Sunny Mondays in Deliverance Country×

This past Monday saw some of the Bike Gallery staff ride the infamous loop encompassing Lake Mountain, Acheron Way and Mount Donna Buang. Knowing that such brilliant riding exists an hours drive away from BG, is one of the reasons Melbourne is such an excellent city for riding.

We started the day by congregating at BG for a double espresso and to get the bikes on the roof of the BG Lexus for the short drive to Warburton. Despite being a bit chilly when we started, there was barely a cloud in the sky which would make for fantastic riding later on. Once we had arrived in Warburton, we parked behind the bakery and took the bikes of the roof while we prepared ourselves for the day ahead. Here we found that three of the four of us, myself included, all opted for the same white Rapha Pro Team Jersey.

Rolling out of Warburton shortly thereafter, Lincoln decided to set out at a nice fast pace. Here, we all enjoyed the moderately flat roads, as it would be the only flat section for the next 100km. Before long we reached the turn off at Reefton, which begins the forty kilometre or so uphill stretch to the Lake Mountain summit. It was quickly apparent that Cam was the fittest in the group and he went off ahead, earning him the nickname of ‘Sergio’ (as in surge-io Henao) for the rest of the ride. With Lincoln suffering after a hard Yarra Glen the previous day, it left Werner and myself to enjoy the beautiful surrounds.

The climb to Lake Mountain from Reefton is a long one, but with quiet roads it was pleasant if not painful. With Cam off ahead, Werner and I enjoyed some great banter as we talked about upcoming riding in Bright. With the amazing September weather, Lake Mountain was prime Instagram real estate. We used the chance to both try our competing Pantani impersonations, you can be the judge.

When we eventually reached the top, there were only a few minuscule icy patches to signal that there is ever snow on Lake Mountain. With Cam down the road we stopped to smash a coke before beginning the descent. As a descending hubbard myself, I took the opportunity of quiet roads to try and get some experience in, whilst following Werner’s wheel.

We all rejoined in Marysville, here I made the mistake of ordering a latte which turned out to be 100,000 degrees. So after scalding my mouth, and getting in some food, the four of us now together headed off in the direction of Warburton. By this stage, the chatter was minimal after the already difficult riding. The ride out from Marysville begins with a long drag which after the cafe stop, wasn’t appreciated. However the descent was fantastic and seemed to last for an eternity, while hitting speeds of over 85kph.

Reaching the bottom of the descent, we turned off onto Acheron way, and began the final stretch, towards Donna Buang. It was now apparent that Cam had the best legs as he drilled it on the front, while behind the trauma of the past 100 was etched into tired legs and faces. When we reached the dirt climb, for me the lights went off, and I began to grovel on gravel towards the top. Soon though, my second wind came and my hummingbird heart rate soared to 192, and I just ticked along until the top.

At the top of the ascent it was time to enjoy the fresh air and coast down to Warburton. Lincoln and I arrived at the car at about the same time. We had to wait for a while though for Cam to roll through. Who then told us that after a couple of nasty punctures Werner had needed to catch a lift down the mountain. Following his arrival and a good laugh at his expense, we went to the Warburton bakery before driving back to Melbourne after a successful 130km.

All in all, while challenging it is a very rewarding loop, and being so close to Melbourne it is also very accessible. The Rapha Pro Team Jersey in white, definitely passed the test, resulting in a very Euro looking bunch, and it will now be the jersey to pull out for those beautiful sunny days. Also tested, new to BG are the MAAP Apparel socks, made in Melbourne they were both pro and super comfy, so come down to BG for those. Finally, if you are keen to try this ride, here is the Strava file.