"2015 Tour de Victorian Alps" - up to 7 nights:
* Drive down from Sydney by 6:00am Tues, 20 Jan. '15 - arrive at Bright Holiday Park Cherry Lane, Bright (03) 5755.1141 by 3:30pm - assemble one's tent, thence customary 30km ride from 4:15pm up Tawonga Gap 'n back.
* Ride between 40km and 60km a day on each of Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat - start on Wed. 21st Jan with 25km flat ride to Harrietville, then 30km ascent to Mt. Hotham aka "The Giant" - 1,830m and 55km back to Bright = 110km
* Drive back on Tuesday 27th Jan. to avoid Public Holiday Monday traffic jams and 'double demerit points'
Hardcopy this Bullsheet and these street directions from Sydney Harbour Bridge to Bright - 700.63km - 8½ hrs driving time
The Alpine Classic evidences endurance cyclists from across Aust flock to the pristine town of Bright in the foothills of the Vic Alps twds the end of Jan for the annual pilgrimage where the splendid mountainous terrain proffers entrants in 6 ride distances from 60km up to 250km starting from Howitt Park, Bright.
The pre-eminent 200km 'Classic' event contains 4 tough
four marvellous climbs aggregate
3,700m of pedal pumping, quad draining,
Bank Teller has attempted the "200km Audax" thrice with two finishes (best 10hrs 50m in '97) and a DNF after he blew-up, 'cause he went out too hard, if that is humanly possible given his military medium mobility. These days he spends 5 days in Bright preceding the event cycling all the nearby marvellous climbs in the Victorian Alps, and rides a 60km clockwise loop twds Beechworth on the Sunday:
Depart your Sydney digs by 6:00am to beat
traffic and arrive in time to commence
Wed 21 112km out 'n back ride SSW to Mt. Hotham initially along a pleasant, flattish SEE 25km route to friendly Harrietville, whereupon an immediate hard left up a steepish 31km memorable climb across the spectacular Razorback Ridge to Hotham Heights, known as "The Giant" - (1,862m above sea level) in the heart of the Bogong National Park. After 4.95km of steady climbing you meet The MEG. Don't let the name frighten you as it is merely a 18o 70m switchback. From 10.05km to 19.25km climbing is easy. After 20.85km you reach Mt St. Bernard and at 23.35km Renee's Lookout where you then ride across the ridge feeling as though you are on top of the world, because all the adjoining mountains to your left and right are clearly visible, and they all appear lower - 31km climbing. Mt. Hotham elevation profile
Thurs 22 35km out 'n back ride = 70km due West to Mt Buffalo "The Horn" (1,330m) - 22km climbing.
Fri 23 65km out 'n back ride = 130km heading SW to Falls Creek (1,580m) via Mt Beauty and Tawonga Gap (885m) with views across Rocky Valley reservoir and back down the length of the Ovens Valley - 48km climbing.
Sun 25 Watch the staggered Starts to 8:30am from Bright town centre, have a coffee and then about 9:30am ride 60km clockwise loop twds Beechworth Bakery. Return in time to climb Mt Buffalo with Eric aka PapaBear.
As the Bright motels are usually booked chockers for the Oz Day long w'end by the previous October, below are 5 camp grounds in/near Bright with prices for pitching your trusty tent:
* Bright Holiday Park Cherry Lane, Bright (03) 5755.1141 1800 706 685 firstname.lastname@example.org - centre of town / turn Left at BP garage 100m before bridge - $52 per night for 2 persons on unpowered site. $15 for each adult beyond two adults within the designated/booked camp site.
* BIG4 Bright Holiday Park 1-11 Mountbatten Ave, Bright 1800 033.188
* Bright Accommodation Park 438 Great Alpine Rd, Bright (03) 5750.1001 formerly Green Hills Caravan Park - 3½km East of town centre - $52 per night for two persons on unpowered site.
* Bright Riverside Holiday Park 4-10 Toorak Ave Bright. (03) 5755.1118 300m from town. $55 per night for 2 people on unpowered site on a long w'end and $45 per night for Tues, Wed, Thurs nights
* BIG4 Porepunkah Holiday Park 6674 Great Alpine Rd, Bright 1800 234.798
* Mount Buffalo Caravan Park Harrisons Lane, Porepunkah (03) 5756 2235
If you are making the annual pilgrimage to Bright to -
* climb all the marvellous mountains in the Vic Alps between Tues and Sat as listed above, and/or to compete on Sunday; and
* suck some Reds at night,
Directions to Bright:
Route 1. Simplest albeit longest route is:
Follow Hume Hwy to Wangaratta, then Left onto Ovens Hwy leads to Myrtleford, then Bright.
Route 2. Or 107km (about 30km less) and more scenic:
Drive to Wodonga on Hume Hwy. Left onto Kiewa Valley Hwy on route twds Yackandandah and Myrtleford. Do not turn Right to Yackandandah or Myrtleford, but remain on main road to Mt Beauty and follow this until 3km past Tawonga (which is also 3km prior to township of Mt Beauty) where you turn Right uphill onto the Tawonga Gap Rd up and down Tawonga Gap. At the bottom of the other side of Tawonga Gap turn right into Ovens Hwy for 5km to Bright; or
Route 3. Or about 10km more than 2. above and equally scenic as 2. above:
Drive to Wodonga on the Hume Hwy then exit the Hume by taking the Beechworth Road which is virtually straight on. Drive straight through Beechworth without turning and its another 20km to the Ovens Hwy where you Left and proceed 50km to Bright.
Scribe favours "Route 2." above where after Wodonga follow the Kiewa River Sth twds Mt Beauty. Turn Right into Tawonga Gap Rd to Bright - nestled in foothills of the Vic Alps. After a few days cycling all day and fine wine at night, you won't want to leave.
You might think you are driving South, but, in fact, you head lots more West, albeit hooking back SE after Wangaratta
What does the above map show you? Not a lot. It is as boring as batshit driving 680km to the Vic. border and onto Wodonga. However, voila the landscape and scenic beauty increase exponentially the more you drive Sth. into Vic.
Pics from St Ives, Terrey Hills, Duffy's Forest, Akuna Bay, Church Point 'n back - 55km - 7 riders
Our 1st Sag Stop outside Thai Restaurant at the top of McCarrs Creek Rd
The panorama from outside the at Church Point Cafe on a truly 'brill', slightly cooler morn'
Scribe 0434 715.861 last updated 19 Jan '15