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Edwins Bicycle Tour Downunder
Sunday, 18 February 2007
Sunday 18 February. Melbourne. Brighton Beach.

Weather today was even hotter than yesterday with temperatures reaching 37C, 99F!! The wind was northerly bringing hot air from the continents interior.

Another day off the bike, mustn't let this become a habit. Back in the saddle on Monday.

I decided today had to be a beach day and chose Brighton Beach down the coast of the bay from Melbourne ( not to be confused with the Adelaide Brighton, the Brighton in New Zealand or for that matter in Sussex)

I took a tram into town and then the Connex Suburban train down to Brighton Beach Station. I walked along the Esplanade to a viewpoint I had heard of. See the picture below with the curving Bay lined with Beach huts and the Melbourne Skyline in the distance. I sunbathed and swam on this beach. Earlier in the trip we had found the sea a little cool but now it was very warm.

Later I walked on to Brighton Pier or rather the breakwater protecting Brighton Marina. I took a picture specially for Peter W who had wanted pictures of Melbourne from a distance and of Yachts but probably didn't expect both at once..

Tea or Pineapple Juice stop was at a Caf? at the Pier. Then back to base using train and then tram. I was indoors after a dinner locally before a violent thunderstorm with heavy rain signalled a break in the weather which is due to remain fine but cooler.

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 8:58 PM EADT
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Sunday 18 February. View from Brighton Beach



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Sunday 18 February. Melbourne Skyline from Brighton Pier



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Saturday, 17 February 2007
Saturday 17 February. Melbourne.

Weather could best be described as "Phew what a scorcher" It was one of those clear blue sky days when not a single cloud made an appearance. Temperatures reached a sultry 36C, 97F.

This was mainly a pottering day starting with moving rooms from a 4 bed superior room used by the group to a 2 bed economy room with bathroom up the corridor. I went into downtown for some shopping and then a picnic lunch on the south bank of the Yarra River across from the City towers.

Then a walk in the increasing heat along the footway and cycleway along the River south to the Botanic Gardens. These are quite extensive and have a much better Tearooms than the Adelaide version.

After dinner near the hotel I took a tram downtown and got in lots of evening City Lights photos.

Edwin


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Saturday 17 February. Cycleway along the Yarra



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Saturday 17 February. City lights across the Yarra River



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Friday, 16 February 2007
Friday 16 February. Melbourne Rest Day

Today weather was hot humid and sunny with temperatures up to 36C.

After breakfast the 2 Peters and Martin packed their Bikes in the Hotel's parking compound ready for their flight at 00.50 Saturday morning. I will be staying on in Australia for another 3 weeks and I will continue the Blog until the end of my trip.

We went up the road for elevenses where I got in a large Carrot Cake. Then a tram downtown to Federation Square and some very modern buildings. I had realised earlier in the morning that my prescription sunglasses were missing and probably left behind at a Pub in Moe, 100 miles away. We persuaded a somewhat harassed Tourist Office lady to make enquires and obtain phone numbers for us but unfortunately they had not been handed in.

We then wandered down to the South Bank riverside walk and some great views of the City. After some drinks by the river we caught the free City Circle tram to the Docklands area which is a bit like Canary Wharf. After another caf? stop in the gathering heat we headed back to the hotel and an early evening meal at a local restaurant.

The others did the final bit of packing and then departed about 9.00 pm for the Airport in a Maxi Taxi we had ordered which was able to cope with the bikes. The 2 Peters return direct to the UK after a few hours stop in Singapore. Martin stops in Singapore for 3 days.

I have 2 more days in Melbourne before heading off on a circuit of eastern Victoria State taking in some of the Victoria Alps.

Edwin


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Friday 16 February. Packing the bikes.



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Friday 16 February. City views from the Yarra River path



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Thursday 15 February. Evening and City lights.

This evening we had a celebratory evening meal at the Sobital Hotel on the eastern side of Melbourne City Centre. This has a restaurant with expansive views over the City, River and Bay from 25 floors high. We were joined by Gillian a friend of Peters who was now living in Melbourne.

After the meal Gillian gave us a tour of a couple of the nearby parks with the trees full of possums which seemed quite happy to be photographed.

Edwin


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Thursday 15 February Evening. City and Bay from Sobital Hotel



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Thursday 15 February. Possum in the Park



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Thursday, 15 February 2007
Thursday 15 February . Melbourne. Victoria Alps ride.

Weather today was again clear blue skies and temperatures notably warmer up to 37C.

We decided to have an awayday ride to the east of Melbourne using the V.Line trains. I had looked at the maps yesterday and a place called Walberton looked ideal for a start. West Sussex CTC members will know the UK version well as a regular start for Sunday Rides.

Further examination of the map revealed the line there was disused so I settled on another line running further south and east and the town of Moe. We started by pronouncing this Moo but luckily the Hotel man put us right before we went to the Station and asked for Tickets.

There was plenty of room for 4 bikes in a special area on the 2 carriage train. The 100 mile trip to Moe took 2 hours. We had brunch in town after arrival.

