A blog about cycling...especially the long distance stuff

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Swan Hill to Melbourne - Day 2

After a deep but all too short sleep it was time to fuel up again and get moving. The breakfast at the B&B was just brilliant: Fresh fruit, croissants, coffee and some scrambled eggs with salmon in a Brioche. That ought to get me going! Yesterday I burnt 7500 calories and its hard to replace that.

The day started with a nice downhill section towards Daylesford, a pretty and undulating area of mixed forest and farm land. I missed a turn off at this point, and ended up on the A300 to Daylesford instead of a quieter minor road. Thankfully it was a short error and made little difference to the day. Daylesford was heaving with day visitors, and not as pretty or charming as Maldon...but grabbed a nice coffee here and topped up the water, as this was actually the last town to pass through before the western edge of Melbourne on my route.

About 10 km out of Daylesford I reach the high point of the trip at about 700m. The hill climb was mostly pretty gentle so this didn't seem too bad. Nevertheless still a comforting thought to know its all downhill from here, and I could feel the expected Northerly wind picking up behind me which was definitely making a difference.

The highlight for the day though: Glenmore road, which is nestled between the Brisbane Ranges national park and Weribee gorge. The road is single lane and almost entirely traffic free here.

The start of Glenmore road from the West

As you head east, it drops very steeply into this stunning valley filled with farms, young orchards and livestock. Steep enough in fact, to need to move one's butt over the rear tyre and behind the bike seat, to shift weight off the front of the bike.

Descending Glenmore Rd

Out the other end of the valley there is just a slight hill climb and a few kilometers further on I got my first glimpse of Melbourne, and home, from the top of  the Weribee grasslands area. From this angle, it almost looks like Melbourne is surrounded by grass plains.

Melbourne just to the right of centre here

An hour or so later, blasted home by the wind over the final section, I arrived at West Melbourne and home. I really flew the whole day today, not stopping for lunch, just a few water swigs and some dried fruit after the coffee in Daylesford. 1 big 155 km push. It was great to be back...and be greeted by my brilliant (and tolerant) wife & our cats.

Many fellow tourers may tutt tutt at doing such big distance so quickly and 'not seeing anything' - and I actually agree completely! Though I did see something and as always I had no time off work. Getting out and doing this felt a lot better than talking about it. I'm also well on my way now to completing the 10,000 km cycling goal I'd set myself for the year, with only 550 km to go and 3 weeks to do it.

Day 2 ride profile
You can grab my day 2 route and .gpx file here.

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