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The Bond Between Father and Son

My love of cycling is a story that’s almost as old as I am. It’s about a bond that a father has with his son, and has roots that are stronger than any high modulus carbon frame. 

Like all good Aussie stories, it involves a summer bbq on a Sunday afternoon. I was 3, and with no one else under the age of about 40 there, a tennis court and a 12-inch kids bike kept me company. Having never ridden a bike before, it was inevitable where my afternoon was headed. Forget about training wheels. With a couple of push-starts from my dad and some character-building early tumbles on the sandy artificial grass, I was away and flying. Endless laps around the 50m circuit, dropping the inside shoulder in every time I buzzed past the net post before cutting a big skid as I made my arc around the baseline each lap…at least that’s how I remember it. If only Strava was around in the early ’90s, I’d definitely be the local legend for ‘Strathfield Tennis Court – Anti Clockwise Loop’!!!

From that day on I was hooked. Every Sunday, I’d be waiting impatiently from about 6:30am for my dad to get up and take me for a lap around ‘The Bay’. He’d run, I’d ride. Out of the saddle with one gear the whole 14 kilometres. He had been a keen marathon runner for years and, even after (what I later learned was often) a solid night on ‘the reds’, he never let me down and we’d be out the door not long after sunrise for our weekly inner-west training session.

In the almost 30 years since then, cycling has become a hallmark in our relationship. It’s taken us on a long list of amazing adventures both around Australia and the world, and there hasn’t been a family dinner in years that’s been without a solid chat about cassette ratios or tyre selections.

As Fathers Day rolls around, I know we’re both eagerly awaiting our next ride together: a 7-day Gravel Adventure around the Byron Hinterland and Border Ranges in late September with a group of his closest friends. Until then, Happy Fathers Day to my dad and all the other dads out there. We’ll see you on the road soon.

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NEW Byron Bay Cycling Holidays HERE TO STAY

It’s long been said, the best thing to do is to get back on your bike.

At Lifecycles Travel we take that advice very literally. So when you’re ready, here is our new Byron Bay Cycling Holiday package which will remain a permanent fixture on our annual cycling calendar.

Holidays run once a month from February to May and August through to November. There are package options for you to choose from which enable you to really make the most of your holiday.

The length of stay is optional, you can stay for 4 or 7 days. All packages come with complimentary bike hire, so if you don’t want to travel with your own bike, you don’t have to.

The Northern Rivers has a varied and scenic mix of terrain, there is something for every rider. Choose the scenic route, endurance road riding or gravel road adventures. If you’d like to incorporate a rest day activity, you can! There is whale-watching, yoga classes, horse riding, surfing or massages available.

Breaking it down, this is how to book :

1. Choose the length of the trip and the time of year
2. Choose the bike, Checkpoint Gravel Bike or Domane Road Bike
3. Choose the type of terrain and experienc

Share this holiday with your friends and family, it’s something for you all to look forward to. You can travel solo by booking a private room. Or select twin share if you wish to share with a partner or friend.

Want to know more?

Upcoming dates :

August 24-30 BE QUICK | September SOLD OUT | October 12-18 | November 9-15

The Rides:
Ride the meandering and beautiful subtropical Byron Bay coast and hinterland with your own local guides. Whether you’re a beginner rider looking to gain some confidence and experience on the open roads, a seasoned road rider who wants to find all the best local climbs and cafes, or even a keen gravel enthusiast looking to get off the beaten track and pick up some new riding skills, let us and our professional tour guides show you the way. Each morning rides start at 7am and go for 3 to 5 hours.

Accommodation: The Atlantic Byron Bay

In the heart of town and walking distance to beaches and restaurants, The Atlantic hotel presents a luxury collection of individually styled guestrooms and beautiful communal spaces. There are complimentary McTavish surfboards for your afternoon surf, a swimming pool for post-ride dips and fully functional kitchens for your pre-ride breakfast each morning.

Post-ride restaurants and cafes:
You’ll spend the mornings riding and finish each ride with a lunch stop at our favourite restaurants and cafes. For the rest of the day and evening, you’re then welcome to enjoy all that Byron has to offer including the beautiful beaches, restaurants, retail stores and landmarks.

We can’t wait to welcome you to Byron Bay and show you our favourite routes. If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you, send us an email at

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Gearing Up For The Road Back – Cycling Along Not Alone with Lifecycles Travel

Taking it literally at Lifecycles Travel, we are travelling the road back and invite you along for the ride.

Like you I’m sure, we put the recent lockdown to good use. The slower life allowed us to reflect on what we had achieved in the last three years since starting Lifecycles Travel. We were able to reassess our goals. Inspired by the agility and innovation of so many local and small businesses, we decided to put our minds to ‘the road back’ and how we can bring safe, socially distant active experiences into a future of new local cycling adventures.

