TMCC Back in Bright – “Sneak in an arvo Buffalo? Back before dark?”

After a late start, followed by an extended stay at Goulburn’s Greengrocer bike/cafe/pizza/grocer store, we knew the team wouldn’t be arriving in Bright until quite late in the afternoon. With the prospect of over 400km in 3 days, the logical decision, was not to rest and relax on what little we had left of the first day, but go out and ride some big hills!

Getting to Bright around 4pm meant we would only have a few hours before we lost daylight. As per most TMCC trips, “I didn’t bring lights, I don’t want to start that early on a bloody holiday!!” was true for this trip too. Considering the start time for rides for many of us has gone the wrong side of 5am in the last 6 months, I couldn’t agree more about a later start! Anyway all that meant is that we wouldn’t have lights coming home that night, so we’d need to be quick!

A quick unpack and we settled into our picturesque accommodation, Pioneer Garden Cottages in Bright. Gordon, who runs the place, is also a keen rider, and can provide you with tips on anything from where to ride, to where to get the best Parma in town!

Rolling out of Bright at around 4:30pm or so, we’d made good time. Being in a car for 6-7hrs then jumping on a bike at 30kph is a strange feeling. Stranger still, is that I’d forgotten about a few rolling hills leading up to Buffalo – a theme that would continue for the next few days!

Buffalo is fairly unique in that it’s an “out and back”. Because of that there can be very little traffic. At 5pm on a Thursday afternoon, we had the mountain to ourselves. All 18km of climbing of it!

The views from Mt Buffalo are some of the best in the Vic Alps. It’s more of a traditional mountain than Falls & Hotham that are on top of ridge lines. The climb itself is more consistent in terms of gradient than the other two as well.
Look like Owen’s on the phone? Correct! No cars, complete quiet up there, then his phone rings! He couldn’t get his mate off the line for a good 10 minutes! “Yeah mate I’m actually riding up Buffalo now… yes Vic Alps!”. Last year we were here he’d broken his collarbone earlier and couldn’t ride at all, so this was the first time he’d had a chance to ride Buffalo.

Hosco still nursing the tail end of a cold, took the “punish my cold with hard riding” approach. Truth be known we went up pretty easy, and the cold did subside in the following days.
Once you get up to the “top” flat section of Buffalo, you can either hang a left and go to the Chalet, and lookout, or go right to the Dingo Dell Cafe, and to the Horn. With more to see, and limited time we went to the Chalet.

The old Chalet has an interesting history. It was built in 1910, and used by holidaymakers in the winter months. Since 2007 it has been closed, seeking new owners. The gardens are still in great shape, and are apparently maintained by local volunteers. More info on the Chalet here.

Rocky, aka Hosco, aka Ross, conquers the mountain!
From the same lookout as the above shot, the view over the valley below is, as Ezio would say, “SENSATIONAL!… fernando!!” Middle of the shot, on one of the rock ledges, you can see a wooden ramp, for hangliders, not my idea of fun!

With an 18km descent in front of us, we did manage to get home before dark after all. Dinner was quite a bit later than expected, but we had an “easy” day ahead tomorrow leading upto the 3 peaks ride in 2 days time. More photos and ride recounts coming soon!

1 comment
  1. Simon Kersten says: December 7, 20125:44 am

    Great Pics and a great read too. Nice Work.

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