The adventure was held in the Falls Creek, Bogong High Plains and Mt Beauty area. Due to severe bushfires in Dec 2006, most of the tracks on the Bright side of the Falls Creek road were closed. The area was also subject to fires in 2003 and evidence of both fires is everywhere. You can see the burnt mountainsides, dead trees and most main roads have burnt bush alongside them.
Base camp was at the Mt Beauty Holiday Centre with tent accommodation. Rides and walks were held in the surrounding area.
(Ages not divulged)
Coral - Cook and support driver.
Ann - Assistant cook and support driver.
Breakfast was a help yourself arrangement with good quality cereal, bread for making toast (with a variety of spreads) and tea/coffee was provided. Day 2 was special as the Park proprietors provided pancakes and tea/coffee/Milo for breakfast.
Lunch was also a help yourself arrangement. Sandwiches/rolls with a minor selection of spreads & fillings, fruit cake and fruit (apples/bananas/oranges). Scroggin was available which we took on the day rides.
On Days 3, 4, 5 and 6 we made our sandwiches/rolls before leaving in the morning. On all other days we made sandwiches/rolls at lunchtime except for Day 8 when we had pizza in Euroa on the way home.
Evening meals were prepared and cooked by Coral with Ann assisting. Coral also made our toast in the morning. Dishes were done in the amenities area on a roster basis by the non cooks.
Day 1 - spaghetti bolognaise and salad with
strawberries and cream for dessert.
Day 2 - chicken rice and vegies with rice custard for dessert.
Day 3 - sausages, rissoles and vegies with rice custard for dessert.
Day 4 - hamburgers with ice cream, rice custard and stewed apples for desert.
Day 5 - spaghetti bolognaise and salad with fruit pie and cream for dessert.
Day 6 - chops, chicken rissoles, sausages and vegies with tinned fruit and creamed rice for dessert.
Day 7 - fish & chips (from shop) with pineapple fritters and ice cream for dessert.
Day 8 - home by tea time.
The only problem of significance was a collapsed rear suspension on one bike but it never held us up.
There was a bike repair shop just around the corner. We never used it.
Riding Mountain Bikes on the main road is not good. The tyres are noisy and slow. You cannot lean too much around corners else you will loose grip.
At Mt Beauty we had a few spots of rain overnight on day 1. A few days were very hot and humid but generally it was pleasant. Large gusts of wind swept up the valley occasionally but they did not last long. On most days the smoke haze from the still burning bushfires in Gippsland obscured the surrounding mountains.
At Falls Creek it was generally pleasant. At Pretty Valley the wind was strong.
This was an issue at camp as there were people wandering around at night and there was a lot of money invested in the bikes.
Bikes were either left on the vehicle bike racks, stored in tents or chained to trees.
We used 2 vehicles to ferry people and the bikes around.
Gordon's vehicle had a specially designed roof rack that held 6 bikes and a towbar mounted bike rack. Rick's vehicle had a towbar mounted bike rack.
Coral and Ann drove the vehicles back from the places that they dropped us off at.
Day 1 Sat. 6th Jan, 2007
This is the day we arrived, so by the time we set everything up, there was only time for a short ride around the lake at Mt Beauty and a few kilometres up the road to Falls Creek.
Day 2 Sun. 7th Jan, 2007
Headed off about 9.00 up the road to Falls Creek. About 2Km up turned left off the main road and onto the "Survey Track". This is a single file track through the bush that meets back with the road at "Cranky Charlies" corner. There we encountered a rain storm and sheltered under a tree until it passed. We then crossed the main road and headed up a track that eventually came down towards Mt Beauty near the power lines. Back at camp 10.30. Decided to go into Mt Beauty for cappuccino.
After lunch rode up to the Tawonga Gap lookout. It is all uphill and very steep. We all made it in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. After recovering, it was a lovely downhill ride back. Back just in time for afternoon tea at 3.00.
Day 3 Mon. 8th Jan, 2007
Headed off to Falls Creek about 9.00 with bikes loaded. Arrived about 10.00 at the toilet block near the Rocky Valley dam wall. Rode along the gravel track past the dam wall and stopped at the track near the entrance to Wallaces Hut. One vehicle was left at the toilet block and Ann and Coral followed us in the other vehicle. We rode to Wallaces Hut and they walked. Had break there and then rode to Langford Gap where Ann and Coral were to meet us for lunch. They arrived later because they went to look at Copes Hut.
Had lunch at Langford Gap and then rode along the aqueduct track to the Concrete Wall (about 7Km). Left the bikes at the dam and walked up to Fitzgerald Hut and then onto Kelly Hut. Then walked back, picked up the bikes and rode back to Langford Gap. Paul had ridden ahead but was not there when we arrived. We assumed he had ridden back to Falls Creek where we were to meet Ann and Coral.
Rode back to Falls Creek arriving at 3.45. Ann and Coral were waiting for us but no Paul! Chris remembered that Paul had his mobile with him so we contacted him and he was waiting at Langford Gap. Apparently, he had ridden all the way back to the gate near Wallaces Hut but after a while realised that nobody was coming so he rode back to Langford Gap. A vehicle was dispatched to pick him up.
Noel and Rick rode back from Falls Creek and stopped for cappuccino on the way back. The others loaded the bikes on vehicles. Back at camp by 6.00.
Day 4 Tues. 9th Jan, 2007
Left camp at 8.45 for the car park near the start of the Staircase Spur track to Mt Bogong. It is located off Mountain Creek road near where the gravel road commences. Walked from the car park to the bottom of the Staircase Spur track arriving there about 9.45 and commenced the long walk up. About halfway is Bivouac Hut where we stopped for a break and regrouped. Bob decided he could not make the climb and had already turned back. We found out later that he walked all the way back to Mt Beauty arriving there about 3.30.