Corona virus has long been considered a battle on two fronts – the virus and the economy. 

Whilst we are now coming out of the woods in terms of the actual virus, we are all still feeling the economic effects of this situation. From many keen cyclists, that has meant the cancellation of their dream European cycling holiday in 2020 and with that a sense of deflation at not having that goal to look forward to, train for and continue to motivate them to be the healthiest version of themselves.

So we set out to offer a range of world-class cycling tours, in our home Byron Bay, that you can experience right now. With domestic travel restrictions about to be lifted, where else than the warm, tropical, ‘wellness’ capital of Australia would you rather be? The Byron Bay hinterland is arguably the best kept secret in Australian cycling and is the perfect addition to Byron’s famous selection of restaurants, hotels & AirBnb’s.

Cycling is a safe activity to transition back into travel.

Lifecycles Travel offers an impressive range of cycling tours and services, ranging from single day bike hire & guided rides to week-long fully supported cycling holidays. Beginner riders can learn new skills under the tuition of our tour guides and become confident cyclists whilst using our premium Trek carbon fibre bikes. For more advanced riders, there’s an endless amount of rolling hinterland roads within reach of Byron, and with the recent addition of our 3 dayBorder Ranges Gravel Adventure‘ tour, there’s no shortage of challenge for you to relish.

Introducing the Hinterland Overnighter Tour: this socially-distant self-guided experience is one of the recent additions to our tours. Starting and finishing in Byron village, spend 2 days riding quiet country roads, in search of coffee stops and local cuisines, tied together with a night of secluded cabin accommodation in the majestic Byron Bay hinterland, a gourmet dinner basket and your luggage transported for you.

All tours are based out of the popular north coast holiday town of Byron Bay, which is accessed via 2 airports as well as the recently upgraded Pacific Highway, so within easy reach of any Australian domestic traveller.

To book and find out more information on upcoming tours, visit

New Products:

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Staying ahead of the Covid-19 curve.

Life is not really operating like any other day right now. Impacts on travel and where and when we can go are still grey.
That’s why we have decided to introduce a temporary cancellation policy. It’s a policy to give us confidence in doing our part, organising great trips, and gives you the opportunity to start planning your next holiday. Actually have something to look forward to without financial stress or worry. Consider this cancellation policy your trusty spares kit for the somewhat bumpy roads ahead.

Here are the details of our cancellation policy. You can find this in full on our Terms and Conditions page here.

Covid-19 ‘cancel at any time’ Cancellation Policy

Due to the circumstances of COVID-19 and its impacts on the travel industry, Lifecycles Travel has introduced a temporary cancellation policy.

The policy will cover:

Any purchase of domestic travel including rides, holidays or bike hire purchased with the intent to conduct travel between 1st May 2020 and 31st December 2020 can be cancelled and customers will be issued a full refund.

Any purchase of international travel including Italy Grand Tours purchased with the intent to conduct travel between 1st May 2020 and 31st December 2021 can be cancelled and customers will be issued a full refund.

Customers can ‘cancel at any time’ and receive a refund if COVID-19 has directly impacted their ability to engage with Lifecycles Travel and their cycling tourism products. This includes government-imposed travel bans and restrictions, sickness or poor health and/or unforeseeable impacts of COVID-19.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be rolling out some new trips and holidays in preparation for reopening. We are ready to kick back into gear and you’ll love what we’ve got in store.

Make sure to have subscribed to our newsletter. Be the first to get holiday invites and trip releases:

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My man rides bikes, should I get into it?

Ever waited, and waited for your cyclist boyfriend or husband to come home so you can finally start enjoying the weekend? This was me until…

I got myself a shiny blue bike and some bloody independence!

People say “Alice, are you into cycling?” I answer you’re only into cycling if someone takes you along and shows you the way. It’s the physical challenge and the social aspect that grabs your interest. Then the inclusion and involvement in cycling groups sweeps you up and there’s no turning back. It’s both fun and rewarding.

“Let’s just say I’ve come along way from flat pedals and riding in Nike running shorts and a Bonds t-shirt.” Alice laughs.

Someone once told me that when you’re older, (I guess I’m at the age now to know what he means…) you should try a different sport, something you’ve never done before. This advice is not to broaden your horizons, keep your body in shape or to avoid boredom, but to test your present self. If you continue to do the same things in your adult life as you did when you were a kid you’ll always be competing with your younger self. Let’s be honest, your younger self may always be faster, stronger and happier in your mind. Cycling, for me, was a sport with new personal records, emerging conditioning, new competitors to beat and of course new shiny toys, apparel and equipment to dream about.

