Written by Emi
One fine winters day, intrepid and dedicated members of the adventure gang (Simon, Caroline, Mark, Lucie and Emi) met at the train station of the sleepy country locale of Stratford.
After establishing that most of us were woefully under-prepared for any bike emergencies (having made the assumption that Caroline would have most essential items) we blazed down the main street in a flash of neon. We barely traveled more than 200m however before the first stop was made. Some of us were more woefully under-prepared than others and this meant a quick stop at the bakery for Emi to purchase sustenance. This proved serendipitous as this little bakery had bee stings. Which soon became the most essential item on the trip and the pannier in which they were carried was subject to great scrutiny as to its suitability and whether the rider was sufficiently sufficient to carry said bee-stings.
With bee-stings bagged, we continued onto what this author can only say was the flattest and straightest trail to date. With a little wind in our helmet hair and the sun on our faces we cycled through agricultural lands, catching wafts of manure and avoiding other more statuesque and flighty trail users (the equine variety).
Conscious of the need to maintain an even pace to Traralgon in order to make the last train, we lunched in a ditch and continued on, fuelled by carbs and bee stings. However a flat tyre soon put a dent in our advancing, and illustrated the importance of carrying bike repair equipment (or at least the importance of Caroline carrying bike repair equipment).
After swarming an old train carriage and investigating an old train station (by the way, if you want to live about 10 kilometres from Traralgon in a quaint railway house – nab it now – it’s up for sale) we continued to Traralgon in a blaze of orange, pink and purple as the sunset majestically around us and illuminated Traralgon’s smoke stacks in a vision of apocalyptic beauty.
Making the train with plenty of time we feasted on chips and bee stings (the dinner of champions and those fated for a triple bypass) and recapped what had been another fantastic rail trail adventure.
Viva la bicicleta!
Gippsland Plains Rail Trail
Total Ascending: 131m
Total Descending: 110m
Total Distance: 69km