The (Aborted) Goldie Spur Bike Ride
Commenced 8th Dec 2014

Trip Summary
Day 1.
Train Melbourne to Tallarook,
Day 2. Ride to Mansfield.
Day 3. Ride to Whitfield.
Day 4. Ride to Myrtleford.
Day 5. Ride to Wangaratta & Train back to Melbourne.
A total of 345km. A pleasant and enjoyable ride.

Rick (the writer)

Click here for a selection of photos.

Downhill ride into Whitfield after stopping at Powers Lookout for lunch. The lead changed many times. We hit a max of 62km/hr even with the drag from our panniers.

Not completing the Goldie Spur Track. Leaving Whitfield, we intended riding through Chesthunt to Dandongadale. and then up a 4WD track to meet the start of the Goldie Spur Track. After riding about 3 km up the very steep track in our lowest gears we stopped and assessed the situation.

  • We were only half way to the Goldie Spur Track at about 600m (and then there was some downhill).

  • There was much more steep climbing to do up to 1200m.

  • It was very hot and we were nearly out of water with over 20km further to any water.

  • I was sweating so much my gloved hands were slipping on the handle bars.

  • Noel & Kevin had touring bikes with gearing not as low as my mountain bike. They never complained but I suspect they were suffering more than me.

We decided to turn back and ride to Myrtleford. On reflection, I did not plan that section very well although I did speak to someone at Parks Victoria about the track. They said it was in good condition and easily navigable by mountain bike. I think I forgot to tell him Noel & Kevin had touring bikes and we were carrying all our gear.

This link shows the Goldie Spur Track profile.

Best Meal
Mansfield hotel. Kevin & I had chicken parmigiana. Cannot remember what Noel had but recall he said it was very good.

Lovely weather. Rain overnight at Whitford which did not affect us. Tail winds in a few places.

Noel fell off his bike whilst trying to avoid a log truck but no injuries. We encountered a few of these trucks on a very dusty section of gravel road to Dandongadale.
Kevin & I suffered the unmentionable details saddle sore problem.

Noel had "grampaitis" and wanted to have a nap soon after we arrived in the town we were staying. We never let him.
Kevin recently had a wrist operation which caused him some problems.

Lost and Found
I left my drink bottle in the fridge in the cabin in Mansfield. Kevin pointed out a discarded drink bottle on the side of the road just out of Mansfield which I retreived. The lady in the Tolmie Tavern kindly washed it out for me and filled it up with fresh water..

Fastest Assisted Riding
Riding on the Buffalo Valley Road into Myrtleford. Had a tailwind and reached over 40km/Hr on the flats. Stuffed by the time we got to Myrtleford. Kevin and I had two large drinks of cola. Noel had a milkshake and an orange juice.

Where We Stayed and Food
Except for Whitfield, we did not prearrange any accommodation. Stopped at various places on the road or bike trails for tea or coffee & biscuits which we prepared ourselves.

  • Day 1. Yea Motel in Yea. Just OK and the most expensive. Lunch at cafe in Tallarook. Dinner at Chinese restaurant which was very nice and cheap.

  • Day 2. High Country Holiday park in Mansfield. Very nice cabin with plenty of room. Morning play at Yarck. Lunch at Merton. Dinner at Mansfield hotel in pleasant outdoor setting.

  • Day 3. Valley View Caravan park in Whitfield. Onsite caravan with annex. New owners just 2 months. Falling over themselves to help. Lunch was rolls from Mansfield Bakery which we ate at Powers Lookout. Afternoon play at the "Whitty" cafe in Whitfield. Dinner in outside area at the Mountain View hotel which was very nice.

  • Day 4. Aderns Caravan Park in Myrtleford. New owners a few months. Nice cabin. Lunch was pre-made rolls at Whitfield store which we ate under a tree at Dandongadale. Dinner at the Buffalo hotel. Meals OK, crappy indoor environment.

  • Day 5 Morning play at cafe in Myrtleford. Lunch at Everton store.

Most Missable Towns

  • Cheshunt. Noel & Kevin did not even notice we had ridden through until about 5km later when I asked them about it.

  • Corr Creek. Along the Rose River Road. Saw the sign and one house. Not on any maps.

Most Depressing Town
Dandongadale. Shown as a large dot on the map but there was absolutely nothing there, not even a town sign. Was once a cattle station there and a part time school which closed in 1948.

Best Shopkeeper
The lady in the Tolmie Tavern where we stopped for a break. She was very friendly and even filled up our water bottles for free which is unusual.

Interesting and Unusual Things

  • New visitors centre at Yea at wetlands walk. Impressive.

  • Powers Lookout. Impressed with the walkways, stairs and viewing platforms. Much improved since last time I was there

  • Whitfield was better than I expected. Nice cafe and hotel.

  • The Rose River valley near Dandongadale was lovely.

Bike Problems
Noel had a flat near Dandongadale.