Starting out, my first ride was a disaster.

That ‘someone’ who took me out and introduced me to cycling, went down a hill too fast for me and I lost him. Turned a corner at the bottom of the street, never to be seen for at least 45mins of hot hilly hysteria in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. You can’t store a phone in a Bonds t-shirt… If it wasn’t for the coffee stop and listening to the adventures of others that morning, I wouldn’t have done it again… It seems that everyone has their cycling war stories that both build determination and of course character. I laugh about it now.

Read My Journey from B to B by Chris Boogert who took his ‘hobby’ to a whole new level after a serious crash in the Blayney to Bathurst.

Now I can cycle a long way, at great elevation and even go down hills fast enough to not get dropped. It’s an awesome sport with endless physical benefits, but this repetitive movement that gets you out of bed early and exposes you to a whole different friendship group, also plays wonders for your mental health. My advice: don’t wait for your boyfriend or husband to get home, get out there yourself.

If I can do it, you can do it too.

Got a funny or similar story? Tell us about it.
Who got you into cycling and what went down on your first couple of rides?!

Nevermind the chain tattoo, I’m getting into it, and learning a bit more every day.
And a bit of encouragement goes a long way!
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The Velothon Sunshine Coast

The Tour de France is not the only exciting thing happening this Winter. The Velothon Sunshine Coast, now in its 3rd year, is one of the most exciting new cycling events in Australia. It will be taking place 19 – 21 July 2019. This is your opportunity to race in a multi-stage cycling event & compete for the coveted yellow jersey. Be part of the team… You’ll be racing for the Australian Cycling Academy right here on their home soil. They will be back after their successful season overseas, and you’ll get the opportunity to ride with the young motivated professionals. Oh, & did we mention the mid-20’s winter weather on the Sunshine Coast? That’s worth the plane trip alone!!!

Chris and Alice rode the 1 Day Velothon in its first year. “We both had a great time riding, it’s such a well organised event and Chris even came third” Alice recalls.

Teaming up with the Sunshine Coast’s very own UCI Continental level cycling team, the Australian Cycling Academy (ACA), is exciting for us too… We are offering 2 unique tours to the Velothon. 3-day Velo riders can sign up for the Velothon Team Experience and get a taste of racing with the support of a pro team. You’ll receive transfers to & from each stage, ride with real Pro Racing Sunshine Coast team riders, have your equipment cleaned & ready for each day & learn from their professional race directors.

“This year we are working more closely with the Australian Cycling Academy and have even developed a Lifestyle Experience which includes two tourist rides”. Chris explained that this will encourage partners and riders to come to the area and experience the culture and lifestyle.

If racing for 3 days is not your thing, but you’d like to experience a destination at its fullest when you visit, then sign up for our Velothon Lifestyle Experience. You’ll spend 2 days riding the best of the Sunshine Coast, visiting local iconic destinations and meeting the people who make this region so special. Join us for the ‘Village Ride’ and the ‘Market Ride’, before competing in the 1-day Velo on Sunday 21 July. The support & knowledge you receive from our professional ACA staff will make you a stronger & more confident rider for future events.

Learn more about each trip and book your spot by clicking on the links below:

Team Experience Lifestyle Experience

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Cycling in the Dolomites: an inspiring Italian adventure

A lakeside group dinner filled with cheese, wine, meat, laughter, speeches, awards and more cheese. These were the joyous, late-night scenes of the finale dinner on our inaugural Park Bikes Dolomites Grand Tour 2018.

And though this trip was more about the once in a lifetime experiences riding over the fascinating landscapes and awe-inspiring passes of the Dolomites, this moment will no doubt remain at the pointy end of the many lasting memories, and is a reminder of the real element of atmosphere and comradery that accompanied the world-class riding on this trip.

Having just completed 8 of the most challenging and inspiring days of cycling in our lives, including climbs such as the Stelvio, Gavia, Mortirolo & Sella Ronda, this group of adventure-seeking Aussie cyclists were not going to miss their chance to let their hair down and celebrate for the night.

When we first sat down with Nash Kent (owner of Park Bikes, Sydney) to discuss the idea of organising a trip to the Dolomites for his customers, we began a journey that has reinforced so much confidence in why we do what we do. Our first international trip was an amazing success, not only due to the fantastic group of people who were involved but the months of successful planning and execution. Furthermore, we are now more excited than ever to go back. We’ve worked on many ways to improve the logistics, and can’t wait till the 9th of June 2019 so we can provide an even better customer experience.

