VRT : Around Wangaratta

More Wangaratta: A look around town

Saturday April 1, 2017, 16 km (10 miles) – Total so far: 336 km (209 miles)

Cool overnight with 7C as the low. The Exped mat deflated yesterday evening but, re-pumped and bung checked, it lasted the night. So it’s OK? Time will tell. (NB: still going strong in 2021!).

A day for exploring Wang. Started off by finally locating the railway station and checking train times to Melbourne. There are not as many as Melbourne to Seymour so I will have to get the 13.39 to get to the Ferry in time. To make sure I can get on with the bike it was recommended I book in advance.

Across the road from the Station was Derailleurs – a coffee shop with very good coffee.

As I returned to the Painted Island Caravan Park to get my return date from the Spirit of Tasmania ticket, my route took me past the Information Office. I thought I would check a few things. Results : #1. They have little info re rail trail other than the map I have downloaded to the phone : #2. The trail from Oxley (yesterdays cycling) is not a rail trail but does roughly follow the route of the old Whitfield line : #3. The signs along the Whitfield road that look like old station signs are just that. There is a nebulous plan to develop a cycle track next to the road but it sounds a bit like a pipe dream. The number of cyclists visiting the area may force their arm though.

Back to camp then back to station and the train journey is booked, including reference to travelling with a bike.

Next it was a visit to the Regional Art Gallery. It was showing one person’s work depicting plants. The style was not my “cup of tea” so it was a quick visit. Nearby was the Performing Arts Centre with a busy cafe. Ideal for lunch.

I then went looking for the start of the rail trail. It begins in a park amongst a heap of buses and school kids and I followed it out for a k or so. Then it was back to camp for a quiet time!

Through the parklands
Murray to Mountains Rail Trail start
Can’t wait – roll on tomorrow
The cafe and entertainment “plaza” alongside the Ovens River. The colours of the rusty poles, the greens of the railings and the brown decking really blend into the riverscape. A clever development.

Why back to camp for a quiet time? Well, Wangaratta traffic knows where it is going and wants to get there fast so, cyclist, watch out!! Parking is angle parking, nose in; leaving is backing out hoping you don’t hit anything. In other towns I have experienced angle parking but with drivers backing in and this seemed to work really well. Once a vehicle stops and the reversing lights go on, it is known the manoeuvre will be to back into the slot. On leaving, drivers can then see what they are doing including allowing for any oncoming cyclists. Today it felt like – cyclist preserve yourself. So I walked on the footpath pushing the bike.

Lastly a trip to the supermarket for staples that have run out.

Tomorrow’s run will be short and flat.

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 is good!

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