Thurs 11th March 4.30 pm to 7.00 pm, TBA , ALBURY,
Fri 12th March 4.30 pm to 7.00 pm, TBA, WODONGA , or
Ride Day, 30 minutes before the START of YOUR ride
The Beast, a combo surface ride; rail trail, gravel and bitumen road. Not for the faint hearted; this ride is as challenging as it is picturesque. With almost 1,000m elevation gain over 80km, this ride loops around Lake Hume, crossing three Bridges over arms of Sandy Ck, Mitta River and Murray River, skirts the Plateau Regional Park and rides over the Hume Dam wall.
Leaving Ebden Reserve, riders roll along the Lake Hume foreshore on the High Country Rail Trail over the splendid 600 m-long Sandy Creek bridge, past Tallangatta, and over the Lake Hume Mitta River Arm rail bridge. Stop at the Georges Creek Tennis Courts for the Rider Reviver (30 km mark, blue circle on map). This is the sole “fuel stop” on the ride, so load up.
Head off again following the Lake Rd as it clings to the side of hills above the Lake. Enjoy the beautiful High Country scenery and the bitumen surface for a further 10 km. Up next is the gravel, the climb, the bends and glorious decent. You will gain 300m elevation over 6km of gravel, some parts at 8% grade – this is for the true Gravel Grinders.
Back on the bitumen, veer left at the Lake Rd/Springdale Rd (49 km mark), continuing along Lake Rd. Take in the beautiful views along this stretch with a couple of short sharp climbs and bends to keep you on your toes.
At the Lake Rd/Bethanga Bay Rd Y intersection (56 km mark), veer right and head to the historical township of Bethanga.
Turn left at the Bethanga Pub (# see footnote below) and warm up the muscles for the “Beast” climb up to Kurrajong Gap. The “Beast” section ascends140 m in 2 kms with grades of up to 10%. Once you reach the top, celebrate and catch your breath at the Kurrajong Gap Lookout. Take a few snaps of the amazing panoramic views across Lake Hume, the Dam wall and down the Murray River to Albury/Wodonga and beyond.
Over the Gap, there is a steep descent for your legs to enjoy but riders beware there is a tight left corner at the bottom. Re-join the Lake Rd and continue onto the town of Bellbridge with drinking water and toilets available (67 km mark, blue circle).
Continue on and roll across the majestic Bethanga Bridge, built in the 1930s, over the Murray River arm of Lake Hume, entering into NSW with views back across the Lake with the Victorian Alps in the background.
Not far to go now. Turn left again, and roll through the tourist precinct of Lake Hume Village for more excitement. Ride across the impressive art deco Hume Dam wall and across the 1 km long earth wall with more spectacular views.
Back in Victoria; turn left onto the Bonegilla Rd, and finally turn left with care onto the Murray Valley Hwy. Only a couple of kilometres back to Ebden so treat it as a cool down and roll through the finish arch knowing you’ve just had a great ride!
Nothing left to do but park your bike and enjoy a free soft drink and sausage sandwich, with cool off in Lake Hume if you choose!
# The Bethanga Beast is a challenging ride and riders choosing to participate should be confident in their ability to complete the ride by 12:30pm, when traffic management and the ride ends.
Choosing to participate in this ride, riders agree to observe a cut off time at the township of Bethanga (56km) to get you to the finish by 12.30. . This cut off time will be enforced by ride officials and riders expected to arrive later then this time will be asked to not complete part of, or the remainder of ride. Transport forward, or completely back to Ebden Reserve, will be available with ride officials.