Walking out the door at 3:15 last Saturday morning I briefly thought about grabbing my electric vest but as it was going to be a minimum of 2 degrees C it shouldn’t be too bad.
For the next hour and a half the temp hovered between 0 and 3 degrees. Maybe I should have grabbed that vest. But as we filled the bikes up at Gundagai (150km) the sun was appearing over the horizon giving us the glimmer of hope of impending warmth. After all it was meant to be a top of 17 in these parts today.
Thirty minutes down the road and it was -1 and falling to -4 over the next hour. At those temperatures the roads are cold and you’re watching for wet slick patches in shadows as black ice is not fun to hit on a bike. Okay, now I’m missing the electric vest! And my feet are freezing!
Today as we skirt the mountains we still take in a few small ranges and ride a couple ‘gap’ roads – the first of these is Granya gap which is always fun. From Granya we stop in at Tallangatta (400km) for our second fuel stop for the day. We also take the opportunity to sit down at the local bakery and grab something warm for us. To our surprise Nico (a riding friend from Geelong) also makes an appearance at the bakery.
Finally the temperature are heading in the right direction so I swap out the winter gloves for a pair of mids (grip warmers still on low).
From Tallangatta we head down a series of back roads to Tawonga and up over Tawonga Gap (another great bike road – just a pity we don’t get a clear run) and into the pretty town of Bright which was really buzzing with their Autumn festival winding down.
Our destination today is Ovens for a FarRider get together. We roll in at about 11am after 520km, catch up with a number of old friends. have a chat for a bit over an hour, and then hit the road as we have more riding to do today.
Up over the Buckland Gap road (why is this road a 60km/h zone?) for a quick counter lunch at the Beechworth pub and then onto Rutherglen (600km) for our next fuel stop.
Heading back into NSW is quite a contrast as we’ve moved from the mountains to the wide open farm land, big machinery working the land, and flat horizon.
A quick stop in at the Urana pub to catch up with our friend Mel and then onto Wagga Wagga (800km) for our last fuel stop of the day. From here we head east with the setting sun over our shoulders.
And after a great day on the bike we pull back into Canberra after 1,050km, just after 7:30pm.