All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
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The first weekend in April will see me going on a cycle tour for about two weeks. It'll be my wife and I, who have toured a fair bit before, and two friends who are highly experienced hikers (trampers actually, as they're kiwi) on their first cycle tour. The plan has been to ride towards Wangaratta, passing through Bright etc, roughly or exactly following this route.
I went on a bit of a reconnaissance ride to Gisborne on Tuesday to try out a nice route out of the city. The route was excellent up Moonee valley and around the airport, but the headwind was quite oppressive. I wonder whether the wind is likely to be like this all the way to Bright, and whether we'd be better off getting the train to Wang and riding back. Looking at the wind rose on the BOM website seems to suggest a common northerly wind, but I'm not sure if I'm interpreting it correctly.
Either way, I'm sure it'll be a great trip, but some advice on the winds etc would be welcome.
Getting the train and riding back would make a lot of sense.
Looking again at the BOM wind roses, Melbourne tends to get a lot of morning northerlies and afternoon light southerlies and some stronger northerlies. As you get inland in April the wids are usually quite light and direction is less predictable; often a lot of calm days. I would think the best option would be to skip the less pleasant country just north of Melbourne and catch a train to Woodend, then ride across to Tallarook. Or maybe even just take the train to Tallarook and start off on the rail-trail straight away.
Great riding from Mansfield, up,up,up to Tolmie and on to Powers Lookout and the King Valley. You'll love it.
Another way out of the city is to go via the Warby rail trail, Acheron Way to Alex and then either use the rail trail to Mansfield or my preferred route via Spring Creek road and Coles Road and onto M'field via the trail. The ride up to Tolmie and down the final 10kms to Whitfield is a scenic ride overlooking the King Valley which I've done a few times even before it was sealed. Or simply retrace your route if you prefer to ride home. Ime winds can be calm or northerly north of the divide riding there at that time of year.
Last edited by Uncle Just on Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The idea of starting from Woodend after catching the train there was the original plan, but I feel that there is some virtue in riding off from the front door. I followed Birdbrain's route out of the city on Tuesday and I found it to be a surprisingly pleasant ride. I'd certainly do it again, and I'd happily lead this group this way for this trip (it's just the headwind that was unpleasant). The train to Woodend is also likely to be a V-locity train with limited space for cyclists as well, where the train to Wang will be a loco pulled jobby with a luggage van.
Either way will be a great trip I reckon. Can't wait!
If you were to catch the Swan Hill service (runs every morning, and afternoon) you'll have a loco-hauled train with a luggage compartment to stow the bikes. On the weekend you are leaving there is a Swan Hill service with luggage compartment departing Southern Cross at 8.39am that will get you to Woodend in one hour.
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