Inspired by Tour de France – big cycle rides you can do in 2016

So you want to dust off your bike and start riding more seriously after watching the Tour de France? Here are several big bike rides for the rest of us on the Australian calendar this year. They are mass participation events, ranging from short half day rides to 10-day ones. Pick the one that suits you.

Sam Miranda Gran Fondo

Victoria country – Sunday, August 20
Open to all, though a little challenging, this covers 115 km of picturesque King Valley just outside Wangaratta in Victoria. The circuit is a mix of quiet country roads, unique climbs and rolling countryside and vineyards. Give this a miss if you are just starting your big bike ride adventure, but give it a go if you’re a more seasoned rider. > Website

One Day to Conquer Cancer

Brisbane – Saturday, August 20
Melbourne – Saturday, October 22
Ride 100km or walk 25km to raise money for cancer research. The rides in both cities are very scenic and include pitstops and refreshments every 25kms. Medical and support crew assist as needed. > Website

GC100 Charity Bike Event

Gold Coast – Sunday, September 11
A 50 and 100km road race event that’s effectively a comprehensive scenic tour of the Gold Coast. Ride the beautiful beach esplanades before challenging yourself on the undulating back hills of this region, finishing back on the beautiful Southport Broadwater Parklands. > Website

8848 Royal National Park – Everest Cycle

Sydney Royal National Park – Sunday, September 10
The world’s first mass participation Everest cycling event, designed to raise funds for the Cancer Council. Participants can choose one of three events: an Everest 8848 (full Everest, 235km), Everest 4424 (Half Everest, 118km), or Everest 2212 (Quarter Everest, 59km). “Base Camp” at Garie Beach in the national park is transformed into a Himalayan mountain village where you can rest and eat good food. Do the event solo or in a team. > Website

Sunshine Coast CycleFest

Cotton Tree & Coolum – Saturday, September 24
CycleFest has several events, including a Mountain Challenge, street criteriums, women’s road races and big (100km) and small (25km) rides. > Website

Around the Bay

Melbourne – Sunday, 9 October
Around the Bay is Australia’s biggest one-day bike ride and The Smith Family’s largest annual fundraising event. Choose from the family friendly 20km or 50km options, or get training for the 100km event. > Website

Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge

Brisbane – Sunday, October 16
Queensland’s biggest bike ride. Thousands of riders will pedal 100km from South Bank, Brisbane, to Southport on the Gold Coast.  > Website

The Slog

Victoria country – Saturday, November 5
The Slog is a charity bike ride through the Strzelecki Ranges, starting and finishing in Pakenham, Victoria. Participants can choose to ride either a 30km, 80km, 100km and 160km circuit.
> Website

MS Sydney to the Gong Ride

Sydney – Sunday, November 6
The Gong Bike Ride goes from Sydney, through the Royal National Park to Wollongong on the South Coast. Choose the 90km Long Course (starting at Euston Road, St Peters) or the 58km Short Course (starting at Cooper Street Reserve, Engadine). The scenery is spectacular and includes the famous Sea Cliff Bridge.

Big Red Ride

Sydney – Sunday, November 6
Two epic rides: the 85 km Bondi to Richmond and 150 km Bondi to Katoomba. Get in now as there’s places for only 150 riders. > Website

Amy’s Gran Fondo

Great Ocean Road, Victoria – Sunday, November 11
Amy’s Gran Fondo (big ride) caters to cyclists of all abilities and is held on a fully closed roads on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Home base is in Lorne, Victori. A weekend of family-friendly activities. > Website

Spring Cycle 2016

Sydney – Sunday, November 11
Every year, around 10,000 people join the Spring Cycle for a celebration of cycling that starts in North Sydney and continues across the Sydney Harbour Bridge main deck and on to the festival-style atmosphere at the finish-line. There’s three ride options: 12km Sydney City Ride, 50km Classic Ride and 105km Challenge Ride. > Website

Bass Coast Cycle Challenge

Victoria – Saturday, November 12
An event with five different rides, ranging from 121km to a 5km ride for kids. Has some of the most scenic views in Victoria, passing through the rolling hills of the Strzelecki Ranges and the beautiful coast line on the way back to Inverloch. > Website

RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride

Victoria country – Saturday, November 26
Big multi-day ride. Stunning views as the route takes you through  Grampians National Park towards the Great Ocean Road. There’s 3, 5 and 9 day ride options. The coastal ride ends after 527km on Sunday 4 December in Geelong. Overnight stays in Halls Gap, Dunkeld, Mortlake, the 12 Apostles, Apollo Bay (2 nights), Bellbrae and Queenscliff. > Website