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Sunday, November 30, 2014

OzHpv Gathering 2014

Bit of a funny way to get customers!  Vline sign at Southern Cross Station.

Anthony was trialling his off-road touring rig and we road together from Albury to Hume Dam, having struck up a conversation on the train up from Albury.

Graham Signiorini and Lloyd Charter in Albury

Michael from Denmark in Albury

Albury, Pete Heal, Alex Mcnee, Chris Curtis.

Assisted by Albury's finest.

Pete & Duncan

Abandoned House, Albury

These bikes had been freighted up from Melbourne for the Great Victorian Bike Ride

Pete and Lloyd conscripted a photographer....

near the Bike Vic encampment.

Its not all beauty here at the modularbikes photo editing studios.  This is the sort of masterpiece I usually delete.

Some of Grahams homemade boat propellors

A bit Rugged!  Climbing on a dirt road near Tallangatta.

Pete and Andrew

Jewel in the Crown of the Towong shire railtrail, the Sandy Creek Bridge, with Alex, Simon, Richard

Simon, Richard, Chris.....

and the way it looked in 1955 from the snappily titled  "The Branch Line, a History of the Wodonga-Tallangatta-Cudgewa Railway" by Lloyd Hughes

Magical Tree at Huon

and another one with Simon, Andrew, Chris, Pete.
Graham, his bike, his Propellors, Willem

For a few days I have been back from Albury and Lake Hume, after a weekend spent up there riding my bike with fellow recumbenteers and attending the Ozhpv Annual General Meeting.  I hadn't been going to go, but there was a prospiracy which made me!  A few weeks before the event, I was retrenched from work, which brings with it "slightly more flexible attendance requirements", so I took the Friday off before the event, which coincided with the start of the Great Victorian Bike Ride in Albury.  Of course, the GVBR completely dwarfs the OzHpv gathering, so I took an early train, hoping to avoid bike traffic on the train.  As it happened, I did avoid the bike traffic, and saw and spoke to only a few early arrivers, taking their bikes up on the train.

One of these was Anthony, who I'd chatted to on the way up.  He is a teacher from Bendigo, had a big touring rig, and was setting out from Albury for a few days independant riding.  His plan was to catch up with some of his pupils who were doing 1/2 of the GVBR, starting in Mansfield.  With a bit of time to kill, I decided to ride out to Lake Hume and my camping ground with him. We parted ways at the Bellbridge turnoff but not before taking a few happy snaps.

After setting up camp just next to Graham Signiorini, Graham and I rode back in to Albury for the start of a ride organised by Lloyd Charter. A few of the Canberra mob had arrived and passed us by car on the way in, Duncan and Andrew stopping for a chat.

There was quite a big recumbent roll-up in Albury for the Friday ride, Lloyd and 3 of his triking mates, 4 from Canberra, 2 from Melbourne and 1 from Denmark!  Michael was in Australia as part of a 2 year world tour, was staying with Pete Heal and had ridden most of the way from his home country....  We went most of the way round Albury on the bike tour, which was buzzing with cyclists in preparation for the Great Vic bike ride due to start in the town on Sunday.  There was a 1k long encampment on the Murray full of bike riders, and we even saw the occasional recumbent.

Graham and I rode back to Hume village, I was slowing down by this stage but Graham pushed ahead quite quickly, waiting for me every now and then.  I arrived at camp and waited for Graham to follow - and waited - and waited.  Eventually he wheeled his bike in, and had come across some bindy-eye or other pestilent puncture promoting flora, and had 4 punctures and had fixed - 3 of them.  He worked on the extra puncture a bit later, eventually fixing it just before we were to head off the next morning.

After breakfast the next morning,  I lathered on sunscreen, having copped a bit of sun the day before, and Graham and I headed out with Pete Heal and caught the rest of a recumbent mob  across the river in Victoria.  It was really nice riding on good undulating roads and we passed several groups of Albury upright cyclists off for their 60k or so constitutional Saturday rides.  My bike is quite good at bombing down hills, and on a ride like this you get to compare its characteristics with other recumbents. Its nice to think its fast because its aerodynamic, but it could be that me and my bike are both heavy as well!

After a while we hit an unmade section of the road which had all the evils on it, bumps, drifts of sand, corrugations and hills.  Yes, I walked up some of it, this sort of road and my front wheel drive wooden bike being somewhat incompatible, the front wheel slipping and being slightly bothersome.  Anyway, that road changed to bitumen again and the riding got smoother with great views over Lake Hume and its abundant birdlife towards Tallangatta.

Lunch in Tallangatta, and the Op-Shop was busy and the bakery crowded with motorbiking, recumbent biking, and road biking - daytrip mobs.  Standing room only outside the bakery and I bought a plate for Christine at the Op - Shop and "The Branch Line, a History of the Wodonga-Tallangatta-Cudgewa Railway" by Lloyd Hughes at another shop.

We went on the rail trail a lot of the way back and that was a bit hot and bumpy, Chris Curtis being jolted off and copping a gashed elbow at one point.  We regrouped and refuelled in Ebden and from there it was a short ride across the Hume Dam back to the Caravan Park.  The day's ride was only about 80k but a bit hot and demanding.  A few of us had a swim, almost everyone had a sleep, and the OzHpv AGM was at 6pm.  Up early the next morning to pack the tent and get on the 6:30 am train back to Melbourne.  It was warm already at 5am when I started riding, and had plenty of time for the train. 

Getting back to Melbourne before lunch was good, my son and his girlfriend came over for lunch, I caught up on some sleep and stayed out of the hot sun for the most part.

Ps,There are  Many Blog posts about the Great Victorian Bike Ride available, I have chosen to highlight this one showing a recumbenteer crossing the Hume Dam, the day after Pete Matthews and I had ridden the same route together in the opposite direction.

Tragically, a rider, Trevor Pearce was killed in an accident on the Great Victorian Bike Ride, his wheel clipped that of another cyclist and he fell under an overtaking truck.  Rest in Peace Trevor and be careful out there everyone. 


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