Day 285, Friday, 8 January, 2010

Distance travelled – 114.3 km
Avg speed – 16.9 kph
Max speed – 38.9 kph

Lake Bolac to Ballarat

One more day on the road before we meet up with Rebecca and Andrew in Ballarat tonight.

Our plan was to have lunch in Skipton and then take the afternoon to complete the last 55km into Ballarat along the rail trail. As we left we knew using the slower rail trail would make it a long day but we felt the non traffic route was a far more preferable option than the two road options.

We completed the first 50km in less than 3 hours reaching Skipton just after midday and had lunch at the local café. Great food but you need to sit outside if you want a level table as the floor has a good lean. Anyhow it was cooler outside in the breeze.

Although we had committed to using the rail trail we knew very little about it. We did not have a map and only knew it finished in Ballarat but we were not sure where. We knew it was 6km longer than using the highway but we did not know where it started.  So we were pleased to discover from other customers at the café that the site of the old railway station and the start of the trail was behind the cafe near the grain silos.

As with the ride to Skipton the ride along the trail was mostly uphill but the gradient was so gentle it was not a hard climb. In contrast we had been told there were a few steep climbs along the highway. As we expected the trail was a lot shadier than the road and it passed through some very pretty country. One of the old bridges used by the trail is the biggest wooden trestle bridge in Victoria. We were only disappointed that our limited time meant we did not have time to photograph the bridge from the side as one of us rode across.  It would have made a good photo.

We rolled into Ballarat shortly after 7.00pm. Perhaps given our late arrival we should have taken the road but we felt we have been racing across South Australia and Victoria in the last couple of weeks so it was nice to take the slower scenic route. The only real downside to our choice was that our bikes and bags were covered in a fine layer of mica dust that had to be brushed off before we could relax in the cabin we had booked for the next few nights.

Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer to see our new location.


Skipton to Ballarat Rail Trail

Skipton to Ballarat Rail Trail

Skipton to Ballarat Rail Trail

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