Gillie and I have begun the adventure. The Tour de Alps: Bright to Bright via Cann River. 1000km, 16km of climbing and taking in Bright, Falls Creek, Mitta Mitta, Walwa, Khancoban, Jindabyne, Cann River, Metung, Omeo, Mt Hotham, and Bright. Overall Route Map
Day one: Bright to Mitta Mitta (via Tawonga, Falls Creek and Mt Wills) Route Map
Day one was epic. 170km with 3366m of climbing and approximately 50km of dirt (that was both muddy from the almost constant rain and up hill over Mt Wills). I asked Gillie several times to “just leave me here on the track”! It tested us and we had to dig deep but our ‘true team spirit’ shone through! Whenever I started to lose traction (which was often) Gillie would get off her bike and give me a push for 20metres or so to get me going then head back to her bike. Clearly reaching Falls Creek from Bright that morning in such good time had lulled us into a false sense of security and as it turned out, anything can happen in 170km in the Aussie alpine bush.
We finally arrived in Mitta Mitta almost with broken spirits, 13 hours later (9.15 ride time) however spirits were rapidly mended when the locals ushered us into the bar – bike and all – and bought us a beer. Little did I know that I was undistinguishable, covered in mud. Couple of beers, shower, good meal and anti-inflams later and we collapsed into bed dreaming of the 900kms to go.
Day two: Mitta Mitta to Walwa (via Granya and River Road) Route Map
Morning was spent tending to stomachs, bikes and a few war wounds. We set off on a gorgeous morning ride, all a bit of an anti climax after the surprises of yesterday. Despite this, we thoroughly enjoyed our quiet scenic morning. We were welcomed to the Murray Valley by a very full Hume Wier, wild fig trees and the wind at our backs. We still had 160km planned for the day. By 3:00pm and with 90km down, my knees were expressing their discomfort of two big days in the saddle and we made a call to take a short cut. Previously this would not have been considered due to the 9km of dirt, we were now however Cyclocross experts and took it in our stride. We arrived at Guy’s Forest at 5:10pm and were greeted with another beer by our friends the Woods.
Day three: Rest Day
We rested and were entertained by the Woods, drank copious cups of tea and re-carbo loaded for the next stage of the journey.