Week long ride in Eastern Victoria... Any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by blove8, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. blove8

    blove8 New Member

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    I'd like to get a route planned for a week long tour from Belgrave to Wangaratta. I'd like to head straight east thru Bunyip State Park and then over the Great Dividing Range at some point. Eventually ending up at Bright (Mt Buffalo NP) and taking the Murray to the Mountains railtrail to Wangaratta from Bright. Maybe Alpine NP would be a good ride?

    Has anyone ever ridden a route somewhat like this? If you could offer me any suggestions I'd really appreciate it. :)

    decent maps i could find:
    http://www4.visitmelbourne.com.au/content/2002/Sep/Phillip_X2.gif
    http://www3.visitvictoria.com/content/2002/Jan/whole-map.jpg
    http://www4.visitmelbourne.com.au/content/2002/Sep/ACF2280.gif
     
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  2. Bikesoiler

    Bikesoiler New Member

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    blove8

    Do you want to ride mostly paved roads or are you willing to ride dirt &/or 4WD tracks? Lots of options if you take to the dirt, lots of hils too.
     
  3. blove8

    blove8 New Member

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    I will be riding my mountain bike with a rental BOB trailer. I'd like to stay on dirt and 4WD for the most part. Off the beaten path if possible. I've been looking at the melway and am finding some possibilities. I need a more detailed map however. Just wondering if there are any 'must sees' while I am out this way and if there are things I might want to be aware of before I head out.

    Also, does a ride from Belgrave to Wangaratta via this route seem practical in 6 days of riding?
     
  4. Bikesoiler

    Bikesoiler New Member

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    Is BoB, is Good! MTB & BoB is an excellent way to tour. I haven't taken mine to the hills yet but plan to sometime soon.

    Most of the highlights through the 'high country' are just that, high, ie on top of hills/mountains.

    I've ridden the rail trail, Wang - Beechworth - Bright - Everton - Wang in 4 days. It's a nice peaceful tour, being away from roads etc most of the way. I've also driven around/through some of the area you plan to travel through. Could be tough to do in 6 days depending on route. Maybe someone in the Melbourne Bicycle Touring Club has done something simular & can help you out.
    I'd get both a good up to date topographic map & the Vic Roads atlas of all roads in Victoria. When are you planning to go?
     
  5. blove8

    blove8 New Member

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    Thanks for the link Bikesoiler. I posted on their forum as well. I'm hoping to get everything together and leave early next week.
     
  6. blove8

    blove8 New Member

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    Has anyone here ever riden the Dargo > Grant > Bright route? Looking at that road on a map, it looks like it will be relatively secluded (that's what i'm looking for) but is it passable with a mtn bike and full BOB trailer?
     
  7. slaw

    slaw New Member

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    Have ridden from Hotham to Dargo with a BOB on a tandem, about ten years ago. Yes it was quiet along the Dargo High Plains and quite scenic (Grant is a little off the road, but worth a visit if you have time). It's very steep the last few kms into Dargo. I have ridden an unladen MTB from Dargo to Grant and even that was hard going, but I think some of it might be sealed now so it might be easier. Once you get onto the Hotham road, you're on sealed sections through Harrietville but it will still be up and down (more down though).

    Steve
     
  8. blove8

    blove8 New Member

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    Great Steve, thanks for that reply! :) I just picked up the BOB at St Kilda Cycles and will head out of Selby on Sunday. I've never ridden with a trailer of any kind or panniers for that matter, so I guess I'll see how I go on my first couple days to see if I will be willing to tackle the Dargo High Plains route. If I can't or don't want to, there are always other places to go, so I'm not too concerned. If you you have any other info you can think of, I'd love to hear it before I leave Sunday morning. Thanks again.
     
