To the end of the trail: Myrtleford to Bright and back to Myrtleford
Wednesday April 5, 2017, 63 km (39 miles) – Total so far: 556 km (345 miles)
Another terrific cycling day dawned. Initially quite cold at 6C but with no wind. Breakfast muesli at camp, coffee and raisin toast at Ruby’s in Myrtleford and then I was warm enough to get going.
The above map describes the route through the Ovens River valley up to Bright. Today I will be climbing to get there and descending to get back. Not much of a climb though!
Today’s ride was without baggage as it was to the end of the trail at Bright and then return to Myrtleford. The trail follows the Alpine Way up the Ovens River valley. The gradient was not a problem as the trail gains 100 meters in height in 30 kilometers. Most of the way it is just a very slight uphill drag.
Quite a few riders were out enjoying the weather, the cycling and the scenery. Soon it was time to start taking layers off – so the shell jacket went in the bag. A bit further and the tee shirt came off too – now its proper riding gear only.
After 25ks we get to Porepunkah and here the trouble starts! It’s 5ks from Bright and many, many people do the 5k out and back from Bright. With their kids. So, it’s look out as there are bikes and kids and parents and walkers and dogs and prams and skateboards and scooters all to avoid. Good to see all these people out exercising but…..
The rail trail suddenly ends at a car park which is a little disappointing having come all this way with good signage at important points. Perhaps there is something in the car park but as it was very busy with SUVs everywhere I thought better of further investigation.
The final block or two has the trail lined with deciduous trees, a few of which are starting to change colour. Not enough for a picture though.
The centre of Bright is cafe heaven. The powers that be have organised for the very centre of town to be given a serious makeover so that the supporting street closures and roadworks give the school holidaymaker something to watch and discuss. This is in addition to a new layer of chip seal currently being applied to the trail surface. (On the return journey I followed the chip seal machinery until I could exit the track).
So, with new trail seal and a new town centre there is a lot to thank Council for.
The return journey gave access to some views not available going out – but generally it was more of the same. The hops are being harvested and this reminded me of youth in Kent, UK where hops were grown and Londoners used to go hop picking for both cash and a holiday from “the big smoke”. Nowadays it is probably automated. The Seven Sheds brewery in Railton, Tasmania grows it’s own hops and has a hop picking day for anyone interested.
The trail sloped slightly downhill on the return which meant an extra gear or two could be used. I cycled for a while with a couple and their young girl who I had met in Beechworth. They were carrying their camping gear back from Bright to Myrtleford (in panniers and a trailer) because there was no space in Bright. The young daughter was going very well on her first long ride.
Finally an oddity from Bright :
Just outside Myrtleford is this :
Today’s ride was easy with no baggage on the bike. The trail was good as long as you watched out for other trail users.
Tomorrow will be a day exploring Myrtleford.