Some of the most lasting memories of the trip in 2018 are those that can only come about from bringing together a diverse group of people who share a common healthy interest, such as riding a bike up a bloody big mountain! We are on the scout for another great bunch of people.

Climbing the Stelvio Pass is a special experience that any passionate cyclist should attempt at least once in their life. If you’re even a little bit interested in joining us, this is the trip of a lifetime, come and ride with us!

The 75 switchbacks that lead up to what is the highest paved mountain pass in Italy demands courage and respect, yet rewards all that conquer it with so much pride and self-admiration, something that all of last year’s guests can attest to. Every single rider made it to the top of the Stelvio Pass!

This year, we will be returning to Italy for our 2nd edition of the Dolomites Grand Tour, 9-18th June 2019. As well as revisiting this year’s key climbs, 2019 guests will have the opportunity to take on a number of other famous climbs of the Giro d’Italia, including the Monte Grappa & Passo Giau. If you’re interested in joining the Park Bikes Dolomites Grand Tour 2019, or you’d like some more information, click the button below to fill in your details.

There’s only one thing left to do… Book your spot.

Book Now Read Itinerary

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Australian Cycling Academy: Take your riding to the next level

Lifecycles Travel is now working with our neighbours to the North, the Australian Cycling Academy (ACA), to provide a range of 3-day training camps and cycling tours on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. You’ve probably already heard about the ACA, their success as a pro-continental academy and cycling team under the guidance of team owners and former professional cyclists Ben Kersten & Matt Wilson has no doubt been one of the most exciting stories in Australian cycling this year. Have a quick watch of their launch video and you’ll see what we mean!

It’s not all just for the professionals.

What you may not know about the ACA is that they are committed to creating a better future for not just the professionals, but all Australian cyclists. Their ‘pro team’ standard training camps and tours, which take you along the amazing and varied routes of the beautiful Sunshine Coast, are run by some of the best in the business and are designed to cater for all levels of cyclists. Whether you are looking for that winning-edge, an excuse for a holiday or just looking to escape the cold this Winter, an ACA training camp is sure to change the way you ride your bike!


For detailed itineraries and to book any of their 3 upcoming camps click the ‘more details’ button below, or contact us and we will help you choose your ideal experience.

aca button

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My Journey from B to B

At 23 years of age, my love of cycling was just getting started when it came to a crashing halt on the slopes of Mt Rockley, Bathurst. Despite leaving a few scars, it’s provided a life lesson I would never take back, and the reason that I keep returning to this great event year after year to remind myself exactly why I ride my bike.

This weekend the Cycling NSW Autumn racing season swings into gear for 2017 with the annual Blayney to Bathurst Cyclo-Sportive. There is no doubt the B2B is always a fan favourite, and it’s elevation to UCI Gran-Fondo qualifier this year, is testament to that. A 70km or 110km course through the beautiful NSW Central Tablelands to choose from on Sunday, an elite racing category in the morning as well as a full schedule of hill-climb and criterium races on Saturday, it’s an event that offers a real challenge yet is inclusive of all riders, beginner to elite racer.

Unsurprisingly, it is a popular ‘maiden event’ for a lot of cyclists, an opportunity to broaden your horizons, try a new event or step up your distance marker to the next level. 5 years ago that was the case for me, now this event holds a different sort of significance in my life.

On 22nd April, 2012 I lined up for the B2B as a 23 year old, kick-starting what was hopefully going to be my first full season of road racing. Following a strong summer of training in Sydney, a 4-day Easter training camp with my mates in the Southern Highlands and having just recently been given a ‘gernsey’ with the Parramatta Development Race Team, I was jumping out of my skin in anticipation and ready to prove myself in this first big weekend of racing.

Like any young ‘fresher’, I wanted to do it all. I signed up for the full program: hill climb, criterium and the first edition of the ‘Extreme Challenge’ 160km Blayney to Bathurst cyclo-sportive (I take full responsibility for it being the last edition as well).

“Unfortunately, my weekend didn’t go to plan.”

After naively ignoring the increasing signs of dehydration brought on by the weekend’s heavy load, I rapidly began to fatigue 130km into the race and on the steep slopes of Mt Rockley. The last thing I remember was watching the peloton ride away from me up the climb while each of my pedal strokes began to feel like a mountain on their own. Waking up in hospital 24 hours later, I slowly began piecing together the incident, though still in a heavily drug-induced state. Having limped over the top of the climb, I essentially ‘blacked out’ on the fast Mt Rockley descent, completely losing control of my bike and crashing heavily on my face and left side. The incident, supposedly first called in as a fatality, forced a complete redirection of the race route for the remainder of the day so that I could be air evacuated to Westmead Hospital. My family waited fearfully for the results of my CT scan to determine if I had any sight, head or spinal injuries.

