Day 14 Elmore to home - Australia's Great River - CycleBlaze

May 20, 2018

Day 14 Elmore to home

We had planned to ride another 50 km through to Bendigo, a major country town to catch our train home to Melbourne but when we discovered that Elmore was on the railway line we decided to terminate our journey here and board the train.

our bike parked at the Elmore Hotel / Motel
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Michael had spent some time the previous afternoon waiting for the afternoon train to arrive at the Elmore Station, so he could judge where the doors for the end carriage might stop on the platform.

Michael rode the bike from the Elmore Hotel - Motel across the Northern Highway to the station, and I walked across the road. We unpacked the bike's five panniers, and stood them in a row on the platform. Next we turned the bike upside down so Michael could undo the brake cable, and unbolt the S&S couplers. We now had seven pieces of luggage standing on the train platform in rows.

The bike storage area on the Velocity DMUs fits single bikes only so we had to unbolt the S&S couplers which on our Thorn provides a single bike length bit cutting off just in front of the captain's saddle and a much shorter bit up to the handlebars.

We were joined by two fellow passengers on the platform, and we all waited for the train to appear, when the train stopped the rear carriage doors were exactly where Michael thought they would be. With as much precision as we could muster the  panniers were rushed on board and placed on the first empty row of seats opposite the bike rack. Next the two halves of the bike were loaded and tied down in the bike bay. A man reading his tabled opposite the bike bay, said "Well done, you have made it. I saw you cycling through Rochester yesterday". What a nice welcome, he and Michael talked for some time about bikes, and we were off speeding towards Bendigo.

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We left Elmore at 9.30 and when we arrived into Bendigo at about 10.00 our three carriages had to be coupled to another three carriages for the busy Bendigo to Melbourne run. Now only in Victoria, Australia would health and safety concerns be so extreme that all passengers had to leave the train during the coupling procedure in case someone might suffer an injury if there was a bump when the trains joined. There was not, our driver just nudged the train in front to couple up.

When we arrived in Melbourne we joined the S&S couplers. We have found that if we remove the front wheel the front section is lighter and it is much easier to line up with the back end of the bike and screw up the three couplers. We then went to the suburban platforms to catch a train to our  home station where we had a 4km mainly downhill ride home.

Today's ride: 5 km (3 miles)
Total: 362 km (225 miles)

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