Well, what a week of e-biking, exploring and discovery it has been!
With our ongoing search for a suitable Brisbane to Melbourne e-bike cycle touring route still a work in progress, the focus of the past week has been on doing as much riding on the E-Bike Cycle Tourists’ AVE SH11 and TH11 Adventure electric bikes as possible.
As such every opportunity was taken at stops between Sydney and Melbourne – where my previous blog was filed – to go cycle touring before eventually collecting Mrs E-Bike Cycle Tourist from Melbourne Airport for the mad dash to the rail trails and ski fields of eastern and central Victoria.
And to say that we are happy about finally being on the road again on our AVE electric bikes is without a shadow of a doubt an understatement of monumental proportions. Suffice to say it is hard to wipe the e-bike smiles off our faces!
So far we have conquered the East Gippsland Rail Trail, the Great Southern Rail Trail, the Yarra Trail in Melbourne and are currently camped at Bonnie Doon on the Great Victorian Rail Trail where we plan to ride approximately 130kms over the next couple of days.
Three Peaks Challenge
Then on Thursday it will be time to tackle the first leg of our three peaks challenge, to climb to the ski fields of Mt Buller – with Mt Buffalo and Falls Creek to follow - a true test of the power and hill climbing ability of our electric bikes if ever there was one.
Given the amazing power of the Bosch Performance CX motor that drives our AVE electric bikes we are confident of relatively easily reaching the summit, a feat that would not be possible for this ageing pair of baby boomers without the copious amounts of Turbo e-assist power on offer.
Anyway, as far too many non-e-bikers like to say, we plan to “cheat” all the way to the top where we will celebrate in typical e-bike owner style by then “cheating” on as many mountain trails as possible – try doing that on a conventional bike and still have enough energy in reserve for anything else!
Victoria’s Rail Trails – World Class
Our three peaks challenge aside, the rail trails of Victoria have been a real revelation. Given that we cycle toured extensively on the rail trails of Europe and the UK during our 16 month world record breaking journey in 2015/16, we like to think we know a thing or two about what represents good – and bad – rail trails.
So let us tell you here and now that the rail trails of Victoria are nothing short of world class. All of the trails we have cycled so far have been well sign posted, have featured rest stops with toilets and covered seating and have traversed stunning countryside with photo opportunities at virtually every turn of the track.
Also – and this is a very important consideration – the riding surface of the three tracks we have completed so far have ranged from a 10 out of 10 (the Great Southern Rail Trail from Leongatha to Port Welshpool) to an 7 out of 10 (the East Gippsland Rail Trail).
It has also been interesting to note the large number of cyclists and walkers who have been using the trails, clearly a case if ever there was one of ‘provide the facilities and the tourists will follow’.
This fact has been borne out from the comments of the many locals we have spoken to who have lauded the much needed tourist dollars the rail trails have bought to their communities.
Aside from riding our AVE e-bikes to the max, the plan over the coming few weeks is to also reacquaint ourselves with an old friend – the single wheel Tout Terrain Mule cycle trailers that faithfully followed us for 27,800kms around mainland Europe and the UK for 16 months.
AVE and Tout Terrain Mule Trailers
With AVE set to sell the Mule trailers in Australia we have been excited to get the opportunity to once again use what we truly believe to be the best on and off-road cycle trailer on the market.
As such we are looking forward to loading up our Mule trailer with all of our camping gear in the morning for the journey from Bonnie Doon to Yea before returning the following day to our Hiace home away from home campervan.
Stay tuned for more of our adventures over the next few weeks.
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