Today I took the bike on a 200 mile train ride to Wodonga in the far NE of Victoria on the New South Wales Border. This is to be the start of a ride across the Victorian Alps, down to the coast and back to Melbourne.
Weather started dull and cloudy in Melbourne but this cleared to blue skies as I travelled east. Temperatures during the day were a little lower than yesterday at 34C, 93F but still heat wave levels. Back in Melbourne cooler air had come through with temperatures only getting to 26C.
The bike on the train was hassle free with a guard compartment at the rear of the train for bikes. Scenery was large expanses of bush farmland with the occasional isolated settlement. The train took a loop north and then east staying away from the high country to the south.
I spent the 3 and a half hour train trip looking at the scenery or reading an e-book on my PDA. (Saves a lot of weight on a bike trip as I have 5 books stored on it!!)
I had a picnic lunch in the park and then set off in search of the Murray River. This is at the north end of town and I couldn't pass up one final chance to see this great river we had seen so much of during the trip. It is also the border with New South Wales here. The only road across seemed to be the freeway but I had printed out a street map of town from the Internet at the Hotel last night. Using this I found a way on back roads and dirt roads to a rickety looking farm bridge. The Murray here being further up its course is much narrower.
The bike ride to Beechworth was gradually climbing up a valley to a pass at 1400ft. Then down a little and then up the last 4 miles to Beechworth at 1800ft. The ride could best be described as hot, humid and sweaty (in multiple drips!!)
Beechworth is one of those classic historical Bush towns with many of the old buildings intact which goes to sleep at 8.00pm.
29 miles for the day and 2549ft of climb.