RACV Great Vic Day 2: Albury to Yackandandah


Great Vic day 2There was a mood of jubilation as the riders rolled out of camp at Albury this morning, commencing the first riding day of the 2014 RACV Great Vic Bike Ride. Today’s route – a 67km roll down to pretty Yackandandah – wasn’t the toughest day on paper, but the warm temperatures, humidity and a few short but steep rises were a fitting introduction to this year’s ride.

After a few brief showers during the night, the rain held off for the duration of the day’s riding; the clouds burnt away by about 9am, making for a hot morning in the saddle. The majority of riders were on their way soon after the ribbon was cut by Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards, Albury mayor Cr. Kevin Mack and RACV Director Julie Green. There was little dilly-dallying back at camp, with riders eager to get the legs ticking over, making their way east to the Hume Dam, before crossing the Victorian border and heading south-west to Yackandandah. The sight of hundreds of riders crossing the dam wall – Lake Hume glittering to their left – was a spectacular demonstration of the sheer scale of the event.

The roads today – picturesque and with scarce vehicular traffic – were lined by happy riders making their way to the next campsite. The winding, lumpy roads gave way to a flat 13km stretch up to the lunch stop, before a gradual but extended climb. Having crested this, it was a 5km descent into camp in historic Yackandandah. Whilst the consensus seems to be that today’s ride was both harder and hotter than expected, there was some welcome respite from the hot weather towards the middle of the day, with a cool breeze picking up and cloud cover rolling back in. For now, it’s a relief, but it’s also a precursor of the anticipated storms this evening.

Tomorrow is one of the biggest tests of the Great Vic; looming large in the minds of our riders will be the challenging 10km climb over Tawonga Gap towards the end of the 88km journey to Bright.

The hardy riders of the Great Vic will cross that hurdle when they come to it. For now, life is simple; there’s an afternoon free in Yackandandah, a warm welcome from its inhabitants to enjoy, and a well-earned rest ahead.

See more pictures from the ride on Flickr.

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