Envy sparks the birth of Mulga Bicycle Tours

08 Feb 24 | By pp-admin

Mulga Bicycle Tours recently renewed their member discount for Pedal Power members and whilst the PP office was updating our member discount page the telephone conversation shifted to the motivations behind Mark and Denise’s founding of Mulga Bicycle Tours.

In 2007 after working for 10 years in their visual communications and event management business Mark and Denise realised they needed to schedule some holiday time for themselves. To do this they began to manage their projects allowing them to step away from the office for the entirety of 2009 while still managing some work remotely.

So what do you do with a year away from work?

In 2008 they came up with the idea to cycle around Australia, which was further refined to ride anticlockwise around “The Block” to visit each of the state and territory capital cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Hobart, finishing in Canberra.

They wrote a diary as they travelled and published it on their Sprung Chicken Ride blog. In 2014 the National Library of Australia archived their blog as part of the PANDORA Project that was established to preserve Australia’s online social history.

Why Sprung Chickens? Visit the ‘About’ page in their blog to learn how Denise’s father’s caution “you are not spring chickens anymore” influenced the name.

14 years later they still look back on their time away with a great deal of affection having camped under the stars, stayed in 5-stars and everything in between. There were hard days and low points and sometimes the combination of distances and head winds were overwhelming. In all these situations they were surprised to discover that their mental strength was far more important to them than their physical fitness.

They both agree their standout memories will always be the people they met along the way and the frequent, envying comments “I wish I could do what you are doing.”

You never know what is waiting just around the next corner!

In 2011 Mark was diagnosed with chronic neck pain and was unable to continue in his role as a software developer. A long search for relief pursued, with the pain specialists endorsing exercise as a crucial pain management strategy. After swapping his drop bars for trekking bars (and more recently Surly Moloko bars), Mark quickly rediscovered the mental and physical benefits cycling offered him.

As Mark began exploring new career paths, the echoes of “I wish I could do what you are doing,” kept resonating.

In 2015 after some research and a lot of ‘gut feel’ Mark and Denise decided to combine their event management expertise with their love of cycling, to make multi-day bicycle touring accessible to the average cyclist.  Hence, the concept of Mulga Bicycle Tours was born.

It took them 18 months to get the business operational with one of the major tasks involving the design and construction of their fully enclosed support trailer. Their first commercial tour ran between Cairns and Karumba in 2017.

Rather than just a cycling venture they see Mulga Tours as providing sight-seeing active holidays.

Mark says “For us, pedalling through different landscapes, savouring the view, meeting the people, and capturing the memories you only get on a bike take precedence over strict time constraints or maximizing the kilometres.” Denise adds, “We also prioritise comfort, ensuring that every day concludes with accommodation and meals at the finest available venues.”


Autumn Colours, Wine & Food.

If you are considering a multi-day cycling holiday for the first time, Mulga’s fully supported Murray to Mountains 5-Day Autumn tour may be worth considering as it was designed just for people like you.

Starting in Wangaratta on Sunday, 5 May, 2024, the tour follows the Murray to Mountains and the Beechworth to Yackandandah Rail Trails with a few deviations on quiet roads. Their itinerary also provides time to explore Beechworth, Yackandandah, Myrtleford, Bright and Milawa.

Pedal Power members receive a 5% member discount off the Tour Price with free bike transfer between Canberra and Wangaratta. Find details on how to claim the discount here.

Find tour details and information on how to book, here.


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