Wangaratta to Corowa via frontage roads to Chiltern
Monday November 9, 2015, 47 miles (76 km) – Total so far: 775 miles (1,248 km)
I don’t feel quite as bad this morning, but I still don’t have much motivation. I guess we all have our off days. So I decide to just head home via the freeway frontage roads and Chiltern.
The headwind is pretty ferocious between the Carra…mungee Road and Springhurst. I am pushing it pretty hard to do 9 mph. But, luckily, there is very little traffic on the frontage roads (a couple cars per hour), so I pop in my headphones, turn up the music, and this makes things better. At least in my head. The wind lessens a bit after Springhurst.
My allergies aren’t quite so bad today, and it’s amazing how much better my attitude gets as the morning wears on. I even think I could have done some dirt to mix it up a bit. But, really, I’m quite happy just pedalling up and down the gentle hills without having to think about traffic or pick a line on a gravel road. Up and down we go. The headwind is sometimes direct, or sometimes quartering, depending on the local topography and the direction of the wind. This part of the world gets northerlies when a high is overhead (NE when the high is right overhead, NW as the high moves off). You get southwesterlies right after a front which shifts to southerlies and then southeasterlies as the high moves in.
At one point, closing in on Chiltern, the frontage road ends. The bike route signs want to take you along some washboarded dirt on the Old Cemetery Road before joining another paved road that goes under the freeway. Don’t do it. It’s a waste of energy and gets grit in your chain.
When you get to the Old Cemetery Road/Wenkes Road, turn left on Old Cemetery Road, cross the freeway, and just past the cemetery, turn right on the Railway Access Road. It is paved, has very little to any traffic and goes by a little lake (Barambogie Block) where you can stop for a snack. Watch out for snakes! The bike route people send you off on the gravel just so they don’t route you over a level crossing of the freeway. But we are all big girls and boys, so I’m sure you can manage to duck across the lanes of the freeway and stay on pavement.
I ride on through Chiltern, and take the Old Howlong Road, then the Cornishtown Road to get back to Rutherglen. This route is written up in a previous entry.
Close to Wahgunyah on the rail trail, I meet Graham from Rutherglen. He is the head of the Community Advisory Committee for the rail trail, and we have a good chat. He invites me to join the CRABS group on Saturday mornings at 8 am (Corowa-Rutherglen Active Bicyclists). The B-group does a leisurely ride and only averages 23kph (Um, I only average about 20kph unloaded – I’m slow but have good endurance!). Then it’s back home to wash gear and see about getting some better antihistamines so I can get back to more adventurous rides next weekend!