VRT – Bonnie Doone to Mansfield

The final leg – of this stage: Into Mansfield

Monday March 27, 2017, 25 km (16 miles) – Total so far: 190 km (118 miles)

The weather forecast is for 31C and an 80% chance of rain. Plus thunderstorms. This sounds interesting. Dawn at Bonnie Doon is clear and calm so packing up is comfortable.

Lake Eildon cockies
To start with the route crosses part of the lake on a rail trail specific bridge

Although today’s ride is short it is hot and an interesting little wind is developing. There were quite a few climbs up through cuttings and very little flat riding for the first several kilometers. The countryside looks tremendous with it’s straw colouring dotted with large gum trees – and even one crop dusting plane.

Crop Duster
There were some nice cuttings

The wind swirled about and, assisted by a twisty trail, it was often oncoming but sometimes right behind providing a great boost. At one stage the road we are running alongside was heading for quite a steep hill. Luckily it was too much for a train so we diverted to the left and wiggled around a bit to skirt the hill.

The track surface today was crushed blue metal packed down very well. As ever, a rider has to watch for tree branches and bark across the riding surface. Today several cyclists travelled past heading in the opposite direction. After a while they passed me again – this time overtaking as they returned to Mansfield, after turning around at Bonnie Doon. Up to this point on the trail I only saw one or two a day. Maybe it’s the strenuous riding required but it seems hard for any of them go respond to a “Hello”. Am I breaking some kind of tradition by talking. Is there a secret finger wave I am missing?

Occasional drops – take care
A shady stop

But the kilometer posts keep appearing, the number of ks to the end keeps going down and suddenly there is one with 1 on it. Just 1 k to go and the rail trail is done. A bit more through a stand of trees each with it’s own plaque explaining type and habits. The track here is edged with rail and then we head into the “station”. One trail done and one to go.

A pleasant tea stop. Closed today
One Kilometre to go
Must be getting close
That’s it. End of trail – or – head of trail

The tent was set up in the High Country Caravan Park a couple of blocks from the centre of town. As the work finished the skies darkened and the winds began to blow away the 30+C temps. Great. Tent up, gear shipshape, bring it on!

And it did. Although not nearly enough thunder and lightning for a proper storm.

Finally, to celebrate and to take respite from Trangia cooking, I had tea at the local Thai restaurant and, as it was BYO, took along a Taylors Cab. Sav to enjoy.


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.

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