  9. slaw

    slaw New Member

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    blove8, For decent maps the ones from the RACV are good for general touring. They show road surfaces and distances. To show more off-road stuff you'll need to get topographics but you'd probably need at least 4 1:100,000 maps to cover that area.
    If you want to save some time and get to the more interesting country quicker, you could get a V/Line train to Sale or Bairnsdale.
    Riding with a loaded trailer (or panniers) is different. Take your time getting used to it and don't expect you can cover as much distance as you can unladen. In steep, rough terrain you may find that riding is almost impossible and that you'll have to get off and push. But, that's part of the off-road touring experience.
    Take spares - tubes, maybe a tyre or boots, spokes, maybe a spare derailleur or hanger, zip ties, hose clamps, tape, fencing wire as well the usual tools. Things tend to break more readily during off-road touring. However, it's a tricky balance carrying enough gear in case of any emergency and trying to save as much weight as possible.
    Be prepared for hot, cold and wet weather - even snow is possible in the High Country at this time of year.
    Most of all, take your time and have fun. The area has some of the best scenery in the state.

    Steve
     
  10. blove8

    blove8 New Member

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    hey hey.. well, i took that trip.. wasn't quite a week... wasn't quite 1/2 a week, but it ended up being my first tour... 2 days. i fell in love with touring and the australian outback. :)

    it took me about a week to prepare. got together my supplies, maps (http://www.melbmap.com.au/), trailer (http://www.stkildacycles.com.au/), and a tune up (http://www.freedommachine.com.au/)... even purchased some fenders from http://www.lygoncycles.com.au/...

    so i shoved off about 11am, sunday the 30th from selby... that first day i planned to take it easy and get used to this 60lb trailer i was luggin behind me. i had read a ton about them from the different forums but wouldn't know what it was like until i actually rode with one. it turned out to be a beautiful thing. yes, you do have to change your riding style, but all in all, i don't see a better way to carry all that gear.

    i ended my day 58 miles (93k) later in noojee (beautiful 'free' campground with bbq, showers, latrobe river, playground, did i mention 'free'!!!). so i figured day 1 was a good warmup.. i knew i was gonna have a tough day 2.

    day1 stats:
    avg speed- 10.9mph
    max speed- 27.5mph
    time riding- 5:20:44

    day 2 was killer! (in more ways than one)... i broke camp and was on the bike around 8am, the surroundings were beautiful... unfortunately the first downhill revealed to me that there was something wrong with the trailer. turns out the trailer tire began to split and the tube began to bulge out. i decided on a quick fix patch job with some duct tape and stayed the course.

    the morning ride was mostly uphill.. wait.. what am i talkin about... most of the day was uphill! not long after i turned onto a logging road, sure enough, the tube punctured and it was time for a real fix this time. i busted out a new tube, patched the tire from the inside as best i could and then held the tire together with about 5 zip ties side by side. i did all of this as i got dusted by logging trucks passing by and chowed on by a huge swarm of march flies (gotta love the flies here ;)). this little fix got me across some of the most rugged logging roads i've ridden before.

    see snazzy tire fix here:
    http://mimtnbiking.info/gallery/albums/Selby-to-Rawson/DSC01084_opt.jpg

    day 2 i ended the ride in rawson. i wish i had an altimeter on my computer to find out how much i climbed that day. i did end up doing a 63.5 mile (101k) day at an avg speed of 8.5 mph and a riding time of 7:24:41... i got up to 32 mph that day with the BOB securely fastened behind me (clicking the entire way because of the zip ties around the tire)...

    after those two amazing days i decided to call it quits... i didn't want to abuse the trailer tire more and risk a more serious problem somewhere down the road and my girl who i missed, was happy to come pick me up the next day. i was satified with the journey and know that there will be more touring fun to be had in the future.

    if any of you melbournians ever get a few days to go for a little ride, i HIGHLY recommend this gut buster. i'd gladly answer any questions you have about the route and whatnot.

    thanks to all ya'll who helped me formulate this little plan. if you'd like to see some pics of the trip, you can view them at http://mimtnbiking.info/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Selby-to-Rawson

    peace.
     
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