About a 4 hour drive from Melbourne and you are in the Victorian Alps.
Bright, a very popular mountain town, lies in the middle of great climbs that give cyclists plenty of options to test their climbing legs. Besides having a great small town atmosphere with many cafes, a few cycling stores and a brewery, Bright is surrounded by Mt Buffalo (18km, 5.5%), Mt Hotham, (29km/4.6%), Tawonga Gap (6km/6.5%) and Rosewhite Gap (4.3km/4%)
All these climbs lead to further climbs in the adjacent valley. Below are some routes of various difficulty:
Bright – Happy Valley – Tawonga Gap loop: It is probably the flattest of all loops. Although it does not have significant elevation gain, dont underestimate the winds that can come through the valleys.
Bright – Hotham- Tawonga both sides: I see Hotham as a three part climb: the first part is steep and ends with the notorious Meg (10% stretch), second a nice false flat with the third part offering some serious punches at the end. If you had enough of climbing, just ride back to Bright – that was already a great ride. However, if you want more, turn right to Tawonga gap and either just ride up one side or descend on the other side and turn around and head back up again. So many possibilities!
Mt. Buffalo is probably the easiest of all climbs. It has a nice gradient, a nice view and always makes you wonder what is around the next corner. The climb was so enjoyable that we rode it up 2.5 times.
Bright-Tawonga-Falls Creek-Tawonga: This was a tough ride. The ride up Tawonga seemed like a nice warm-up. However, the 30km Falls Creek climb definitely put a serious dent into our energy level. Going back over Tawonga (this is the harder side) makes this ride definitely one of the tougher ones out there!
Myrtleford-Mt Stanley-Beechworth-Myrtleford: This is a nice, semi-easy ride (besides the super steep part of Mt Stanley) But having the Falls Creek loop and the multiple Mt Buffalo’s in your legs, this can also be a pretty tough ride.
Three Peaks Challenge: Falls Creek-Tawonga Gap- Mt Hotham- Dinner Plain- Omeo-Falls Creek. This is an epic challenge. 235km with almost 4000m of climbing (the Strava route above has parts missing due to battery death). At 200km, a serious steep Falls Creek climb is awaiting you. The first corner you come around before you face the steepness of the climb is called WTF corner for a reason.
Hungry for some climbing? Just drive to Bright over a long weekend but book accommodation in advance on holidays as this place books out quickly!
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