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Wisebytes.net     Day 1 (Rutherglen - Wangaratta, 41 km, gentle downhill)
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Day 1 (Rutherglen - Wangaratta, 41 km, gentle downhill)

Ride Guide Map

Elevation map for day 1

We finished packing in the early morning, and tried not to look when we weighed the luggage - the backpack was approximately 17 kg and the black bag approximately 22 kg ... eek !!! Then again, I figured that if I could look happy carrying the black bag, nobody would notice it being overweight. We stuffed everything in the van, and set off for Rutherglen.

Driving along the highway, I felt strangely disconnected - it didn't really seem like the beginning of the bike ride, and there was no building up of anticipation and excitement. However as we approached Rutherglen, there were buses and cars with bikes and all of a sudden, there was a feeling of direction and build-up and we were there.

Bikes and cars everywhere, and the inevitable lines for passports, luggage and lunch. Just as I got out the mobile phone to see where Sophie and David might be, a very observant Lindell (Sophie's mum) spotted us and greeted us with enthusiasm. Suddenly it was beginning to feel like we really were about to embark on a bit of an adventure.

John and Tim took our luggage to Wangaratta for us, thereby avoiding the mega-luggage-loading line, we ate our delicious (?) lunch. We said fond farewells to our families and Krista and I and Sophie and David set out on the road. The girls rode together, David and I chatted, but gradually we fell into our own family patterns of riding. Sophie and David were clearly a bit faster than us, but we rode within chatting distance most of the way to Wangaratta. The sun was surprisingly strong, and the ride was sufficiently challenging to remind us what we were doing, and it was very satisfying to arrive in Wangaratta, select our camping spot and set up camp along side Sophie and David.

John and Tim stayed long enough to ensure that we were all settled in and hadn't forgotten anything major, and then it was down to GVBR business of showers, drinks, dinner (chicken strips, interesting vegetable matter, trifle), pleasant conversation and sleep.