top of page

The Rules

If we are ever involved in facilitating any event on the IPWR course in the future the following rules may apply and are subject to change.

Riders must act in the spirit of self-sufficiency, equal opportunity for all racers and with integrity. Those interested in racing should treat the event as a personal race against the clock. 

1. Ride the full route under your own power.

  • This means that any deviation from the route not due to road or trail closures will exclude a rider from the General Classification. No exceptions. Navigation is part of the challenge.

  • Riders may ride any type of human-powered bike. E-bikes of any sort, even if charged through dynamo power, are not permitted.

  • It is fine to go off course to resupply or for emergency reasons (mechanical or medical). Riders must return to the exact point of departure from the route to recommence their ride and not miss even a meter of the race route.

  • The race will be tracked through an online tracking service, using rider supplied GPS tracking devices (SPOT, or similar). Final placings will be based on GPS tracking data and racers will not be included in final results if a tracker is not used. Riders are responsible for ensuring the correct use of their tracking devices. Riders with devices that are switched off or not active for long periods may be excluded from the final results.

  • Riders must ensure their tracking devices (SPOT or other) are operating correctly at all times. Riders should realise that turning off a tracking device could be seen as a way of hiding behaviour that is against the rules. If a rider’s tracking device is not functioning then that rider should be extra diligent in collecting records to prove their location at all times. This could take the form of photographs at key intersections, keeping Garmin (or other) tracking files for later proof, collecting receipts at resupply points, etc. Riders should be concerned about proving their location at all times.

2. No drafting.

  • Inevitably a rider may travel at the same pace as another rider. When riding together riders should ride side-by-side.

  • Riders should recognise that riding in a group, even when not drafting, is significantly easier than riding solo. Riders will be asked to declare the extent of group riding after the event and this data may accompany the final results.

3. Accept no help that others couldn't also receive along the way.

  • This means no support from team cars, friends or family. Serendipitous support offered unexpectedly by race fans along the route can be accepted within reason. Encounters with such "trail angels" add to the experience of these events. Each rider will have to live with their own decisions in this regard (accepting some water is fine, maybe a rider is comfortable accepting a small amount of food, but accepting private lodging is a step too far).

  • Use the available commercial services - restaurants, service stations, motels, etc. Supporting local businesses in small towns is the right thing to do. If offers of large amounts of food or shelter are made by trail angels, politely decline - it is the right thing to do on a self-supported adventure. It is fine for a trail angel to OFFER small amounts of food or water but never ASK a trail angel for food or water and definitely not shelter.  If you want to sleep inside find something that is available to ALL riders - not a trail angel’s couch, floor or caravan.

  • Using any form of social media to broadcast requests for help is forbidden. By all means riders may contact commercial services through whichever channel they like but having social networks help source assistance while in the field is not in the spirit of self-sufficiency.

  • Riders are responsible for finding food, water, accommodation, laundry, bike store services and anything else they may need along the way. Any service utilised must be available to all riders.

  • Friends and family are welcome to visit riders during the race to offer encouragement but they must not offer any material support of any kind.

4. Do not make race arrangements or bookings before the race begins.

  • No mailing supplies or equipment ahead. Shipping supplies or equipment ahead to Post Offices or other businesses is not permitted. This is not in the spirit of self-support. If a rider wants to change clothes at the halfway point they will need to carry spare clothes or purchase them along the way.

  • Riders must not book services to be used in the race before the race starts. This includes accommodation, bike services or making any arrangements along the route with commercial services. Accommodation and other services may be booked ahead once the race begins.

  • Riders should always act in the interest of equal opportunity. Bookings for services should only be made if they are definitely going to be used. For example, booking a room removes the opportunity for someone else to book that room. Only book services that you know you will definitely use.

5. No doping.

  • The IPWR takes a zero tolerance position towards doping in sport. Doping goes against the spirit of integrity and fairness to all, that self-supported ultra-endurance racing relies on. The IPWR follows the Cycling Australia Anti-Doping Policy (available here, at the time of publication:


6. You must be visible on the road and have sufficient lights to ride safely at night.

  • You must comply with the following light and visibility requirements:

    • Two independent front lights and two independent rear lights must be available for use (i.e. attached to the bicycle or carried). The front light must be white. The rear light must be red;

      • Independent means that both front lights cannot be powered from the same source. Likewise both rear lights cannot be powered from the same source. The same source can power one front light and one rear light.

