The South Coast Bike Ride that takes in 19 breweries

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What happens when a keen bike rider discovers a Craft Beer trail? Well he turns it in to an epic Craft Beer Ride of course. Patrick Keogh from Canberra loves riding almost as much as he loves Craft Beer so he always looking for ways to combine his passions. When he heard about the South Coast Ale Trail he started putting together a bike ride that would take them in.  The Ale Trail includes 8 Breweries and covers 370 km's from Wollongong to Pambula but that is by road of course. Due to the distance, the catch phrase of the trail is that "It's a journey" and that you should take your time to discover all of the amazing activities on the South Coast, not just the breweries. But the trail was always meant to be discovered by car and nobody every really considered traveling the trail by bike, except Patrick of course.

Patrick explains,  "I have turned the South Coast Ale Trail into a cycling route. Nearly all of the ride is staying OFF the Princes highway with a mix of sealed and unsealed roads, with some of the unsealed roads being sandy. There are a couple of short hike a bikes if you are not set up for riding on sand and one quite steep climb for 4km near Pretty Beach. The ride actually takes you past or through the doors of 19 craft breweries over the 510 km's which is a bit longer than traveling by road.

The northern segment offers the greatest concentration of breweries covering 11 in 147 km's, 6 in greater Wollongong and then another 5 in the second half. There is some lovely riding including the Kiama to Gerringong walking track and sections of the coastal cycle path (paved) from Bulli down to Kiama. This segment has the additional advantage that there is a train from Bomaderry to Wollongong and so you can do one direction without a car shuffle. For me at least, eleven breweries in one day is a bit of a stretch.

The middle segment offers just 2 breweries both around Milton/Ulladulla. It does have some excellent scenery, specially the section south from Bawley Point.

The southern segment offers enough breweries to keep hydrated, but is the longest with the most climbing and all the "adventure" of crossing lake mouth sand in several places (may be impossible depending on rainfall). However it is very scenic."

Patrick hasn't ridden the trail yet but hopes to attack it this summer after completing an 1100km ride in Italy coming up in the spring. He thinks the entire trail "Looks like a leisurely week's ride to me."

You can see the bike ride broken down in to 3 segments on the Ride with GPS website.

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