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Up until that point in my life it was fair to say that the power of good nurture had steadily and smoothly pushed me in the right direction. Good family, good friends, good schooling etc. In an instant though, I realised the brutal significance of my own actions and decisions in life. It wasn’t so much what had happened, but what could have happened. I know that I was lucky to escape with mainly cuts and grazes, crashing at high speed and not even being able to brace myself for impact. While I was completely overwhelmed with the level of support I received from my family, friends and the local cycling community, I was also hit pretty hard by how much I had let myself down, as well as everyone in my life who had worked so hard to get me this far. This incident had been all me, no one else to blame but myself. After that, cycling took a back seat and it was almost 2 years until I pinned a number on again.

“When I look back on it now, I feel as though I can see a clear change in attitude from that moment on.”

Maturity is taking more responsibility for your own actions and choosing a balanced path through life. Maturity is not relying just on nurture, but instead respecting and acknowledging those that have made a positive contribution to your life. Like the contribution of Diana Wong, Nash Kent, Simon Hammond and the whole PRT/GPM team, I will always be grateful for what they did for me that day. Or the contribution of the good people in the Westmead Hospital Plastic surgery department, who put my face back together again. Or the contribution of my family, who nursed me pretty heavily through those next few weeks. While it is sad to think of all the great times I could have had riding, and racing my bike over those next 2 years, the incident was probably the most positively influential experience of my adolescent life and has set me on a path to become a more balanced and mature person.

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In 2014, I decided to give bike racing another go and set out to complete my pilgrimage to maturity by returning to the stage that had defeated me 2 years earlier. Having had a really good summer of training, I was fired up for the Bathurst event and ready to take on Mt Rockley again.

“And, it was almost the perfect comeback story!”

I rode a stronger, smarter race and got in the winning breakaway with a group of top riders, only to be caught by the chasing bunch in the final kilometre. I was momentarily disappointed as I crossed the finish line, thinking what a great feeling it would have been to deliver a result at this race, on this occasion. The reality though was that I had got the result that I wanted. The real battle that day had been with myself, and I had won it. For the other guys in that breakaway, it had probably been just another race, maybe better for some than others. For me though, it had been an almost cleansing experience, an opportunity to wash away any demons or self-doubt that I had lingering from before. I had still learnt a couple of hard lessons about bike racing, but I had learnt a lot more about myself.


Every year, I like to go back and do the B2B to remind myself of opportunity, responsibility and what a positive impact bike riding has had on my life. Hopefully I’ll see you there this weekend.

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Byron Hinterland: A cyclist’s paradise

Last weekend we took off for a ride in the Byron Bay hinterland. Set conveniently adjacent to the NSW North Coast paradise town, a few hours riding in this agriculturally rich, subtropical setting is the perfect destination to give your legs, your eyes and your Instagram a workout.


Whether you are environmentally-conscious, culinary-obsessed or just thermo-intolerant, Byron Bay is a mecca for all things leisure and tourism. In what is a unique social combustion of surfies, greenies, foodies, thrill seekers, leisure seekers and peace seekers, just a few days at the easternmost point of Australia will have you stimulating all the senses.

Though while Byron is probably better known for its beaches and vibes; the geography, climate and culture also make it a paradise for cyclists. A short ride from Cape Byron and you enter into a ‘spaghetti network’ of quiet roads meandering through a sub tropical setting, dotted with unique and interesting small townships along the way.  

The Byron Cycling Club host a variety of club rides in the hinterland and along the coast every day, and have over 30 official routes that they choose from on a weekly basis.


Confident that our general curiosity would get the better of us, we decided to head off on our own on a route that was challenging, yet still left enough in the legs to take in the amazing panorama on offer over every crest and around every turn.

Leaving Byron via the flat northern road out through Ewingsdale, we crossed under the newly upgraded Pacific Highway and begun a clockwise hinterland loop heading through Federal, Goonengerry, Montecollum and then back via Myocum.

Riding in the hinterland, there’s no need to visit the supermarket anymore. Around every corner on the quiet roads are farmers selling fruit, veg, herbs and treats in tiny self-service stalls. Just pop a dollar or $2 in the jar for every bit of fresh produce you take, bring a musette with you or make a bit of room in your back pockets and it is happy days.


The hills aren’t very long (we never got over 300m elevation), but you know when you’re climbing. Today’s ride was carefully planned, the gradient only snuck up over 10% a few times, fortunately.

If you would like to come riding with us in Byron Bay, get in touch and we’ll let you know as soon as the next adventure comes up.