Peter W took an easier shorter route to the NW of town to Blue Rock Lake. The rest of us took a NE route on a dead end road into the foothills of the Alps through the Moonarra State Park.The route was undulating climbing to 1000ft before we turned round. We approached the ride at a high speed training pace enlivened by the lack of panniers.

Early in the ride we spotted a road sign warning of Wombats crossing. Then Martin's eagle eyes spotted a live snake sunning itself at the side of the road while I rode past it in blissful ignorance. We all stopped and took pictures of it at maximum zoom from a safe distance.

After a stop at Tylers Bridge we headed back in rising temperatures and back to town where we stopped at a tavern feeling very hot and I downed 2 pints of pineapple juice in quick succession.

We rejoined Peter W at the station and returned to Melbourne.

36 miles for the day and 1830ft of climbing.

Totals for the 5 weeks was 1539 miles of riding and 31372 ft of climbing. Everything went to plan with only 4 punctures and I had none.

Tomorrow some exploring of Melbourne.

Edwin


remote Posted by Edwin at 11:21 PM EADT
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Thursday 15 February.Train through Melbourne



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Thursday 15 February. Snake in the grass ready for passing cyclists



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Wednesday, 14 February 2007
Wednesday 14 February Lorne to Geelong and train to Melbourne.

Another Lovely Day as the house name of a place en route stated. We had clear blue skies most of the day, light winds mainly as tailwinds and temperatures up to 33C.

Lewis rode with us for the first half of the day. No more Koalas today but more scenic coastal views. Soon after leaving Lorne we started a 2 mile climb up Big Hill to Cinema Point. We had given Peter W a 20 minute head start and caught him just before the top.

Then down to the coast and an Arch over the road commemorating the building of the Great Ocean Road. We stopped there for a group photo and Lewis turned round and headed back to Lorne.

We headed on and stopped at Aireys Inlet for elevenses. Then on to Anglesea and Anglesea Beach and an undulating climb inland. We took a byroad back down to the coast at Bells Beach and some steep short 18% climbs.

Then down to Torquay and lunch at a restaurant overlooking the golden sands of its bay where we had apple crumbles with ice creams.

We took a side road north to Geelong on Horseshoe Bend Road which had one bend but was otherwise flat and straight and with a tailwind for 10 miles. Peter W found this very comfortable.

We headed into the city of Geelong and got to the V.Line train station for a train into Melbourne . There was no direct route into Melbourne froGeelong other than the M1 freeway for 30 miles.

We got into the Southern Cross Station in central Melbourne for 5.30 and rode a few miles in the rush hour traffic to the hotel making better speed than the jammed up cars.

Although this completes the circuit we plan another ride tomorrow so I will calculate total mileage then. When the others fly back Saturday I will stay on another 3 weeks and will continue the blog.

47 miles for the day and 1840 ft of climb.

Edwin


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Wednesday 14 February. Riding the Great Ocean Road.



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Wenesday 14 February. Group picture at Arch at end of Great Ocean Road



remote Posted by Edwin at 10:40 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 16 February 2007 9:04 PM EADT
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Tuesday, 13 February 2007
Tuesday 13 February. Apollo Bay to Lorne. Koala Hunt Day.

Today weather was perfect, sunny all day with light winds and temperatures up to 33C.

We had a caf? breakfast and then met up with Lewis who was riding with us for the day. We headed out of town on the Great Ocean Road which for this days section closely followed the coast with great sea views.

There were gentle ups and downs with the road descending to bays and climbing part way up cliffs overlooking an azure blue sea.

Soon after entering the Wongarra State Park just before Kennett River we saw a Koala Bear traffic jam at a layby. We had been told by various people including the lady at Fauna Australia to expect wild Koalas in this area. We started the days first Koala Hunt (Strictly photographic)

There were about 15 Koalas in eucalyptus trees either side of the road and obviously a well known stop with paths among the trees. Most of the Koalas were asleep up in the trees but a few were active and reaching for leaves. We climbed a roadside bank to get a close view of one.

Then down to Kennett River for lunch at the Koala Cove Caf?. The location was very good but the caf? was the most cyclists unfriendly we had encountered in Australia with signs warning of no bike parking in front of the caf?. This was something we had never before encountered in Australia. They also refused to fill Lewis's water bottle.

After lunch we set out on our second Koala hunt of the day. There was one up a tree in the garden of the caf? and more up a gravelled track into the woods. We settled to relax on a grassy spot at the base of a tree where a Koala slumbered. There was a bit of excitement when some Koalas started waking up and moving around in the trees of the adjacent caravan park and a lot more shutters were clicked.

During the day I took 99 digital pictures of Koalas and about 30 slides!!

We moved on about 3 miles to stop for a tea (ice cream) break at a shop at Wye River. There were a few mutterings from some about the day being too easy but Peter W found it just right.

We continued with the scenic coast on one side and the remote forest of the Angahook Lorne State Park on the other side. We stopped at the viewpoint at Mount Defiance and I set the digital camera up on a mini tripod with a timer for a group picture. Then on to Lorne and our Motel.

29 miles for the day and 1082 ft of climb.

Edwin


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Tuesday 13 February.Sleepy Koala



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