CURVE CYCLING IN THE STREZLECKI RANGES
Join the Saint Cloud team as they take part in the Curve overnight ride in the Strezelecki Ranges.
At the beginning of October, Saint Cloud boys Victor and Lachie attended the overnight Curve Flashpacking Gippsland ride, which saw a group of twenty riders cycle through the stunning Strzelecki Ranges. I chatted with Victor earlier in the week about his experience.
With a forecast of exceptionally sunny weather, the riders began in Yarragon, 110km ahead of them. They warmed their muscles in the chilly morning by jumping right into a long climb and found themselves spoilt by an impossibly lush, rolling countryside thanks to the months of rain prior. The moisture also ensured that the gravel roads provided good traction and minimal dust.
“The roads were so quiet,” said Victor. “I could count the cars that crossed our path over the two days on my fingers.”
Pedalling forward, the group lapped up the peacefulness, seeing the open scenery change to a secluded and quiet pine forest. After a quick stop in Boolarra for a general store lunch, the riders started along the Morwell River Road. This picturesque gravel stretch followed alongside the river, bringing them near to their destination, Foster. Freshening up at their overnight cabins in the local caravan park, the group met for dinner and well-deserved beers at the Foster Pub.
An early start on day two, another 110km ahead, the group began their alternate route back to Yarragon. With a steep climb to Mirboo North for lunch, the riders were treated to exceptional views on either side of tall tree forests.
“With the combination of hilly terrain, the sunny days, and green fields, it
felt like every time we looked around, we were inside a classic Windows XP background. Absolutely awesome! I was so awed by the views that I forgot to take hardly any pictures.”
Towards the end of the ride and after plenty of short pinches over farm tracks, the group faced one last, gradual climb through the ranges. And then they were blessed with what Victor described as the cherry on top of the ride.
“A fast-flowing 10km descent back into Yarragon. It was a very rewarding paved incline where it was hard to keep track of the curves. The whole time, stunning views to our left.”
After a final wrap-up and cheeky beer at the Yarragon town hall, the group called it a day and departed for home.
Although Victor is experienced with long days in the saddle and camping, this was his first time combining the two.
“It’s definitely fun to have everything you need strapped to your bike and just going forward.”
Riding his Curve Kevin of Steel with Rival / GX AXS group set, Victor opted for his DT Swiss 700c wheels with Goodyear Connector tyres in 40mm.
“I was keen to try them out and chose to run narrower tyres because the route was mainly well-maintained backroads with no singletrack. So, having a lighter tyre would really help my unfit ass up all the hills, haha.”
To carry his gear, he took a Blackburn outpost frame bag with tool kit and spares, electronics, toiletries, and snacks; a Blackburn Outpost saddle bag with clothes and some sandals; and a Blackburn top tube bag with more snacks.
“One can’t have enough snacks.”
While usually riding in smaller groups or solo, Victor found it a great experience riding with a large group.
“The Curve crew did an amazing job planning this ride, and the people that came along were fantastic! I enjoy planning my own rides, but going to something organised by someone else opens the opportunity for something new. From different places I wouldn’t think about riding, to connecting with new people. On this ride, there were so many different backgrounds and experiences, and all such nice people to be around. I felt there was no sense of being left behind, and everyone was just enjoying being out riding!”
Keep an eye on upcoming rides and events that Curve have on offer.