Glenrowan to Corowa via Chiltern
Monday February 1, 2016, 62 miles (100 km) – Total so far: 312 miles (502 km)
I slept hard last night. I feel like I’ve just woken from a coma of Sleeping Beauty proportions when I open my eyes at 8am. The rain is gone and it is quite crisp and clear. It almost, if you really stretch it, almost feels like autumn. For a few seconds at least.
I pack up, have some tea and milk (but not together – I’m not Aussie by birth and I like black tea BLACK), then go to clean up the bike a bit so I don’t grind anymore of that grit, clay and mud into bike bits that don’t like grit.
I roll out just on 9am – letting all the commuters get to work and the kids dropped off at school before I leave. The bright sun and crisp air is just beautiful. It’s been such a hot summer with a lot of really hot nights that it is nice to feel the cool.
I wander around town a bit to get a couple shots of the sites related to Ned Kelly, then I head north on the old Hume Highway. The Warby Range rises to the left with a scrubby cover and some broken, brown cliffs here and there. Down here it is all hobby farms and rural residential blocks stretching away from the tree-lined road.
I stop in Apex Park on the rail trail to have some peanut butter and crackers before heading out on the trail. A motorcyclist comes up to me and asks me the standard six. He is, perhaps, a bit disappointed to hear that I am out on a three-day ride. But then he reconsiders and thinks it is just the coolest thing to spend your weekends going places on the bike. He does the same – but always returns home each night. The spark has been lit – and he is thinking that overnights might be the way to go.
Then he says, “But what do you do when it rains?”
I get asked this on occasion and it always gives me great pleasure to reply, “I get wet.”
This guy laughs and asks if I got wet yesterday. I reply, “Yep. Most definitely. But I’m not young enough to melt anymore.”
He laughs again and says, “Oh, but I bet you still melt hearts.”
Okay. Time to go. I look at him and say, “Hardly.”
He gets the hint and wishes me well. Then I’m off down the rail trail in the bright blue skies and back out to the frontage road on the freeway. I usually only get passed by about 2 cars in this long stretch, so I always pop in the earbuds and turn up the Iphone and drown out the sound of the adjacent vehicles. I actually like this ride – it’s got rollers and decent chip-seal and nice views over to the Barambogies.
I take the long way home and follow the freeway all the way up to Chiltern instead of taking the “express route” from Springhurst to Rutherglen. The lack of wind, the bright blue sky, the minimal traffic and my favourite tunes blasting in my ears makes it a great day. I just love being on the bike. Nothing compares to just pedalling away with not a care in the world somewhere out on a road.
I stop at the bakery to try a new product. The Chiltern Bakery is just an awesome little place. Everything is good and everything is reasonably priced. I’m never disappointed here. Today the treat is a Bee Sting. It’s been a long time since I’ve had one. Yum!
Then it’s over the hills of the national park and along the Cornishtown Road to Rutherglen. We’ve done the route many times now, but it’s got some hills and never much traffic, so it’s a good pedal home. I always feel a teeny bit guilty when I’m out riding on a Monday and not at work. But then I get my paycheck with only 21 hours of pay… and I don’t feel guilty anymore. I’m not saving as much money as I’d like, but getting out on the bike almost every weekend is fair compensation. It is so much fun to go ride, then come home and start planning the next one. So where to next weekend?