There’s riding’ in them thar hills


Today is the first day of a couple of weeks of annual leave and my plan is to head for the hills for a holiday. As with most recent holidays, the plan with this one is to spend as much time behind bars (bicycle handle bars that is) as possible. But it seems that the weather may dictate to a large degree whether that happens as the forecast is for quite a lot of rain.

Here is plan, subject to change without notice…
* Ride on the Great Victorian Rail Trail on Sunday with some friends.
* Some Kiewa, Buckland and Ovens valley rides on country back roads and my old friend the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail.
* Higher altitude alpine riding – possible to / around Falls Creek, and an assault on Mt Buffalo.
* Some bush riding around Chiltern.

Of course the weather will not be the only variable that decides what I do – my energy levels, level of motivation, and various unforeseen influences will play their part.

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Preview of a Rail Trail


Yesterday (Sunday 12h Oct) I was able to take part in a ‘not-quite-rail-trail’ ride. The reason it was ‘not-quite-rail-trail’ was because it followed as closely as possible where a planned rail trail would go, but was not on the exact route of the trail. The ride was planned by the Albury Wodonga Pedal Power group, a group of ‘lycra is optional’ cyclists who main aim is to enjoy the pleasures of cycling, having fun, excersizing and socializing ( website ).

The ride was to promote the idea of converting the disused Culcairn – Corowa railway line into a rail trail. These trails have become quite common in all areas of Australia, except NSW! Although it looks like that is soon to change.

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Landscape near Orielda Siding

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Various shots of riders on the ride

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Near Orielda Siding

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Probably the highest point on the ride, this was about 6km from Brockelsby, and a good place to have a rest before the final downhills into Brocklesby.

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Old timber railway bridge near Brocklesby

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Near Orielda Siding

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Burrumbuttock Silos and Station

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You can tell we are in the country

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Various types of bikes – Lloyd’s recumbent cycle. Other types of bikes on the ride included single-speed BMX, fold-up, road and mountain bikes.

The plan was that when we reached Brocklesby we would attend the dedication of a tourism site commemorating a mid-air collision of two Arvo Anson aircraft near the town in World War II.

BrocklesbyHotel_with_2_ArvoAnsons_0589Then we packed the bikes into the support bus’s trailer, found seats in the bus and got to enjoy the return trip to Walla Walla in motorised comfort, eating orange cake and discussing the ride and riding in general, and the future rail trail. And something happened that rarely happens for me – I had a kind-of post-ride ‘buzz’, a sense of contentment and almost extreme happiness that I don’t remember ever experiencing after a bike ride. Maybe that is because I got to spent time riding with other cyclists (a rarity for me) in the beautiful countryside and a very pleasant spring day.

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Bike trailer and packed at Brocklesby

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Some of the group.