5. Book a hire car

Some bike events don't need a car to get around. Unfortunately, Reef to Reef is not one of them. You can get an airport transfer and pick up a hire car after Stage 1 if you like - you will save a day's hire, but add some faff.

Get onto a booking site for car hire comparison, and lock it in NOW. Most sites have free cancellation. Vroomvroomvroom is a good one, but there are plenty out there. Two people getting something like an i30 will fit two bike bags and a small gear bag (trust me). That'll run about $850 for Thursday to Monday.

You may be able to make something like a Kia Carnivale work for 4 people and bikes, if people pack light and you know a thing or two about tetris. That'll run around $1300 (booked now).

A few things make a difference with this sort of stuff. One is searching a few options. Another is being precise on booking times. And - don't let your mate bring a hard case or cardboard box. They take up too much room - unless you stay in one place (like Palm Cove). Then it's all gravy.

How to choose a bike bag