Over the last five years I have ridden from Euroa to Yackandandah multitudes of times to spend weekends with Doug W. and subsequently, over time have explored almost every possible way to get there via back roads and avoiding the Hume Freeway. I decided earlier this year that I could probably put some of this learned knowledge to good use and organise a “back roads to Beechworth” overnight club ride along with some comfortable group accommodation in Beechworth via AirBnB. I wasn’t sure if many of the club members who recently did the Northern NSW tour would be recharged so quickly and ready to do some long riding days again just two weeks after returning, so it was great to see Gary Van D, David P, Michael Van D, Tim and Pete all back on their nice clean bikes again for this ride. The weather forecasts in the week leading up to this ride had me a bit concerned with predictions of wet weather, so it was quite a relief to get a good synopsis for the weekend in NE Victoria from the BOM on the night before we departed.
A big thanks goes out to Tim and Pete for their assistance in leading the Melbourne CBD departing riders to Yea, where the second pickup took place at Marmalades Cafe, and where I took over as ride leader for the weekend. Following the traditional ride rituals of the refuelling of both bikes and riders in Yea, we managed to get our fully assembled group of 11 riders, plus Evan, Ken and Zuki the dog in their VW Beetle all headed northwards around midday. A short cruise up the Maroondah Highway took us up to Merton, and then a fun little jaunt along the tight Euroa-Merton Road curves and then Strathbogie Shire backroads took us up to lunch at “Under the Sun” Cafe in Strathbogie. After more rider refuelling, we then made our way down to Violet Town for the last bike refueling for the day, and set off on the lesser known backroads route to Beechworth via Boho, Warrenbayne, Swanpool, Tatong, Mollyullah, Myhree, Moyhu, Oxley, Milawa, and Tarrawingee. We arrived in Beechworth around 5.00 PM and were all pleasantly surprised to discover that we had landed some excellent group accommodation for the night at the heritage listed Gatehouse at Mayday Hills. After getting settled into our digs and a short rest, it was time to head into downtown Beechworth for an excellent meal and local craft beers at the Beechworth Brewery. Then it was back to our guesthouse for some late night drinks and jovial conversations.
Sunday morning presented us with blue skies and sunshine, and we all gathered for an early breakfast in the main street of Beechworth, along with Doug W who paid us a visit from his home just up the road in Yackandandah. Then time to pack up, load up the bikes and fuel up for a ride up the hill to Stanley, down the hill to Myrtleford and across to Oxley, where we farewelled Gary Van D, Darren B and Ian, who all had elected to take a faster route back to their respective homes. Our smaller group consisting of myself, David P, Michael Van D, David W, Tim, Pete, Stefano and Michael (a mate of Stefano’s) all thoroughly enjoyed our jaunt down the King Valley to Whitfield, and then a very fun and traffic free blast over the Whitfield Range for lunch at the Mansfield Produce Store. At this point, we said our farewells and all peeled off into smaller groups to make our individual ways back home.
I’d like to thank all who attended for the great company and camaraderie over the weekend, and I will look forward to planning another similar overnight ride in the near future.
Photos of the ride follow: