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Transfer Ride Melbourne
Photography: Carol Whitehead
The Packenham train line runs eastward out of the city of Melbourne. Thankfully, due to our early start the train was free of commuters so we comfortably spread across two carriages. This Transfer Ride was designed to seek out new roads and the train provided a traffic-free and relaxing way to get out of the city quickly, allowing us to start our adventure sooner.
After some friendly chatter, caffeine and a warm carriage we reached our destination and pedaled out of Dandenong station in search of the promised new roads, including eight dirt sectors and 2,400m elevation over 110km. The relentless rollers and bergs throughout the ride prevented riders from finding a true rythym. However, these undulating roads would provide the ideal build-up to the Gentlemen’s Race in a few weeks.
After 70km we finally reached Gembrook, a quaint little town with a rich history. Settled in 1873 as a farming and timber town, today you can enjoy homemade delights from one of the many cafes and bakeries dotted along the main street. We refueled with fine cakes and pasties your grandma would approve of.
Once through the final few dirt sectors and descending off the Dandenong ranges, the tempo quickened and smooth bitumen roads were a welcome relief for the final 20km stretch back to the station. There was far less chatter on the train trip back to the city. Rather, an inner glow and huge sense of achievement that would build confidence for the long hot summer of riding just around the corner.