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VK3FBD > BIKE     28.07.07 15:17l 126 Lines 4815 Bytes #999 (0) @ WW
Subj: Info for trail pictures
Sent: 070728/0617Z @:VK3FBD.#MEL.VIC.AUS.OC #:51665 [Lilydale] FBB7.00g

Hi All,

Whenever I have been overseas and mentioned Australia, I immediately get 
comments about the "great outback", deserts, and dry lands

Well here in South Eastern Australia where my QTH is, it is not that way

The state of Victoria, which is the state where I live, covers all the 
types of country you would expect to find anywhere in the world, from dry 
in it's northern reaches to lush forest growth in the south and all types 
in between.

The terrain covers everything from flat plains to mountain ranges.

Many years ago the state government implemented a policy of providing 
bicycle trails all over the state. These are special trails installed
motorised vehicles are not permitted and the areas the trails pass through

are shared by pedestrians and bicycles

Over the next few months I will release  (slowly) a series of pictures 
taken whilst I ride along the various trails. It has become a sort of 
challenge to me to be able to say that I have ridden at least once along 
all of the trails. This is quite a challenge as there are several thousand

kilometers of trail and some of them are extremely hilly

I hope that you will all enjoy the varied types of scenery in the

I ride a bicycle which is similar to a standard mountain bike but which is

designed to fold  so that it fits in the back of my four wheel drive. On 
the bike I carry at least one days food and drink and also a dual band 
handheld radio, GPS, emergency first aid kit, video and still cameras, and

the usual bicycle spares. Many of the trails pass through sparsely 
inhabited areas so a bit of common sense is required.

The first photos will be of the "WARBURTON TRAIL" This is not particularly

challenging ride in that it follows the path of an abandoned railway line 
so the grades have been reduced to what could be coped with by an ordinary

1930's style locomotive and attendant cars.

The trail starts just out of the township of Lilydale and winds its way 
through 40 km of semi mountainous country and river flats until it reaches

the townshp of Warburton.

The first photograph merely shows the trail about 2km out of Lilydale 
showing the start of the 3km uphill ride to Mount Evelyn. As you will see 
the trail surface is a sort of fine limestone gravel aggregate.  This can 
be a bit tricky to ride on if travelling very fast. This 3 km length
through lightly treed country.

Like most of the trails this one is looked after by a volunteer group of 
people and which is mostly funded by government grant. The volunteers come

from the local area and look after a section of track near to where they 

Wild life along the trails is varied with everything from Kangaroos, 
Wombats, snakes, a myriad of birdlife species, and even if you are out 
early in the morning when everything is quiet, tortoises and platypusses  
(platypi?), through to the general run of stock and domestic animals.

The snakes are not dangerous  because they usually slither away as fast as

they can when you approach.  They are poisonous if they bite you, but will

not attack unless provoked.

One of the problems of this trail is that it passes round most towns
than through them. On several occasions I have found overseas tourists who

have hired bikes to see Australia close up, stranded or in distress due to

riding in the extreme summer heat and carrying no water. They had made the

mistake of thinking that the towns were closer together than they are and 
that they could buy food and drink on the way.

I carry the GPS not for navigation but as a safety item for reporting the 
exact location of  events that happen on the trails. For example last 
summer I was riding on the trail when I came across a scrub fire that had 
been lit by children on holiday from school. Rather than reporting things 
like, "the fire is somewhere between the township of Launching Place and 
the township of Mill Grove, I was able to give the exact cordinates over 
the radio to another local ham to pass to authorities. Some of the trails 
are well beyond cell phone coverage.

The same is true for reporting distressed tourists as well, an example was

when I came across a tourist that had fallen from her bike and broken an 
arm. I was able to give the exact cordinates for the ambulance to attend. 

This is not to say the tracks are dangerous or anything, it's just that 
being retired I am out riding when everyone else is at work except holiday


I will give a small story about each photograph as I post it

                                        Regards Tony VK3FBD


Message timed: 16:05 on 2007-Jul-28

This message originated in Lilydale Melbourne Victoria Australia

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