2015 Rides – Oct Ride 4 – Day 1

Corowa to Wangaratta via Springhurst

Saturday October 24, 2015, 41 miles (66 km) – Total so far: 547 miles (880 km)

The nearest movie theatre to the crappy little town where I’m living is about 40 miles away. I want to see the movie “The Martian”. I could drive. Or I could ride there instead. If I ride, on the return, I could check out more of the dirt roads in the national park where we had so much fun last weekend. Okay, sounds like a plan.

We are ready to leave a bit before 9 am. The wind will be in our favour today. So over the river and down the trail, to Rutherglen we go. The bike knows the way to carry the crew, ’cause the route is nothing new.

From Rutherglen we take the Springhurst Road. I’ve driven parts of it on the southern end but never been on the road out of Rutherglen. It may be busy at other times, but Saturday morning sees light traffic. The chip-seal is quite good. The scenery is pastoral, just like all the other weekend rides I’ve done in October so far. The grasses are starting to dry off though. Our normal high in October is 83F. We’ve been around 88F almost every day instead this month. Summer promises to be hellish after a very mild summer last year.

This junk yard south of Rutherglen on the Springhurst Road was HUGE. It was about 6 times as big as what you can see in this photo. No cars younger than the late 1970s though.

We cross over the freeway at Springhurst and use service roads down toward Byawatha. The crazy magpie attacks along the Byawatha road have ceased. They were full-on when we came through here on our way to Glenrowan some weeks ago. However, the flies, which were annoying but still bearable last week, have gone into obnoxious summer mode in the past seven days. Aaargh. They are incredibly sticky and persistent and can drive you insane when climbing hills.

From a high point near Springhurst.
You have not known obnoxious flies unless you have been to Australia in summer. The little ones don’t bite but they fly all around you and crawl all over you trying to get in your eyes/nose/mouth. They get bad in October then get worse until February. The red arrows point to all of the flies on me – 11!! 4 near each shoulder, 2 on my face and 1 on my helmet. There would be a similar amount on my back and calves. It is beyond annoying when you are slowly climbing a hill.
They’ve done a nice job in Northeast Victoria putting up these distance/directional bike marker posts along the suggested bike routes.

We join the rail trail to head into Wangaratta. It is less direct than the road but keeps you off all the shoulderless bridges on the busy road heading into town. There is a woman out putting up signage for tomorrow’s “Ned Kelly Chase”. She tries to convince me to sign up for the running/cycling event. It sounds like fun if you are an organised events type person, but the money doesn’t seem to go to charity, so I’m even less inclined to participate.

Wangaratta is very busy. There are several events going on and the town is the current command post in the search for two fugitives who are on the run. They’ve been on the run for eight years, but they fired at police with a high-powered rifle last week, so the search and pursuit has escalated.

I go check out the new parts of the bike path and bridge that have been built since the days when I spent a lot of time down here during my PhD between 2007-2010. Then it’s off to find a motel and then go see the movie!

They’ve lengthened the bike path in Wangaratta and put in this nice bridge over the Ovens River. You can see some people swimming down below it.

Leave a Reply