VK3FBD > BIKE 28.07.07 15:17l 126 Lines 4815 Bytes #999 (0) @ WW
BID : AA0409VK3FBD
Read: GUEST DK3EL
Subj: Info for trail pictures
Sent: 070728/0617Z @:VK3FBD.#MEL.VIC.AUS.OC #:51665 [Lilydale] FBB7.00g
To : BIKE@WW
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
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
73 - Tony, VK3FBD @ VK3FBD.#MEL.VIC.AUS.OC
Message timed: 16:05 on 2007-Jul-28
This message originated in Lilydale Melbourne Victoria Australia
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