RACV Great Vic Day 3: Yackandandah to Bright



Our intrepid adventurers were glad to get some relief from the scorching sun last night, settling into our beautiful campsite nestled among trees and hills in the valley. Having set up camp, Yackandandah was thronged with riders – some discovering the local pool, others seeking shade in the beer gardens of the town’s two pubs – both doing a roaring trade deep into the evening. For those back at camp, there was entertainment in the form of a Mario Kart competition on the big screen (popular with our school groups) and the film Crackerjack.

The forecast storms never hit, although there was lightning visible to the east of camp. So after a restful night’s sleep, we regretfully bid farewell to the friendly little town that had been our home for an evening. There was some trepidation among the riders; after all, today was the first big challenge day of this year’s ride, an 88km trek to Bright. The roads wound through stunning valleys, with Mt Bogong and Falls Creek looming ever closer on the horizon. But just out of Mt Beauty, we turned west towards Bright, with Tawonga Gap separating us from our goal. Tawonga Gap – a 7.6km climb, at an average gradient of 6.3% – is one of the major climbs of this year’s RACV Great Vic, and was more than enough to put some of our riders into difficulty. With amazing views of alpine valleys and some of the state’s biggest peaks off to the right, the lookouts on the way up were well-utilised. Finally, after some sweat, a few tears, and with aching legs, our riders reached the high-point of the day’s ride.

What goes up must come down, and we were rewarded with a long, sweeping descent to Bright. After carving round the corners on the steeper upper half, the road straightened out a little, passing the occasional orchard and crossing the Ovens River. Then, it was into the famous tree-lined boulevards of Bright, undoubtedly a highlight of this year’s route. The camp, located in Pioneer Park Recreation Reserve, is lush and leafy, and with cloud cover and a gentle breeze picking up, it’s a wonderful place to rest the legs. At 1.30, finally, the rain has arrived, but after the heat of the last few days I don’t think our riders will mind all that much.

The considerable attractions of Bright township will be filled this afternoon with happy campers; after today’s ride, any indulgence at Bright Chocolate Factory and Bright Brewery will be well deserved. There’s a bumper schedule at the campsite as well; after dinner (an old favourite – pasta with meatballs), it’s trivia night in the big tent, with teams of friends new and old pitting their wits against each other. It may only be day three, but there are already some amazing memories from this year’s RACV Great Vic. Tomorrow’s 93km route from Bright to tiny Moyhu is sure to add even more.

See more pictures from the ride on Flickr.

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