Two family rides today, morning ride to the north, along a firetrail at the base of the ridge, off towards the golf course through the bush and back into town. Then later an excursion out to Lake Bellfield, back for lunch, and a minor detour to search for – and find – geocache GC133Q5. Interestingly, both rides came in at 12.7km.

Morning – firetrails and an old rail line in the bush

Walking across the sports ground in the morning I’d found that there was a dirt road, or more accurately a sand road, that skirted the base of the hills and headed north. None of us had ideal bikes for the track, but we rode off along it anyway. Slipping and sliding and ploughing through sandy patches, walking some sections, riding most of it. Only one of us fell off – me, as I unclipped on one side and toppled over on the other. Then a more rideable dirt road out towards the golf course and a chance encounter with what we assume was an old narrow gauge railway to the quarry, perhaps a continuation of part of the Stawell railtrail. Eventually we curved around and rejoined the main road then had a flat and easy ride back to the house.

Relive ‘Grampians firetrails and old rail line’

Jo standing on the rail easement of the old narrow gauge line from Stawell to the quarry

Afternoon – Lake Bellfield and a geocache

After a short break back at the house we headed back out through town – in the years we’ve been here Jo hadn’t ever ridden to the lake, she’d been in craft courses while Cam and I went out exploring. Down through town, dodge the backpackers on “e-Bikes” which as far as I can tell are electric mopeds – they’re styled as motorbikes and the riders don’t pedal, they just sit on them, twist the throttle and ride off; on the road, on the footpath and on the bikepath. Out through the trees and parkland and climb towards the lake, dodging the carcase of the kangaroo that had been hit by a car and staggered a few metres from the road onto the bikepath and died there. A few minutes of walking about reading the signs and enjoying the view, then back on the bikes and down the hill towards town – stopping to push the kangaroo body off the path – then in to the bakery and a late lunch. One last bit of riding, a kilometre or two to the north to search for a geocache, then back to the house for a break.

Relive ‘Halls Gap afternoon ride’

Jo and Cam finding a geocache