Beechworth is one of my favourite spots in NE Victoria. I’ve had a soft spot for the High Country since I was a child and looooong summer holidays at my grandparent’s place in Tangambalanga were relieved by day trips to Beechworth, Omeo and Mt Beauty.
North East Tourism invited us up recently to check out some of the activities on as a part of Cycle Salute, three weeks of bike fun for all sorts of riders. After the freezing gusty spring we’ve been having in Melbourne it was lovely to spend a whole weekend in glorious weather re-living what a fabulous area this is for all sorts of riders.
Saturday we spent on the Patch to Patch Pedal, armed with a map and details of nine local homes opening their veggie gardens to riders. Checking out what other people are doing in their veggie patches was a lovely way to spend the day, some also had bees and chickens so there was lots to compare, ideas to steal, fences to admire and gates to kick.
Late afternoon we set out for Tarrawingee on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, surely one of the best bike paths in the world, for dinner. We passed birds, snakes, a wombat, cows, llamas and I’m not sure what else. There’s a 15 km stretch down to Everton that is entirely downhill and the ‘riding’ is really just a matter of hanging on to your handle-bars. Finally we reached the Plough Inn at Tarrawingee for an amazing dinner and some lovely local wines.
Over dinner we worked out that we had ridden 65kms, a first for the Flipster, who although tired was happy enough about his day to want to do it again. After dinner Paul from Riding High picked us and our bikes up and drove us back to Beechworth.
You know those days where you think, ‘That was a good day’, and to do it all on a bike is just that much better. Cycle Salute is on for one last BIG weekend. It’s worth checking out.
In a transparent attempt to try and justify spending a bit more time riding and a bit less sitting behind a desk, I’ve signed up for the Children’s Medical Research Institute’s Great Cycling Challenge.
The Challenge involves me nominating how far I will ride during the month of October, and you, sponsoring me to help fundraise for money towards cancer research. Specifically, research into curing cancer in kids.
Both my riding and fundraising targets are pretty conservative. 1000kms, $1000. So thats one dollar for every kilometre I ride. Which I think is only fair.
If per chance you do like to support these charities then you can jump on over here to make a donation. Every $5 helps!
Paul and Charlie Farren are bicycling royalty in Melbourne. They’ve been advocating for bicycles for decades and there aren’t many organizations, clubs, associations with anything to do with bicycles in which they haven’t been, or still are, actively involved. They also just happen to have one of the most amazing bicycle collections in the world.
The Farren collection is housed in a museum in Richmond, Melbourne and is rarely open to the public. We featured the collection in Treadlie magazine in 2012 and it was at an even earlier shoot for a Treadlie centrefold that I first had the opportunity to check out the bicycles in the collection. Occasionally, bicycles are brought out for the Melbourne Tweed Ride and various exhibitions, for Paul and Charlie the bicycles are very much there to be enjoyed, within the limits imposed by their age and condition.
Recently the collection was captured for Bicycling Through Time: The Farren Collection, a stunning book that documents not only the bicycles but the stories of their previous owners, of Paul and Charlie’s adventures chasing them down and of their place in history, socially and mechanically.
Val and I invited Paul and Charlie on to the Yarra Bike Radio Show to chat about the collection and the book but, alas, there is only so much you can cover in a half-hour radio show.
Paul and Charlie have very kindly decided to open the museum for two hours on Saturday, especially for listeners of the show. Its a very rare opportunity to check out the collection and, if you’re so inclined, buy a signed copy of the book.
In the meantime you can listen to the podcast of the show with Paul and Charlie here.