Mark Chircop


Mark Chircop

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Heathcote December 13th 2020

Let's start with a continuation of yesteday afternoon, waiting in the Echuca railway station for our 3:53pm train to Bendigo. We had nearly 2 hours to wait for the train which was why I was able to get the blog out early. With time still to kill before the train was due to depart I happened to glance down at Jeff's rear tyre. It appeared the Karma bus had come back for a second swipe as it was flat. I tried not to laugh. I wasn't very successful. On the train we changed the tyre and it was another bindy eye that had caused the flat. At least it was changed before we reached Bendigo. Last night we went out for dinner and it was great to see so many people out having a good time. ... read more
Just parked on the side of the road
Axedale Station
Longlea Station

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Echuca December 12th 2020

The definition of "puncture" commonly has two varitions. (1) to puncture via a piercing of the skin and (2) the cause of a sudden collapse of air. Technically I didn't get a puncture, a patch applied 12 months earlier had given way overnight and in the morning my rear tyre was deflated. Jeff on the other hand was admant in the Puncture Count score happily singing (yes singing) one - nil while I changed my tyre. Needless to say we got away later than expected this morning, but I was greatful for my bottled air which meant no hand pump was required. Only a shortish day today of 60+ kms. We started north from Nathalia and into a North Easterly wind. Slow going for the first 5kms but the wind was our friend for the rest ... read more
Silo Art #1
Silo Art #2

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Numurkah December 11th 2020

For dinner last night we cruised into Yarrawonga and enjoyed a wonderful Indian meal. We've tried, Turkish, Indian, Chinese and Italian food recently so think it might be back to the pub for a parma tonight. On the ride back from dinner we stopped by the wier and hydro station and then were treated to a magnificent burnt orange sunset on the way back to the caravan park. We had a solid 82kms to do today. First stop was Numurkah at 58km and then another 24km on to Nathalia. For those that read my USA Blog you will remember that Kansas is flat, very very flat. Well, this part of Victoria might be considered Australia's "sister region" to Kansas. The billiard table level country side stretched out on both sides and had either wheat, barley or ... read more
Stunning Sunset
Reaping the Harvest

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Yarrawonga December 10th 2020

A change of plan at dinner (yes, another one) had us heading for either Mulwala or Yarrawonga today. Either way it meant we hadd 100kms to travel so we needed to be up early and away before both the heat and wind got up. We did pretty good getting on the road by about 7:10am. Rather than follow the main highway out of town we chose the scenic route around the river, only to notice after about a kilometer that river was flowing "the wrong way"! Oh dear, another slight directional lapse but at least it only cost us a couple of clicks. The riding in the morning air was perfect and the heat of the day was still hours away. We made great time to our first stop at Howlong and cruised into the bakery ... read more
Crossing back into Victoria
The Murray
Steam Train

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Albury December 9th 2020

No hurry this morning with only 65kms planned for the day. We got up without alarms and we were off just after 8:30am. We left from Yackandanda and travelled through Osborne Flat and then on to Allan's Flat, a slight over shoot of our turn-off had us double back a couple of kms. We are riding in the Kiewa Valley now which is very different from the Goulbourn Valley. We are flanked on both sides by mountains with the really big ones behind us. The valley is very quite and tranquil. Cows grazing in paddocks and moving on as we ride by. Hay sheds slide by on both sides of us either very quickly or oh so slowly depending on the angle of the road and the Sulpher Crested Cockatoos explode out of trees as we ... read more
Hay Sheds Sliding by
Vienna Patiserie Chalet
Crossing the Kiewa River

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Yackandandah December 8th 2020

With a shorter distance to travel today (70kms) there wasn't the urgency of yesterday to get away so early - I didn't rouse until 7am. It was a pretty liesurely preparation which saw us leaving the Paradise Caravan Park just after 8:30am. Our destination for the day was Yackandanda via Beechworth. We started out of town on the "Murray to the Mountains" Rail Trail which will take us all the way to Beechworth. The rail trail is paved rather than gravel which makes the going a bit easier, as does the accompanying wind behind us. Not as strong as yesterday but certainly better than heading into it. The first station on the rail trail was Everton (27kms) which was mostly flat to undulating with a nice down ward run to the station. At this point the ... read more
Rail Trail to Everton
The uphill climb to Beechworth
Beechworth Station

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Wangaratta December 7th 2020

Today is a big day. 100kms from Shepp to Wang. The weather forecast is for a max of 18 and has favourable westerly winds up to 30km/h blowing all day which is the best possible conditions we could hope for. What could have been a slog just became a whole lot easier. There was also a prediction of up to 2mm of rain but we're hoping we can outrun it. We had planned for an early start and were up at 6am and left shortly after 7am. From the hotel we had a short distance to travel north and then turned east and the effects of the wind were felt immediately. This was going to be fun. Our fisrt stop for the day was Dookie, 30kms from Shepparton. We pulled in to the sleepy town and ... read more
Silo Art
Cycling Ingenuity
Wonderful Sky

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Shepparton December 6th 2020

Apparently noone uses the full name of a town around here. So instead of saying Rushmore to Murchison to Shepparton, it's Rushy to Murchy to Shepp. There was no real hurry today as we were only planning on about 55kms. Having said that Felice said he'd come up for a Sunday drive and meet us at Murchy for a coffee at about 10am. We bid farewell to Rushy with a slight detour to see a block of land Jeff's brother has recently bought and a property that Jeff had previously been interested in. What happened next was quite absurd but let's just say it involved Jeff and I being separated, lack of communication, a lack of direction and a lying GPS. Anyway, Jeff and I were reunited just outside Rushy with a stong wind at our ... read more
The Cattanach Channel
The Stuart Murray Channel
Native Flauna

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Murchison December 5th 2020

We were in no rush this morning. After deciding on our day's ride last night, Jeff threw up many more options this morning vasilating this way and that before settling back on the original route to Rushworth with a slight twist going the back way around Reedy Lake. The Saturday market in Nagambie provided an opportunity to pick up some fresh fruit before we started on our days short 31km journey. A short ride out of Nagambie we crossed the Goulbourn River for the last time across Kirwan's bridge. A magnificent wooden bridge with a bend in the middle. Built in 1890 it originally had two lanes but has only one now. The gaps between the sleepers meant we had to walk the bikes across but it was a great start to our day. Just up ... read more
Kirwan's Bridge
Balaclava Mine
Balaclava Mine

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Nagambie December 4th 2020

Out of bed at 6:15am, bike packed from the night before. I need to get to Southern Cross Station for the 8:25am train to Seymour. In Yea, Jeff is sleeping soundly. Out the door at 7am. I want to make sure I'm not rushed getting the train. In Yea, Jeff is sleeping soundly. I ride to Southern Cross and find my way to the platform with rediculous easy, it's 7:45am and I'm wondering why I got up so early. In Yea, Jeff rouses from bed at about 8am, time for a pod coffee (luxury) The V/Line service is excellent. A place to tie up the bike and a comfy seat for me, much better than riding all the way to Seymour. I get off the train at Tallarook at 9:53am. The plan is to ride the ... read more
Goulburn River picture #78
Goulburn River picture #93

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