Another day, another opportunity, another ride …

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Another day, another opportunity, another ride …

Post by toneli on Wed Jan 08 2014, 23:09

While the pay may not be much, the opportunities come 'round more often when one is retired.

And today brought an opportunity too good to pass up! Morning was cool. Forecast was for mid 20s and the wind this morning was non-existent.  I waited a couple of hours and the temperature rose. Just enough to make riding that little bit more enjoyable. Departure time? around 11.00 from home in Croydon Hills, Vic for Inverloch, Vic, down on the south coast with a stop off at Mirboo North to visit an old friend.

For those who are not familiar with Melbourne, and so you can follow on a map if desired the plan was to go from Croydon Hills, Lilydale, Yarra Junction, Powelltown, Neerim South, bypass Warragul by going through Nilma, just east of Warragul, then on to Trafalgar, down to Mirboo North, Leongatha and Inverloch.

A quick stop for a bite to eat at Yarragon and I was on the bike again, BUT, not checking the map, I took the wrong road. Bummer! After going for a kilometre or two I thought I didn't recognise the road I wanted as being as narrow or in as poor condition as the one I was on. But I pressed on. It was bitumen, and I figured it would come out somewhere to the south and near where I wanted to go. So press on I did. Noticed a road to Mirboo North turning east but it was gravel/dirt. I was on bitumen – but not for much longer.  Turned to gravel forestry road soon after and continued as such for around 15 Km! Then a road junction. One indicator pointed to Leongatha the other to a town/locality I'd never heard of. Pulled out the map I'd copied just before I left home. And the town/locality was nowhere to be seen on the map! Another bother! At least the new road was bitumen, and likely would be so all the way to Leongatha. So to Leongatha and Inverloch it would be, missing out on Mirboo North.

Disappointed? Yes. The road I should have taken, as I recalled it before leaving home this morning, runs from Trafalgar through Thorpdale to Mirboo North and then on to Leongatha and Inverloch.  To me this road, especially to Leongatha, gives the rider the "warm fuzzies". It has a reasonable speed limit (100 Kph), is not all that busy, doesn't seem to be overly patrolled, takes the rider over the Strzelecki Ranges at full speed (limit) rate of knots, and has many splendidly sweeping corners. The engineer/surveyor must have been a motorbike enthusiast. For those coming to WSB at the Island in February, keep this road in mind and try and include it in your planning. Some great views also coming off the "coastal" flats, and the agricultural flats of the Latrobe Valley.

The road I did take, the road much less travelled, was very much like The Grand Ridge Road that runs east/west (west/east?) along the ridges of the Strzelecki Ranges from just south of Warragul (west) through Mirboo North to the Yarram-Traralgon Road (east). We travelled Warragul to somewhere east of Mirboo North in the car some years ago, and it hasn't changed. RACV has previously listed it as a tourist attraction of the Strzelecki  Ranges. But it is definitely not for road bikes with road tyres. Suggestion: If you want to try it – it weaves and winds through the hills – get onto a trails bike.  It should be immensely enjoyable on the right bike with the right tyres.

The ride to Inverloch did have some purpose. Our little 15 month old grandie had left his sunnies behind at our house last weekend. And spending the week at the beach … Well, all the mums will know; the little blokes need their sunnies at the beach! They are a "must have".

Sunnies duly delivered, kids visited (very enjoyable short visit) and I'm still missing the buzz from riding Mirboo North to Trafalgar. It's just gone 3.00 pm. Will I or won't I? Be blowed! I'll do it! And I'll visit my old friend at Mirboo North as well.

Sun doesn't set down in Melbourne till somewhere near 8:30 at the moment.

And so it was done! While the ride doesn't cover thousands of kilometres it did end up being 392 Km by the odometer. After spending a very enjoyable time with my old friend and leaving Mirboo North just after 5.00 pm arrival time at home was 7.30 pm – and the sun was still shining!

As Fatman Oz (FR #562) stated recently, "It's all about the journey, not the length of the destination". And the return journey made the whole very worthwhile!

Pics taken along the way …

Yarragon war memorial


Mirboo North war memorial


Darnum war memorial


The Big Butt, Darnum
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toneli

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