50 years ago & 200 years Ago - The Explorers’ Ride - CycleBlaze

May 3, 2024

50 years ago & 200 years Ago

Introduction & Plan

Hi … I’m a 67 year old Australian who was bitten by the cycling bug about 50 years ago.  

With my wife, my son, solo, and with friends I’ve completed a variety of self-supported cycle-tours ranging in duration from a few days to over six months.
Most have been in Australia and New Zealand, but a few tours  were in Europe and northern Asia.

To stay reasonably ride-fit between cycle-tours, I cycle-commute, do easy recreational rides, and very occasionally try to ride a bit faster and harder in long distance road events. 

This journal is about a short cycle-tour I’m planning to do in a couple of weeks. It’s also about reconnecting with an old friend. 


It’s almost 50 years since I moved to Canberra from regional NSW to attend the Australian National University.

Other than studying for a degree, I did two much more important things at uni in the mid 1970s. I made lifelong friends, and I caught the cycling bug. 

This forthcoming tour brings those two precious things together. 

Martin Baker and The Hume & Hovell Expedition.  The Explorers’ Ride.

One of my close friends at uni was Martin Baker. We both arrived in Canberra from different NSW country towns and shared similar interests, including cycling. 

In the mid 1970s, Martin and I regularly cycled to the top of a fairly high lookout (Black Mountain) near the  ANU campus and hurtled back down the summit road with the fearless optimism of youth.  Thankfully our brakes  worked and no major obstacles such as kangaroos, cars or potholes interfered with the high speed descents.

Raising families, our work and living in different towns meant that we haven’t been in close contact over the past five decades.  Fortunately we have reconnected over the past few years, and this has led to an excellent suggestion by Martin.  
To do “The Explorers’ Ride”.

The Ride Idea…celebrating history

Martin lives in the NSW-Vic state border city of Albury. A local historian friend of his (Peter Harper) has designed a cycling route of about 700 km to mark the 200th year commemoration of colonial era explorers Hume & Hovell finding and documenting an inland route to the southern coast of the state now called Victoria. 

We’ll only be riding the Victorian sector of Hume & Hovell’s route. The actual explorers’ full route included a couple of hundred kilometres in southern NSW. 

The following description is  the website about the ride we are planning to do from Albury NSW to Werribee Vic:

“The 8 stages of the route will be open in early 2024 and will be available throughout the year.

In its entirety, the route is 650 kilometres in length with 7300 metres of elevation gain and a ride time of approximately 36 to 40 hours. It can be completed solo or in small groups either as one epic adventure or in convenient smaller stages spread over the year.

Each stage involves 4 to 5 hours of riding with an opportunity to camp at the end of each stage. Motel accommodation is available in some of the towns.

The bike ride route links all the downward journey monuments built in 1924 to mark the expedition route. The interactive map below compares the two routes and it can be seen that the bike route is much longer than the explorers' route.”

As the ride begins in Albury, I’ll take my bike and touring gear to the start from Canberra by car. Unfortunately there isn’t a convenient train service, and I don’t want to add three days to the ride as I’ve cycled Albury to Canberra, and Canberra to Albury on previous tours.

The drive will take about three hours. 

The ride will take about six days.

For readers wanting more detail, including a GPS of the route Google ‘The Explorers Bike Ride 2024 Hume and Hovell”   or  www.ride.net    

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