In May 2018, we’ll be embarking on a bike adventure, riding 260 km along New Ireland’s Boluminski Highway from Namatanai to Kavieng. Along the way, we’ll stop off to visit some of the health clinics and hospitals supported by Australian Doctors International, and meet a few of the locals.
It’ll be a physical challenge through varied terrain in tropical heat (averaging 30 degrees). But you’ll also have time for R&R, with chances to enjoy the local scuba diving, go fishing or surfing, or just relax and watch some chocolate making. There’ll be a bit of history too, with WW2 sites around the island.
Most of the 260km is cruisy riding on good bitumen, winding along the coast of New Ireland. There’s an unsealed section of around 25km, but it’s not very rough. There are pot holes along the way, and a number of bridges in various states of disrepair, with entries/exits that would be challenging on a road bike (hence MTB recommendation below!). There are some hills at the Namatanai end, but none of them are terribly long or steep.
We are capping the ride at 20 participants, with our team and additional PNG supporters riding along with us. To secure your spot, get in touch ASAP (BikeRide@adi.org.au).
We’ll be riding up to 110 km a day, so while you don’t need to be superman, a basic level of fitness is required. You’ll enjoy the ride a lot more if you’re riding regularly before hand – if you’re in Sydney and you’d like to join us for some training rides, get in touch (BikeRide@adi.org.au). We’ll also have support vehicles, so if the heat and distance ever get too much, you’ll be able to hop in and take a rest.
Whilst there are a few hire bikes available on the island, we plan to bring our own and recommend that you do too. The available bikes aren’t in top notch condition and you’ll be far more comfortable on a familiar bike that fits you properly. But if you do want to consider hiring, or need help sourcing a bike, let us know (BikeRide@adi.org.au).
We definitely recommend an MTB/hybrid (or cyclocross for the tough among us!) rather than a road bike due to the rough sections on the road. This isn’t the Tour, and we’d recommend enjoying the scenery and the local kids running out to high five you on the road at MTB speed rather than race pace.
We can help with sourcing bike boxes and advice on packing. If there’s sufficient interest, we’ll set up a bike packing evening where riders can meet each other and pack together with some advice.