Bike ride returns
By STRUAN JONES
THE Great Victorian Bike Ride returns to Bright this weekend, with cyclists arriving in town on Saturday to set up camp for day one of the ‘Mountains to Murray’ route, before taking off to Beechworth on Sunday morning.
The full nine-day 524km route will journey through Beechworth, Milawa, Tallangatta, Rutherglen, Yarrawonga, and Glenrowan, before finishing in Benalla.
More than 3000 riders from across Australia and overseas are expected to take part in the supported ride, camping along the way and enjoying some of the unique offerings in each of the towns.
Deb Chambers, a keen local cyclist from Wandiligong, is preparing for her 8th Great Victorian Bike Ride, an experience she describes as a “fantastic, challenging adventure with the kids.”
The highlights for her are the sense of community she feels travelling a long journey with like-minded people, and over the years she has gotten to know families who take up the challenge annually.
In the evenings, after their luggage has been delivered, participants set up camp and relax - something her kids have loved.
Her children Charlotte, 14, and Ollie, 11, are both enthusiastic cyclists. Unfortunately for Ollie however, he will be away on a school camp and will miss this year’s event.
Normally they’d sit on the back of a tandem bicycle, a method Ms Chambers described as a safer way for families to enjoy the ride, and more fun because “you can chat away the while time”, but this year they’ll be on road bikes.
And covering some distance is not new to Charlotte, either.
One of their favourite training rides is along the rail trail from Bright to Myrtleford and back, which gives them a 70km round trip, stopping at the bakery in Myrtleford for lunch, and the Porepunkah Rail Trail café.
The last time the ride came through Bright was in 2014 when the route crossed into the Alpine region on its way from Albury to Lilydale, and before that in 2001 when cyclists had a rest day in Bright.
“We’re excited to be starting the ride in Bright this year, being so close to where we live,” she said.
“We’ll be able to roll down the hill to the start.”
GEARED UP: Deb and Charlotte Chambers will take on their 8th Great Victorian Bike Ride starting in Bright this Saturday.