Saturday, August 15, 2009


Another great day of riding yesterday.  Midway through it turned to a brilliant sunny day which became warm and at times almost hot!

Leaving home at 9.30AM I headed out north east via Kangaroo Ground and Yarra Glen, and north up the Melba, turning right and taking Chum Creek Rd to Healesville. I toyed with the idea of taking the Old Toolangi Rd to Toolangi and decided today would be the day. I knew nothing of it except that it was dirt; if it got too rough I would simply turn back.

In fact this road was quite good: a mixture of hard-packed clay and sand in places, and light gravel in others. I am becoming used to letting the bike drift about on such surfaces, which is not so bad at an easy pace. Except of course that the right tyre track was generally the better one, and from that vantage I could look down to where I and my bike would fall and tumble should I loose my grip.

Along the way I saw that some people had had their fun rolling cars down the hill…

The road was mostly burnt out although it did return to green along the way, which felt strange – I am now so used to looking at burnt bush!

In true bikey fashion, I stopped to pick some flowers! (For my partner, not me!)

And eventually returned to civilization.

This road took me back toward Yarra Glen. 

I had lunch in Healesville and rode the Black Spur, along with a lot of traffic which thwarted my strong impulse to put some speed on through the corners. From there I made for Eildon with vague thoughts of exploring the roads about there.

At Cathedral Rock I was tempted to sacrifice Eildon-explorations for a ride up the rock. The sun had come out at this point and it was like Spring. It was a great pleasure simply to wind along an empty tarred road. 

However the National Park road which might lead up the Rock was closed due to the January fires.  And so I turned back and made again for Eildon.

On the way I took some photos to capture the sun-filled splendour of the day…

The first thing I did at Eildon was to explore some roads around the damn. Lake Eildon is a weir fed by the Goulbourn River, developed in stages beginning in 1915 but having it’s greatest transformation during the 1950s.  It has that sublime vastness of space and light, both of water and hills, and of sheer monolithic concrete, which we see from that era. Something about it pushes the mind back upon itself, as a sensation of simple, element existence.

Furth along there is a bridge across a gorge, and the first photo is looking to my left - looking back toward the lake of the above photos - while the second photo is looking right, back into the valley and toward the township.

I went for a bush-walk in the heat of the day amidst the sweaty Tea Tree.

Here at the entrance is a high wall cut from the mountain. Those trees at the top give you an idea of the size: they are tall gums.

I had a coffee in Eildon and just sat there, in the shade in the small shopping square, looking out at the sun and at the few couples enjoying the day also in silence. At about 3.30pm I decided to make my way home as there were dinner guests to prepare for. I stopped to take another shot of the scene and the day…

…and with a large bull to my left becoming very unhappy about my presence, I motored on through  the green valley and back through Narbethong and the Black Spur. I stopped again at the lookout to the Maroondah Reservoir – there has been a water-catchment theme to my rides of late – and took the back-road to Yarra Glen and on to Kangaroo Ground and home, weary and sore but revived in spirit!

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