Friday March 17, 2017
I first thought maybe I should link up places I wanted to say goodbye to – places we’d gone camping or bushwalking or riding over the years that had good memories. But the more I thought about that, the more I thought I wanted to leave those places with the memories they already had.
So the next idea was a three-prong approach:
1) Link up some of the places in Victoria that I’ve been wanting to visit and roads that have always beckoned to me on the map. This would include the Nunnett and Nunniong Plains (interesting, stepped basalts and maybe a chance to see some Buchan limestones and Snowy River volcanics), the Strezlecki Ranges (interesting faults and vegetation), the Pinnacles and Bryce and Morkoka Gorges (old erosional surfaces and dissection), Freestone Creek Road (entire Devonian rock sequence exposed in road cuts) and the Acheron Way (a road through rainforest I’ve always wanted to ride).
2) I also wanted to include the Omeo Highway – I’ve ridden it twice and driven it a few times, and it is just the most fun you can have on a bike. It is my favourite road that I’ve toured in Oz, I think.
3) Since it became apparent in September 2015 that my time in Oz was most likely coming to an end, I started a quest to ride new roads each weekend in about a 150 km radius from home. I’ve documented these rides over on Neil’s Bicycle Life. See the map picture below. Even though I have covered a lot, I still need to do the Ryans Gap road over the Warbys near Wangaratta and the road over Mt Samaria.
So the final route reflected the desires of the three-pronged approach, though I ended up not being able to do the Gorges and Pinnacles because of bushfires and closed roads. This meant my ride was three days shorter than I’d planned.
I also had a look at using the Jones Road out of Dargo to the Wentworth River and then down Engineers Road to Bruthen. I also had a look at the Bulumwaal Road out of Bairnsdale. I didn’t end up doing these roads, though – just not enough time for everything and you can only flog yourself on rough gravel for so long 🙂