Bruce Newton’s Road To The BC Bike Race - Part Three

I find myself in the oddest places training these days.

It’s driven by the fact that I have a job that is highly transient - I could be just about anywhere any time – and there is this thing called the BC Bike Race looming. July 7 is just around the corner.

Last week I was on the road in north-east Victoria, which  sounds great because there is so much exciting (and steep) riding in the high country.

But when you’re working and travelling the riding gets jammed in where possible, which leads to some different experiences.

Monday about 4pm I was in Wangaratta with about two hours of daylight to burn, but where to ride? Often, the first step in these situations is to head to the LBS and in this case I was directed to a place called Ryan’s Lookout in the Warby-Ovens Ranges.

“Just follow the singletrack alongside the fence and you can’t go wrong,” I was told.

They weren’t kidding! The trail led me up the hill and across the road into a maze of technical, rocky singletrack. It was a pleasure to ride and even more of a thrill because it was so unexpected.

There are a few vids of the trails on youtube so have a look and check them out. Better yet, go and search them out for yourself!

On Wednesday morning I was in Harrietville, just down the road from Bright … but without a car to get to its awesome trails.

But with plenty of forestry trails leading up, up, up into the forest I certainly had the chance to do some serious climbing. And given the amount of climbing in the BC (about 10,000m over seven stages) it’s a real good idea to settle in and have some long, steep, steady upward training rides.

A combination of the West Ovens and Albion Tracks took me 800m and 12km up into the lush forest in about 1hr 20 min. About 30 mins later I was back where I started.

On Friday afternoon, job done, there was just enough daylight left to duck into the Buxton MTB park on the way home and get in nearly two hours of ebbing and flowing singletrack, including a couple of runs on the black downhill to finish.

Today I’m in outback south Australia and it was a sprint out and back from Parachilna on the railway line maintenance track. No climbing, no tech, but after a long working day it was just the tonic.

Tomorrow? Who knows where I’ll be or what riding there is to be had. But if I’m riding, I’ll be happy!


Bruce Newton