The Last Leg of The Tour

Sue is still feeling the effects of vertigo and the exercises are not “fixing” it, so it will be good to get home.

The drive down from Temora to Wangaratta started on the Goldfields Way which became the Olympic Highway and then on the Hume Highway.  The Olympic Highway is so named because back in 1963 part of the route was used to carry the Olympic flame down to Melbourne for the Olympic Games.  The Goldfields Way led to Wagga Wagga and was quite busy with people heading into Wagga for Saturday chores, all wanting to overtake this pesky caravan.  After Wagga things settled down and I was able to watch them rushing along towards Wagga on the other side of the road.

Once installed on the double site at the Painter’s Island Caravan Park, I appreciated the policy that at this time of year management leaves empty sites on either side.  Very comfortable.  It was a pity I was not able to enjoy it to the full as it is wet, cold and windy!!

Sunday morning and I was determined to go for a cycle.

It was 4°C at Wangaratta.  I decided to go to Everton and cycle up the rail trail to Beechworth but I took the wrong road and ended up in Beechworth.  It was 2°C and in fog so I had a second breakfast at the famous Bakery and then headed to Myrtleford – the lower level of the rail trail.  It wasn’t too nice there either – windy and raining.  There seemed to be a bit of blue sky further on so I drove to Bright and found it was – bright, dry and 5°C.  From here I could cycle the trail back to Porepunkah and beyond depending on the weather.  The cycle out was into what could be called a “Keen” wind.  I actually pulled in to see if a tyre was flat, it had that much impact.  Despite the coolness I still had to cycle carefully bypassing various walkers, bicycles, kids and dogs.  I like to see them out but it does stop you getting into a decent rhythm.  Just after Porepunkah a group was walking along using the whole path.  They eventually realised I wanted to get past and one of them apologised and called me “Sir” – and not on an ironic way.  How polite was that.

Bright 1

In the background there is some snow on the hills in the above picture.  Further back there was more snow as the hills become the mountains hosting ski fields.  In the car parks at Porepunkah and Bright there was much fitting of chains to wheels for vehicles heading past Bright to the snow fields.  It’s not at all like Yamba here!!

On the way back I noticed an interesting bridge.  Off that bridge on the other side of the Ovens River ran a track.  It looked like it might be a loop so I gave it a go.

Bright 2

It was a bit rocky and Brompton didn’t really like it.  We bashed on until arriving at a suspension bridge – which we crossed.  The track on the far side was worse – good mountain biking territory and not for a folding commuter.  So we had to turn and head back.

Back on the rail trail I came across two women carrying one dog each.  I just had to ask.  Well, one dog was old and had had enough walking.  We had a Yorkie that did that in his old age – he would just stop and then had to be carried.  The other was a young Lab which was shaking.  I suspect if he had a decent warm coat on he would have been OK – and he looked quite a weight for the lady to carry.

After that, a strange happening.  I checked speed and odometer reading.  Pedalled on a bit and checked again because the speed readout was fluctuating and I was trying to work out why.  Then the odometer zeroed itself!!  Well, I know I saw 128 on it earlier but I don’t know what the reading was when it changed to 0.   Now I can’t accurately add my ks for the past 3 weeks!!  I know I had 12 that I haven’t reported after zeroing the thing 2 weeks ago so that’s 140 plus the 4.2 back to Bright – I will add 144 when it comes to stats time.  Luckily the long term odometer counter wasn’t affected.

Back at camp I cleaned up B as they are susceptible to wear and tear from roadside grit let alone bush track crap and then retired to my windproof caravan with heater going.

Monday.  A grey, cold day not encouraging me to do much at all.  I choofed around getting car and caravan ready for the run down to Melbourne and talked to a few of the caravaners in the park, did some shopping and finished a murder mystery.

Tuesday.  A reasonable drive to Station Pier, Melbourne via the Hume Highway and the Ring Road.  I timed it to arrive around 12 noon thus avoiding morning rush hour and afternoon kid picking up time.  With 5 hours to wait until Ferry loading started I parked up and had a ride along the Bay Trail.

Melb 1

It felt like it might rain but luckily it didn’t.  I rolled along until hitting the road works for the new sewer system and turned back at that point.  A few months ago it had been awkward passing through with the trike and the works looked even tighter now.

Melb 2

On the way I went down to the Kiosk advertising fish and chips with a sign on the trail.  False News – the Kiosk was shut.  The climb out was good.  Previously I just made it on the trike but with the new low gears on B I spun the pedals and we climbed out OK.

Melb 3

Eventually it was time to get loaded onto the Ferry after that 15k ride.

The Ferry left on time.  It docked in Devonport on time and I drove through the frosty morning to arrive home at 8am.

Job Done.

It’s just left for me to add the kilometers onto the total and prepare to get back to normal.

144 plus 15 = 159 to add.

Total for weeks :   159 k            Total for year :  3,063 k

Vivente :   0 k                     Brompton :   159 k                  Anura : 0 k

Only 4 months left in the year so I will have to pick up speed a bit to hit 5,200 kilometers for the year.

Author: antc1946

Born in 1946 I learnt to cycle about 10 years later. On a bike with rods connecting brake levers to the brakes - anyone remember those? I emigrated to Australia (from the UK) in 1974 and moved to Tasmania in 1984. Bicycles were in my life for most of that time although sometimes they were replaced by motorised two wheels for a bit more excitement. On reaching 70 I decided to stick to pedal power but in 2019 an electric recumbent made an appearance. it's now 2023 and I have 3 bikes. 2 e-recumbents and the Brompton.

2 thoughts on “The Last Leg of The Tour”

  1. well. done!!!!! im reading a book at the moment about a couple in their late 50s recumbent and upright across america. good story ill bring it for you to read when we do the gentlemans ride see you soon k


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