Saturday 15th – Sunday 21st March 2015
Report: Ann Ireland
Photos: Alan Capel & Gordon Lindqvist
Shortly before ‘happy’ hour on Saturday all the 13 cyclists had arrived from Adelaide for the start of almost a week cycling around the woodland trails of the Central Goldfields of Victoria. We were to find out that there were about 14 such trails ranging from 11km to the 80km epic. As well as those trails, we were informed that the many minor roads in the area were well surfaced with few vehicles using them. The group consisted of Alan (our leader and organizer), Mary, Sue, David, Vickie, Gordon, Bev, Lee, Steve, the 2 Helens, Norm and Ann.
Today it was decided to set off on the Timor Grand Duke Trail – 45km. This was through forests as well as minor bitumen roads. We stopped briefly at an old gaol, which weighed 3 tonnes but was very small.
It was then only a short distance to our picnic lunch stop at the Grand Duke Mine and Arch.There was time later to explore the area and to learn a bit more about the workings of such a mine. After lunch we made our way back to Maryborough on similar tracks.
One ride planned for today had to be abandoned due to a severe gale force wind alert being broadcast on both local radio and TV. The epic 80km, which many had been looking forward to, was cancelled due to the chance of very strong head winds on the way back. Instead everyone opted to ride the shorter Carisbrook Settlers Trail – 24km. instead.
We arrived at Carisbrook café only to find some other like-minded cyclists were already there! They were from Sydney and were carrying everything with them. Good for them and we wished them all the best, as we settled down to take their seats. From there we looked at an old log gaol and the blue stone channel, used by long gone minors, before heading back.
That night we were all awakened to the noise of a horrendous thunder and lightning storm. Even the birds took fright and flight!
This was our scheduled rest day which saw a variety of activities being undertaken. Alan, Mary, Sue, Vickie and David went by train to Melbourne, Lee and Steve walked around a number of historic sites, the 2 Helens drove to Clunes and then cycled to Creswick and back, while Norm and Ann cycled to Clunes and back on their road bikes.
This was to be our longest ride, which was on the Dunolly/Havelock Gold Rush Trail – 54km. The tracks were good and we soon reached our lunch stop at Dunolly bakery. However after lunch it became increasingly hot, so much so we were all quite glad to reach our camp site and relax out of the heat.
That evening we all went to the Golf Course for dinner. How pleasant not to have to cook, or wash up!
Luckily today was much cooler and more suited to cycling. We rode on the Talbot Heritage Trail – 45km.This trail was more undulating than previous rides, but everyone seemed to manage the extra challenge. However, on the down side, we had a few punctures along the way. Lunch was at London House in Talbot. Shortly after it was time to return to Maryborough once more.
All that was now left to do was to pack up and head home to Adelaide. Very many thanks must go to Alan for such a special cycling week. Roll on the next one!