality training.
Return to base camp where you can shower, change and pack for the journey home and be back well in time for dinner !
ACCOMMODATION / LOCATION
Tour de Bello will be based at a sea side resort with serviced apartments right on the confluence of the Bellinger and Kalang Rivers as they emerge into the Pacific Ocean. With separate bedrooms (queen bed or twin share), lounge room with TV, kitchen and laundry, there's plenty of room to relax, catch up with some old friends, make some new ones, or just find a quiet spot for yourself. Wifi is available for those needing their social media fix !
The resort is approximately 5.5 hours drive north of Wahroonga, Sydney, or a 1-hour flight (several flights daily to/from Sydney with Qantas/Virgin or direct flight from Melbourne with Tigerair). We can arrange for Coffs Harbour airport pickup/drop off (just let us know on your booking form), and if flying from Sydney we may also be able to transport your bike and kit for you. We'll provide detailed location instructions once you've confirmed your booking.
Weather / Clothing
The climate at our resort in September is most pleasant for riding. Cool overnight (average minimum overnight temperature of 13.5C) and mild during the day (average maximum 22C). It's also the driest time of year. Perfect !
Nevertheless, climate does not tell us what the weather will be on any given day so be prepared for cooler or warmer conditions. We will still ride in wet weather but may adjust ride routes to suit conditions on the day.
We are currently designing a tour jersey and will update the site with details as they become available. We encourage you to purchase one (price TBA) and wear it on all rides during the tour to foster camaraderie and to ensure ready identification of tour participants by our support team out on the road for your safety and convenience. Your apartment will have a laundry with a washer and dryer so you'll be able to wear fresh, clean and dry kit each day.
FULL RIDER SUPPORT
Support vehicles and ride guide
A vehicle and a local ride guide will support each group out on the road with supplies, spares, tools, food and drink or clothing as needed. No need to stuff your pockets full - we'll take care of it !
Stewart "Computa" Campbell of Happy Wheels fame will be on hand to sort out any issues with your bike.
Tour participants will have a great opportunity to talk with and ask questions of BiciSport's highly experienced and knowledgeable cycling coaches, either at a dedicated Q&A session or one-on-one during the Tour.
TOUR HOSTS / SIGHTSEEING
We will provide self-serve breakfast supplies in your apartment so you can get a good pre-ride carbo load ! Cereals, bread for toasting, spreads, fruit and other snack options will be available.
We'll also have a range of ride snacks and extra water and electrolyte drink mix available before your ride and in the ride support vehicles.
Lunch packs from a local gourmet cafe will be provided on Friday and Saturday. Lunches on Thursday and Sunday are not provided.
We will be booking dinner venues for Thursday and Friday evenings where you'll be able to choose from great menus. Dinner on these nights is not included and will be at your own cost.
On Saturday evening we will host a BBQ for all tour members.
One 30-minute rub down/massage is included in your tour package to help you recover from the day's ride. Additional massages may be arranged by separate appointment.
Fluids / electrolyte drinks
We'll have electrolyte drink mixes available to help ensure you are well hydrated for the next day.
The apartments have a lounge as well as separate bedrooms, so you'll be able get an afternoon nap in peace.
The area around the resort has some great flat walks which make for a nice recovery option.
Other help, support or suggestions?
Whatever your needs, we'll try to accommodate, so by all means ask and we'll see what we can do. We can't promise everything but we'll try to find a solution for you.
Your Tour hosts
Mike O'Reilly and Alex Simmons welcome you to the Tour de Bello. Mike is the ride director of the 3,000 rider Bowral Classic and has been race director for multiple state, national and world level cycling events, often ably assisted by cycling coach and commissaire Alex who has also previously run training camps for many track and road cycling groups and has supported the running of national and world level races for many years.
Local Sightseeing & Shopping
There are plenty of things to see and do in the local region. The Skywalk near Dorrigo is well worth a trip (a 40-min drive), or perhaps a visit to The Butterfly House to experience these amazingly gentle creatures (a 20-min drive).
Bellingen is home to many excellent shops and boasts a great cafe culture with entertainment always on hand.
BOOK NOW - Places are strictly limited !
Price for 4 days and 3 nights of Tour de Bello training camp bliss.
Solo participant (twin share): $545 per person
Couples (queen room): $890 per couple
TERMS & CONDITIONS:
Please read our terms and conditions. Acceptance by all Tour participants will be required to join the Tour.
- 3 nights accommodation in a serviced apartment with kitchen, laundry with washer & dryer, lounge room, wifi, linen, bath towels, air con, TV
- 2 bedroom apartments: 1 x Queen bed, 2 x single beds. A sofa bed also available in lounge room if you'd prefer it !
- Maximum of 4 people per apartment (e.g. 1 x couple + 2 x singles)
- Breakfast supplies are provided (cereals, fruit, bread for toasting, spreads, eggs, milk, tea/coffee, juices)
- Lunch packs provided on Friday & Saturday
- Ride snacks and water / electrolyte mix
- BBQ dinner Saturday evening
- Mechanic on tour
- Local ride guide with each group
- Ride support vehicle with each group
- Leg massage/rub down (1 x 30-min session per rider per camp, extra available by appointment)
- Training talk & presentation, Q&A session with coach Alex
- Coffs Harbour airport pickup / drop off and bike transport from/to Sydney where reasonably feasible
- Bad jokes and a healthy sense of fun
- While we will arrange venues for dinner on Thursday and Friday evenings, to provide access to the widest range of meal options from the excellent menus on offer these dinners will be at participant's own cost.
- Transport to/from camp (although we can provide local Coffs airport transfers, and some bike/kit transfer from and to Sydney).
Tour de Bello is conducted in and around the Bellinger Valley and Coffs Coast region.