    • One of each front and rear light must be fixed to the bicycle or to a secure accessory (eg a rack or saddle bag);

    • Between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. (local time) or at times of low visibility at least one front light (of fixed beam - not flashing) and one rear light must be illuminated;

    • A rear red reflector must be permanently fixed to the bicycle. Note that the rear reflector may be part of a rear light;

    • A reflective ankle strap on each ankle must be worn at all times;

    • Strips of reflective tape must be applied to crank arms and seat stays;

    • An acceptable reflective upper-body garment (most commonly a vest) must be carried and must be worn between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. (local time) or at times low visibility. The reflective garment must be worn over the top of all garments;

      • Acceptable reflective upper-body garments will use retroreflective materials (reflects light from all angles) which are at least 10 mm wide and placed horizontally across the front and back of the rider, or from the shoulder to the waist or have a reasonable amount of retroreflective material on the front and back.

      • Reflective piping alone is not considered sufficient.

      • It is strongly recommended that riders use reflective upper-body garments adhering to Australian Standard AS/NZS 4602.1:2011 class N, which require at least 50 mm wide retroreflective material strips, amongst other requirements.

  • Further recommendations:

    • It is strongly recommended that riders wear bright coloured jerseys;

    • It is strongly recommended that riders use multiple rear lights, mounted at different locations (eg chainstay, helmet and saddle bag) during times of low visibility; and

    • It is strongly recommended that riders add reflective tape or stickers to their bikes and helmets, and attach reflective straps to their bags to assist with visibility from behind.


7. Race to protect yourself and the future of all unsupported races.

  • Do not bring the race, or unsupported racing, into disrepute. This will jeopardise my ability (and the ability of others), and compromise my desire, to stage races in future.

  • I can’t list all possible ways that you would do this. Unfortunately you are probably more creative than I am. This is my catch-all “don’t be a doofus” rule, which will allow me to remove you from the race if I decide I need to.

  • Examples of violations of this rule include: breaking road rules, the Chief Instigator receiving a complaint about a rider from the general public or police, littering, etc

Additional Rules Specific to Relay Teams

8. Riding Together.

Team riders will be allowed to ride together for 20 km either side of the Transition Point according to the rules of the race (no drafting, etc). It will be a good opportunity to celebrate the conclusion of one section and the start of new section.

9. Phone a Friend.

Relay Teams will be allowed one "Phone a Friend" scenario. If a relay team rider can no longer continue, for whatever reason, they can “Phone a Friend” and call the next rider to take over from precisely the point at which they retired. The clock does not stop. Only the next rider can take over. Only one "Phone a Friend" opportunity is allowed per team. A rider on Section 4 (the final relay  section from Canberra to Sydney) cannot use the "Phone a Friend" scenario as there is no next rider. If the Section 4 rider retires the team is deemed to have retired.

Enforcing the Rules

The rules apply to all riders. Time penalties may be imposed and riders may not appear in the race results due to rule violations. Penalties for violations will be decided after a rider has completed the course, or quit the race. Riders should self-police the rules. It is honorable to declare any rule violations and self-disqualify or suggest a fair time penalty.

Rule 7 violations could result in the removal from the race at any time. Warnings may be given for violations of Rule 7, but this may not always be the case. Warnings and removals from the race will be issued by the ringleaders. Should you gain an entry to the IPWR  you will be told who these people are at some point before the race starts.

Riders can exit the race by choice at any time and finish the route as a tour. This often happens by self-selection when groups form and riders choose to cease racing and ride in groups. Please recognise that riding in groups is not in the spirit of self-sufficiency and therefore not in the spirit of the event. The honourable thing to do in this case is to declare the intention to finish the course as a touring cyclist, not a racer. If this is the case please contact the managers of the race GPS tracker to remove yourself from the race.

As mentioned in the rules, riders may be asked to declare the extent of group riding and this data may accompany the final results. A final result may not matter to some riders, but please recognise that some riders battle for 33rd place just as hard as a those riders battling for victory. Please allow them to race in the spirit of the event.

The Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243 kilometres (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. The road traverses rain forests, as well as beaches and cliffs composed of limestone and sandstone. Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, the road is the world's largest war memorial. Winding through varying terrain along the coast the Great Ocean Road provides access to several prominent landmarks, including the hugely popular Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations. Currently there are only eight apostles left; the ninth collapsed dramatically in July 2005. The name remains though, and the Twelve Apostles is significant tourist stop with buses taking tourists several hours from Melbourne to see the spectacle.

bottom of page