Miles and Jayne D'Arcy are on their biggest cycing adventure yet - the Great Victorian Bike Ride. 9 year old Miles is riding his ByK E-540x16 which he only got 3 weeks befoe the even started Saturday 29 November.
The first 3 days have been a huge effort for Miles - arriving in Albury to a hot 32 degrees, surprising everyone with his power and energy on day 2 and tackling the Tawonga Gap only to be stuck in the middle of a lightning storm which meant 10km out of Bright, having to jump on the SAG wagon for the last leg to camp.
Here's a first hand account from Jayne D'Arcy:
Day 1 - Getting to Albury
Our first day was spent on the bus from Melbourne to Albury, and we hit Albury at a hot 32 degrees.
We unpacked, had a swim in the freezing Murray River, ate our first communal dinner, got chatting to lots of people, then watched the outdoor movie before getting into our sleeping bags at 10.30pm- hours after Miles' usual bedtime!
Day 2 - The First Day of Riding
Woke at 5.30am and prepared for our first cycling day- Albury to Yackandandah (67km).
We cycled off under the start banner at 7.30am. We rode at a slow pace. Cycling over the Lake Hume Weir Wall was beautiful, however I got a flat tyre at the other end! Poor Miles... We were stuck by the side if the road for half an hour while I waited for a WARBY (we're right behind you) to help change it.
Setting off again, we were way behind, however Miles' energy was high, especially as he hit a few - kind-of-unexpected - hills near the end.
He powered uphill, overtaking people on his ByK. His burst of energy - and stamina- surprised the lot of us.
We got into Yackandandah at 1.30pm. It was bed at 8.30pm but not before a man started calling him 'Cadel' and Miles had regalled people with the story of his amazing feat.
We are also pretty sure he's the youngest on the ride on his own bike.
We'll see if Tawonga Gap gives him bragging rites as well!
Day 3 - Our Biggest Ride Yet - 88km from Yackandandah to Bright
Wow. A hot morning, and Miles was exhausted - hot and tired- by the 50km lunch time break.
Unfortunately we still hadn't taken on the 'first serious climbing challenge' of Tawonga Gap but Miles decided that he could not go on, and that we'd need the Sag Wagon (a van you pop on if you're hurt, have a bike with mechanical isues, or, I guess, just can't go on).
We pulled over and had another drink and some lollies, and rest. Suddenly he got on his ByK and declared that we could go on now. I noticed that he'd been overtaken by a family we'd met earlier- with a ten-year-old girl on a bike.
Well, maybe it was the competition, or the Hydralite he'd had at lunch, but he was off.
We rested a lot, and drank plenty of water, and slowly but surely we conquered Tawonga Gap.
The peak gave us a thunderstorm, complete with lightning, hail and rain, which made the steep descent dangerous, cold and a nightmare for us.
10km from Bright we jumped on board the Sag Wagon, which delivered us to the campsite in a much warmer state. Bed time was 7pm for Miles- the next day is 93km.
His Byk is serving him well, but how will his legs hold up?
- The Event: https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/racv-great-victorian-bike-ride/the-event/
- The Particpants: Jayne is a freelance writer for The Age and The Lonely Planet and this year, her 9 year old son, Miles, is going to be recording his journey on his own - giving us a real account of what its like to be on the ride.
- The Bike: Miles is going to be riding the E-540x16 geared kids bike.
- The Pack List: Jayne took a picture of everything they took here. But you can also get an idea of what others take in this article in the RideOn Magazine gives an indication of what riders are taking with them: https://rideonmagazine.com.au/packing-for-the-racv-great-victorian-bike-ride/