Day one of my long-planned tour of central and northern Victoria did not dawn auspiciously. To be fair, the signs weren't good from early last week, with warnings of the heaviest rainfall in a decade but I held out hope that it would somehow pass by and I'd be able to ride the wonderful Spring into Seymour as planned.
It was not to be, with heavy rain and strong winds meaning the ride was cancelled due to flooding in the course and I went back to bed.
The plan, hatched at the Alpine Classic in January, is to ride between two great audax events - the Spring into Seymour and the Mallee Routes, which this year are a week apart. From Seymour to Hopetoun is about 450km, so it's a cruise ride, very flat, though against the prevailing winds.
I'm doing the ride on my trusty old Surly Crosscheck, because it is solid and comfortable and reliable and because it has lights and mudguards and racks but with the right tyres is still capable of a decent turn of speed.
I'm traveling with just my two tiny panniers, a rack and handlebar bags. It's not quite credit card and toothbrush, but the bare minimum so I'm not too bogged down with gear.
After the rain eased yesterday I left Tooborac for the undulating 35km run to Seymour as a little shakedown ride. I'm happy to say everything worked perfectly, despite the drenching I got from a single burst of heavy rain right at the midway point. Today is a 60km roll up the road to Murchison before the 100km days start in earnest. With a clearing forecast, it should be a most enjoyable week.