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The Mt Hotham Weekend - How it went

posted Jan 27, 2015, 4:46 PM by Victoria Police Cycling Club   [ updated Feb 1, 2015, 4:43 PM ]
Mt Hotham Jan 2015

Ok here it is everyone - how it went at Mt Hotham.

Most of us arrived on Thursday night at dinner time & met up at "The General"; the local hotel/meeting place. 

For me, I left at lunchtime Friday, on the big trip up to the high country.  Such a beautiful, warm sunny day and it was a good journey to get there.  After the long drive on the Hume Hwy & through Wangaratta (missed the by-pass!), I passed through busy Bright.  Then it was on to Harriettville with fabulous Old English Oak trees on either side of the avenue, with branches overhanging to form a shady canopy.  The climb to the top of the mountain starts here, meandering through the tall Eucalyptus trees and gradually changing to Snow Gums as I get higher.  There was a bit of rain for a short while, but soon the clouds cleared and the sun shone again.

After many stops on the way up, I finally arrived at "The General" hotel, where the others were enjoying a drink.  The hotel sits on the ridge with panoramic views as far as I can see.  Would be a fantastic sight in Winter with snow capped mountains all around.

Our accommodation is a very comfortable chalet with bunk beds & our own bathroom in each room.  There's a huge lounge area with a fully equipped kitchen and a fire place that would be the warm centre on a cold day.  From my bedroom windows I could see straight across the mountain tops and down the valley, which was scattered with summer flowers and local birds.

Mt Hotham Jan 2015
On Saturday I got talketd into riding DOWN to Harriettville, which was great, I thought, but there were some big (to me anyway) hills to climb before the decent.  Now, at the bottom, there was a choice - ride another 25kms (pretty flat) to Bright OR start THAT CLIMB ALL THE WAY BACK UP !  Yes it was a big decision, but Bright won over.  So Peter Baker & I headed off on our little jaunt to find some good coffee and a feed.  Slight problem not too far along when Baker had a flat tyre.... not to worry, didn't take long & we were on our way again.  Meanwhile back at Harriettville, Diane & Carter have began their ride up, up, up and UP!  Di was on a mission to do this BIG ride on this day, as it was her birthday!  Fabulous effort and one which was accomplished with honors. Great work to you and Carter!  I'm not normally one to walk/not do the hills, but it wasn't to be this time; I'll have it beaten next time.  Sandra & Lebecca left their bikes at home this trip, so they explored the area on foot, traversing the many tracks which weave right across the whole area up here.  Complete with home made salad rolls, snacks & cool drinks, they were gone till the late afternoon sun began to lower in the sky.  And what happened to Jenny Baker ?? Well she was emergency 'back-up' for Mr Baker!  I don't think riding back UP the mountain was EVER a consideration that went through his head, so "just in case" he wanted to get in the car/take the easy way out/be a woos, Jenny was there at Harriettville for the rescue.  By the way, good on you Pete for loosing a few kgs - that slimmer you is there somewhere I'm sure.  For dinner that night, we cooked a BBQ at the chalet, had some great wine, good company, and finished off with some birthday cake..
Mt Hotham Jan 2015
On Sunday we ended up doing different things.  I rode the 14 kms to Dinner Plain with Peter G.  Once there we planned on riding the circuit around the town, but ended up missing the turn and went much further.  Half way around we left the bikes and walked to the water falls.  This was very pretty and an easy few hundred meters each way.  It was lunchtime by the time we got back, so stopped at the Dinner Plain cafe where we had home made pie with salad and a glass of wine.  Sandra & Lebecca went for walkies, Boris did a few quick kms up & down the hills, Jenny & Peter drove to Dinner Plain & walked back the 12 kms.  Back at Hotham the focus was on the tennis, and everyone was keen to watch the match.  So off we went to the hotel for dinner and tennis.  I had a crash course on tennis and quite got into it by the end.  Don't think I've watched a match before.  We planned doing our Australia Day Trivia back at the chalet, but time got away so that will have to wait till next year!?

Monday it was time for a quick training ride for Boris, and for Peter G it was a walk to the top where the ski lift starts. After a clean up & vacuum we were all packed up & ready for the trip back home.

We saw the sun rise and set over the hills, a brown snake warming itself on the bitumen, spent time with good company, ate delicious food & tasted local wine.  Such a great weekend up in the high country.  We plan on doing it again, depends on when we can fit it into the ride list.  Hopefully we'll see a few more members on our next trip.