RACV Great Vic Day 4: Bright to Moyhu



Day 4 hero


North East Victoria is known for its changeable weather, and we had a little bit of everything yesterday. Not long after yesterday’s update, the rain rolled in; at first a welcoming pitter-patter, but then angry blue clouds rolling over Mt Buffalo brought a heavy downpour and coin-sized hailstones. Those already in camp took shelter; those still out on the route got wet.

And here’s the amazing thing about the RACV Great Vic – the stories in camp last night weren’t of frustration or annoyance at the fickle weather, but of the way riders worked together to deal with the rapidly changing conditions, of new friends helping each other up Tawonga Gap, and of the satisfaction and achievement of getting through the day’s ride. So yes, it was wet – but nothing can dampen the spirits of these riders. At the nightly rider briefing, with rain still falling outside and hundreds of people crowded together, a loud cheer and applause rang out in celebration of the day’s achievement.

The skies cleared just before dusk, treating us to the stunning sight of wreaths of mist rising off the surrounding hills. Many opted for a ten-minute walk into town, whilst others stayed at camp for trivia night or a movie, stars twinkling overhead.

At 93km today’s ride was the longest of this year’s RACV Great Vic, but after the challenge of Tawonga Gap yesterday, the road was mercifully flat. Rolling out of Bright along the Great Alpine Road, we passed through a virtual greatest-hits of north-eastern towns; Porepunkah, Myrtleford, and Milawa amongst them. Many riders opted to duck off the road onto the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, which ran alongside the road for a stretch. Our route meandered between the region’s famous pine-covered hills, with hops farms and rivers alongside. A brief climb thinned the group out, before a gentle descent towards our lunch stop at Whorouly, where the local community was out in force. Thereafter it was a flat and fairly straight ride to our final destination, Moyhu, through the King Valley and past the occasional vineyard.

Moyhu’s not a big place – at the 2011 census, it had a population of just 428 – but they’ve given the Great Vic an incredible reception. As we approached the town, old bikes dressed in streamers stood out the front of most houses. Moyhu has also put on a street party and market on the main street, with gourmet food, bare foot bowls, local musicians and a whole lot more. The town’s pub shut down a few weeks ago; such is the community spirit of Moyhu that they’ve opened it again, just for us, for one night only. After yesterday’s rain it’s another dry and warm afternoon so I reckon they might serve a beer or two!

It is towns like Moyhu that make the RACV Great Vic such an extraordinary community event. The sense of community is now, four days into the ride, running strong on the campsite as well. With a long, hilly ride to Mansfield tomorrow, and a well-deserved rest day on Thursday, the RACV Great Vic Bike Ride will roll on, with a fond place in our hearts for each of the towns we pass through.

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