Day 18: And then everything changes…

by Stephen

Cycle Against the Beast – 2022

15th March, 2022

Corowa (08:12)
128.21 km
20.6
Shepparton (16:38)
6:13:57
573.40 km*

John and I left just after 08:00 and we cycled the first 25 km together. The road was nice and flat, with a bit of a tailwind. This made the riding so easy, able to be covered in around 75 minutes – that’s pretty good for me! And no stopping either. John turned off to the left at Drain Lane and I continued straight ahead. Thanks so much, John & Chris, for your hospitality! I couldn’t have hoped better for having such gracious hosts for a first timer with Warmshowers. At the pace I was moving along, I was pretty sure I’d get to Yarrawonga in less than an hour and a half.

Merton Road, Mulwala

The road was narrow, and a little rough, in places. But the good thing is that there was very little traffic. Only the odd farmer’s ute and the very occasional truck. I pretty much had the road all to myself. But I knew this couldn’t end. Sooner or later, I’d have to join the main road from Corowa to Mulwala. Soon enough, I did join the main road – it was a bit busier. But, despite the lack of a hard shoulder, it wasn’t too bad.

Cycling in to Mulwala.

On the way in to Mulawa, another organised charity ride was taking place – Tour de Cure, who cycle for curing cancer. Unfortunately, I was too slow to take a photo. I rode in to Mulwal, crossed the Murray on the Melbourne Street bridge and then grabbed a bacon and egg at a local café. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best bacon and egg roll I’d had. Since I’d made such good time to get to Mulwala, I’d decided to ride on to Benalla instead. So, I hopped on my bike (after buying a replacement bike pump) and headed down the road. A few ki.ometres out, I saw the road sign for Shepparton. As it wasn’t too much further than Benalla, I’d made a decision to go there instead. It was, after all, more in the direction I was planning on going. Again, it was another quiet road with not too much traffic.

The C361, between Yarrawonga and Katamatite.

Unfortunately, the road became much busier after leaving Katamatite. Not just cars, but trucks also. Most truck drivers were respectful and gave me a wide berth. However, a couple of trucks decided to give me no space whatsoever – even with no oncoming traffic. Suffice to say, this totally scared the living daylights out of me. Thankfully, these incidents weren’t too far from Shepparton, where I’d be stopping for the night. I was so unnerved, I decided to abandon the ride at Shepparton after it all sank in. I booked into a motel and considered my options. I discovered that Shepparton still had a train service, so I decided I’d catch the train on to Melbourne tomorrow. The way I was feeling, I felt it was too dangerous to continue on. I grabbed dinner at the local RSL Club and then had an early night.

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