Radio star

Radio star

Val and I had a studio guest lined up for this week’s show who, at the last minute, was unable to make it. It’s school holidays and the Flipster had accompanied me to the 3CR studio, so he became our studio guest!

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He’s been reluctant to speak when in the studio before and was adamant this time that he didn’t want to say anything, but ended up joining in and by the end of the programme wanted to do it again. We may have started something!

The Flipster on the Yarra BUG Radio Show at 3CR Community RadioSince the Dutchman and I had recently ridden the Great Victorian Rail Trail with the Flipster over three days, his first bicycle tour, we ended up talking about rail trails and bicycle touring for quite a while. A slight change of programme from what we had originally planned but needs must.  And of course all the usual news and events. You can listen to the podcast of the show here.

Yarra Bike Radio Show on 3CR Podcast Monday 7th April 2014

Nothing’s crook in Tallarook

Nothing’s crook in Tallarook

Tallarook was the starting point for our very first ever three day ride with The Flipster. It’s only one hour from Melbourne, or slightly less, whether that’s by train or car, and as the starting point for the Great Victorian Rail Trail there was nothing crook about it at all.

Great-Victorian-Rail-Trail-packed

The Great Victorian Rail Trail is 120-ish kms of connected off road riding running from Tallarook to Mansfield via Yea and Yarck. With towns spaced at quite small distances along it, often twenty or thirty kms (sometimes less) it makes a great trail to try with kids, or even just to ride yourself when you really can’t be fussed doing much planning or carrying.

(I’m writing a much more detailed breakdown of the trip which you can download if you’re interested in the logistics. Check back for an update in a week or so)

Great-Victorian-Rail-Trail-1

But for now, lets focus on the sunshine, the devonshire teas, the cold beers, the flat tyres, the best spaghetti, the coffee, glorious days outdoors and the simplicity of getting up everyday and only having to ride.

great-Victorian-Rail-Trail-punctures

Briefly, we rode from Tallarook to Yea, Yea to Yarck and then Yarck to Bonnie Doon over three days. We abandoned the last stage to Mansfield as we discovered the Flipster’s limitations over the first few days.

We discovered the Flipster can average 30-35kms per day and still enjoy the ride, that, with stops, you need to plan for an average of 10kms per hour, and that it helps if you get up early and ride your daily thirty-ish kms before midday and the 30+ temperatures.

Great-Victorian-Rail-Trail-Merton-Gap

We also discovered that it is possible to ride excruciatingly slow up a large hill, the Merton Gap, with a whingy ten year old and have all forgotten about it by the time you spin down the other side.

Great-Victorian-Rail-Trail-Yarck

We didn’t want to be bothered carrying stuff so took one change of clothes each carried in one bag that the Dutchman and I took turns in carrying. We ate all of our meals at pubs, cafes and general stores. Because of the relatively small distances between towns this was easy and meant we didn’t have to worry about carrying food etc. It was our version of credit card touring.

Great-Victorian-Rail-Trail-The-Dutchman

We rode our city bikes; a single-speed Surly Steamroller, an eight speed custom built commuter and the Flipster’s first road bike. All had their usual city tyres.

Great-Victorian-Rail-Trail-Yarck-Hotel

We stayed at the Yea Motel and the Yarck Pub, having made reservations beforehand, since it was a long weekend. Both were pretty basic, well actually the pub was extremely basic, but fine for one night and had excellent food!

Rail-Trail-Bike-Tours-lo-res

And at the end of our ride we called Mark Spencer of  Rail Trail Bike Tours to come and pick us up and take us and our bikes back to our car at Tallarook. But not before having a beer.

If you’d like to hear what the Flipster thought about it check out this podcast.

 

The Most Amazing Book Ever

We are very lucky at the Flipster’s school where we are blessed with absolutely hordes of amazing teachers. Amy Chamberlain, or prep-Amy as she is known to us, is one of these over-achievers.

Prep-Amy has written a children’s book and not satisfied with that has then gone and published it herself as Able Miss Baker. Illustrated by Brendan Coghlan, “the Most Amazing Book Ever” will be launched on Wednesday evening at Cardboard City inside thousand pound bend from 6.00pm.

On the Thursday is a day full of kids activities for all ages from 10.00 until 5.00pm. Fabulous school holiday entertainment. And it’s free!