VRT – Myrtleford – Bright – Myrtleford

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!

These buildings were tobacco drying sheds. The Italians were early workers in Ovens River valley – and tobacco growing became their thing.

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.

Hop growing has been around for a while. Here harvesting is in progress and by the time I returned most of this stand was in the trailer.

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.

Caption required for this sign at Eurobin. I guess with the river as it is today the sign has little meaning. When there has been a good rain it is a different matter.

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 only cutting of note today

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).

The centre of Bright is one great big interesting roadwork. I suppose they plan to have it fixed by Easter. With the Easter crowds the biggest of the year they had better get a wriggle on.

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 :

Not one of your usual signs. Look out thoughBunya Pine nuts weigh well into the kilos

Just outside Myrtleford is this :

Another stamper battery. This one is at Myrtleford and was driven by a huge waterwheel. To get the water to the wheel an 8 kilometer water race was dug by hand!

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.

A very enjoyable trail
Along the way I clocked up 6,000 kilometers of riding with Vivente. Most pleasing.

Tomorrow will be a day exploring Myrtleford.

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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