VRT – Beechworth to Myrtleford

And so to Myrtleford: Including a really pleasant downhill ride

Tuesday April 4, 2017, 47 km (29 miles) – Total so far: 493 km (306 miles)

The opening picture is the Rail Trail leaving Beechworth. An avenue of trees which have not started to turn yet. Imagine when they do in a week or two.

As an idea, these small trees in the caravan park are starting to turn. I am too early to see the main event

The descent from Beechworth to Everton.

At 4.3 ks from the caravan park, following yet another visit to the Bakery, the descent began with an initial drop for 2.2 ks. Then there were a few up hills and road crossings to slow us up before the longest descent of 9.5 ks began. It was not steep enough to actually get a speed record so I tried to get down to the junction with the main rail trail without pedalling. I tried – and failed. There was, however, only minimal pedalling – approx 250 revs in all. A brilliant descent in the early morning sun through all the cuttings I didn’t look at on the way up. Too busy pedalling! At one point a small kangaroo looked up from its position by the side of the track. It then hopped down the track, zig zagging to throw me off its trail. I backed off and watched and eventually it took a side exit and was seen no more.

The trees either side of the track were silver wattle and several types of gum. In the middle section a lot of the gums were the host of mistletoe which shows up as bright green clumps amongst the grey green gum leaves.

Back at Everton I read the information board. The rail reached Beechworth in 1875, Myrtleford in 1883 and Bright in 1890.

On the “main line” I met a guy at Everton preparing to cycle up towards Beechworth. He had dropped his Wife and kids at Beechworth, driven to Everton and was now cycling up to meet them riding down – he may have a short ride this morning. Lots of cyclists seen today out enjoying the trail. The one wobbling the most was a 2 wheel recumbent going uphill. The fastest were a pair of electric 20″ wheel jobs and the riders aboard looked far too pleased with themselves.

The climb up to Taylor’s Gap went OK. It was a third gear climb for me most of the way and only required bottom gear for the final part – which was quite steep and must have given the steam engines a bit of a workout. On the way up a stick across the track suddenly wiggled off to the side where it lay, watching. A lithe longish black snake of some kind.

Along the way the route passed one of the Hume and Hovell monuments. They mark the 426 kilometre walking track which traces the footsteps of the two explorers as they made their way from Yass in NSW to Port Phillip in Victoria back in 1824.

From Taylor’s it is mostly downhill or flat into Myrtleford – a fact to be remembered for going back! Unfortunately we now rode almost alongside the Great Alpine Way which was carrying a lot of traffic. It’s interesting how much noise is tyre and transmission generated these days; you hardly hear the engine unless it’s one of those Harley Davidson’s sounding like an old tractor.

This sign on the road shows we are no longer in suburbia. There were stock gates on the trail too so we made sure they were left as we found them.

In Myrtleford I found Ruby’s, a busy cafe and ordered an hamburger with the lot for lunch. It was brilliant, just like the huge things of old, crammed full of veggie matter, egg, burger, bacon plus a pineapple ring.

Off to the caravan park and a surprise. Apparently it’s school holidays (which explains the hordes of kids not at school today) and I can only have a two night minimum stay at $35.50 per night – for a bit of grass!? Apparently Bright is filled to busting so the advice is to stay here and cycle to Bright and back as a day ride.

I have taken the advice and booked 3 nights in Myrtleford. The schedule from here on will be worked out later. What a bummer.

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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