Hit Mt Bogong summit at 12.45 (took 3 Hrs - included a short break at Bivouac Hut). It was a very difficult climb. Chris had a knee problem so he turned back about halfway between Bivouac Hut and the summit. Gordon went with him. Had lunch on the summit which is the highest in VIC (1285M). Tried to call Ann and Coral from the summit but reception was unreliable.
Walked back in 2Hrs. We were stuffed. On the way down got a mobile call from Ann and they arranged to met us at the bottom. Back at camp by 4.30.
Day 5 Wed. 10th Jan, 2007
Left at 9.30 with bikes loaded headed for Beechworth. We intend riding the rail trail back to Bright.
Arrived Beechworth 11.00. Headed off 11.30. Ann and Coral are meeting us at Bright.
From Beechworth to Everton is all downhill and only took 35 Mins. Hit Myrtleford at 1.30 where we stopped for lunch. Before Myrtleford is a long uphill climb over Taylors Gap which was hard under the hot sun.
About 15Km from Myrtleford we stopped at a berry farm for refreshments. Coincidently, Ann and Coral happened to be driving by as we turned into the farm so they joined us.
Hit Bright at 4.30. Had refreshments at the Information Cafe near the river. Back at camp by 6.00. Paul rode back to camp from Bright.
Day 6 Thurs. 11th Jan, 2007
Left at 9.00 for Falls Creek. Unloaded bikes at Windy Corner. Left one vehicle there and headed for Mt McKay Lookout. Ann and Coral drove there. Three rode the steep ascent to Mt McKay and the others either walked, pushed their bike or got a lift in the car. Fantastic views. Smoke from the still burning Gippsland fires could bee seen. The 4WD had a flat tyre at the bottom of Mt McKay.
Then rode to Pretty Valley dam and had lunch there which Ann and Coral transported in the vehicle. It was very windy but sunny and in the low 20's.
Then rode back to where a track leads down to Howmans Gap near the official entrance to Falls Creek. Ann and Coral went back to Windy Corner, picked up the other vehicle and waited for us at Howmans Gap. The track was all downhill and exhilarating. By the time we got to Howmans Gap, Ann and Coral had only been there 5 mins.
Paul and Woody rode from Howmans Gap back to camp. The others loaded the bikes and went back to Falls Creek village for malted milks/iced coffee/cappuccino. Back at camp 4.30.
Day 7 Fri. 12th Jan, 2007
Left at 9.00 for the car park on Mountain Creek road near where it becomes gravel. Went via Dam road. There by 11.00 (15 Km). Rode up the track about 5 Km. Woody and Rob did not go all the way. Very scenic, cool and creek crossings. Then rode back to the car park. Left there at 12.00 and rode back along Mountain Creek road and the highway. back by 12.45. Total of 38 Km. Very hot and humid at Mt Beauty.
Ann and Coral left a "Gone Fishin" sign on the camp tent. They were really touring the wineries.
After lunch everyone lazed around watching the antics in the river. People floating down on various devices, dogs playing and swimmers. Gordon had the idea of a game of mini golf but it was too hot.
Noel and Rick walked into town for drinks and the others swam or read books and papers. After 265 Km of hard bike riding, climbing 1965 M to Mt Bogong and walking 20 Km, it was a well earned rest.
Day 8 Sat. 13th Jan, 2007
No riding. Pack up and home.
Best Digital Footage (Video) Taker
Highest Mountain Climbed
Mt Bogong (1285M).
Most Injury Prone
Chris. He injured his knee playing tennis at the Caravan Park and also had a minor fall whilst riding.
Best Alpine Knowledge
Woody and Alan. Although we did go to a few places they had never been to.
Total Riding Time
15.5Hrs for those who rode down from Falls Creek.
Biggest Water Drinker
Best Blue Heaven Milkshakes
The cafe on the opposite side of the street to the Bakery in Mt Beauty.
On the last day we rode up Mountain Creek road and then partway along a track that followed the creek. A few creek crossings and nice scenery. It would have been interesting to have followed it to the end.
Biggest Complainer (about doing dishes)
Alan. Every time it was his turn there was heaps of dishes.
Gordon. He planned and orchestrated the whole event.
Ann and Coral's interruption. On day 6 when Ann and Coral were waiting for us an Longmans Gap they had selected a lovely flat grassed area in the shade and had just pulled out their chairs and reading material expecting a few hours of relaxation. About 5 Mins after they sat down we all arrived.
The ducks that wandered around the park picking up scraps.
Best Cook/Support Driver
Coral. She cooked all meals including making toast in the morning.
Best Iced Coffee
The Wombat cafe in Falls Creek. A huge new complex in being built in front of the Wombat cafe which will obscure their view when complete. The complex will contain apartments, cafes, restaurants and other shops. The Falls Creek shopkeepers are calling it the death of Falls Creek.
Total Riding Distance
265Km for those who rode down from Falls Creek. Paul also rode from Bright to Mt Beauty (30Km).
Best Assistant Cook/Support Driver
Most Dilapidated Chair
The bakery cafe in Mt Beauty.
Best Story Tellers
Alan and Coral. The tales of their experiences in the Marshall Islands were fascinating.
Most advertising on a Riding Shirt
Beechworth to Bright (73Km)
The Big Debate
Is it Quicker/Longer to go from Myrtleford to Mt Beauty via Bright or go around the mountain?
Best Self Control
Chris. Despite being a mortgage broker he never tried to sell us any mortgages.