On the way back from the San Miranda Gran Fondo I had about 4 hours to ride. When I left Glenrowan I was still undecided as to where I wanted to ride. Last year I took my wife to Benalla and had walked around the Lake & was a beautiful spot and I was drawn back to it. There is a certain charm and quality of riding through a country town. You have the opportunity to go back in time and explore new areas.
Cycling around Benalla
Benalla is a town that was built on agriculture. The area is quite beautiful, and has many quiet flat country roads that are ideal to ride on. The town of Benalla is situated on the Broken River, and the ride through town is amazing. There are a number of historical buildings, murals and art work. My favourite part of the ride was crossing the bridge to the west side of town. This took me past the Benalla Art Centre & Botanical Gardens which has a famous Rose Garden situated out the front.
I am still trying to rebuild my strength & planned on hitting two Strava segments. I looked up my phone for something to do, and the Samsung Galaxy is quite useless. For some reason on Strava it displays the time a segment was done in. Not how fast you need which is next to useless to me, so had to guess what time I had to push. The first segment turned out to be gravel, and I pushed hard and got into a good sprint. It was 900 metres in length, but after 600 I ran out of gas & had to sit down and force myself to tap out a steady rhythm. It was a surprise to see that I averaged 40 km/h down on that road.
I was loving the riding around Benalla!
My next challenge was having have a crack at the 4.2 km lake circuit. It was on a sandy narrow path, and I knew if I saw any walkers I would either stop or ride around them on the grass. I stuffed up the start, and got stopped in several sections. There were quite a few technical corners which I botched up and I didn’t feel good about it. Again I was surprised that I took it almost 2 minutes quicker than the next nearest rider at 28.6 km/h.
I then slowed down, cruised and fluffed around. I did the scenic tour and was stopping left right & centre taking photos. Benalla was such a great place to ride! I rode little over an hour and had a great time. Its so hard to get the opportunity to ride so far from home, and I always really appreciate the opportunity when it arises. I still had 3 hours to ride, but opted in driving further south to find something. Its always good to play things by ear.
Here is a link to my Strava segment here: