Black Friday, not for us but for some others maybe. Another great riding day, beautiful weather, cool morning, around 14 degrees when we headed out, maximum during the day was about 22 and otherwise fluctuated between the two depending on where we were. No rain, that was the best thing. Around 247 kilometres covered, not a lot but we spent most of the day looking for straight roads but happily we didn't find any.
On the road at 8:30am and back up the Tawonga Gap Road to a lookout overlooking the Kiewa River Valley and Mt Beauty. From there it was onward toward Falls Creek for coffee at Bogong. Unfortunately, the coffee shop was closed, shouldn't have been, so we just moved on to Falls Creek instead. Took a while to find a coffee place there but when we did the barrister was pleased as he had nothing to do as the snow season is finished and the town very quiet. Great biking roads up here and we met up with some other visitors and that was to occur a number of times during the course of the day.
From Falls Creek, we continued on up the Bogong High Plains Roads with a short stop at the Rocky Valley Storage facility. The water here has a primary purpose in being used to make the snow when the snow falls aren't sufficient. Continuing up that road we took a slight detour into a lay by. It was here I found a bit more information on the "dead" trees we had been seeing. The story I had was basically correct in that the trees, Snow Gums, had been severely damaged in the fires of 2003 but instead of being killed, apparently the fires only destroy the trunks and branches and the tree re-grows from the roots which of course are protected by the soil. The regrowth, instead of coming on the branches, comes again from the remaining roots. So now you know.
While there, we took a walk to an old historical hut, Wallace Hut, located some 750 metres away. This is one of many huts scattered across the highlands and while they have historical significance, they are available to provide emergency shelter to trail walkers.
We continued on up the road which was only sealed in 2010. The road surface had a covering of small loose stones from the seal and these were problematical in that they were throw up from the rear of the bike in front and provided a less than secure surface on corners which meant a more subdued course of travel. At one point where our group was separated into two groups with a gap of around 50 metres, we met an oncoming group of riders. As their lead riders came upon the second part of our group right on a corner, the rider over braked and locked a front wheel on the loose surface and fell sliding off the road. A check assured us he was ok and he was up and about and his bike was still mobile.
From here it was on to Anglers Rest and the Blue Duck Hotel on the Omeo Highway for lunch were we met up with another two groups of riders.
After lunch it was back on the road for the run to Omeo and a look around the town before continuing. What a beautiful little town. Very well maintained and tidy and looked to have a very good community spirit. From here it was onward toward Dinner Plain and Mt Hotham on the Great Alpine Road. A stop for coffee at Dinner Plain and on to Mt Hotham. The Great Alpine Road is the highest year-round accessible sealed road in Australia. At Mt Hotham it reaches a height of 1840 metres and the best part is the run down to Harrietville where it drops almost 1300 metres in about 28 klms. Absolutely fantastic views where you feel you can see forever or at least to the next state. I told you yesterday that we would be going across the top of Australia.
From Harrietville it was just a short run back to Bright arriving around 5:00pm.
Video of the ride from Mt Hotham across the top of Australia. 4 mins 15 secs, 63Mb.
Video of the ride into Harrietville from Mt Hotham. 4 mins 36 secs, 39Mb.
Go to Day 8