IP Day 31 – Portland to Warrnambool

Friday 22nd April, 2022

102km +375m
Moving 4:50 Elapsed 7:24
Max 49.7 kph Avg 21 kph

6.30am start again, but with the time zone change (yet still being very west), sunrise wasn’t until just after 7am. So we packed up and rolled out, as quietly as we could, in the dark.

We found our way through town and a block off route to an OTR roadhouse. Marc ate, while I made do with a coffee and buying something for later. As we headed out of there at 7.10 we encountered Detective Dotwatcher Julie, who had tracked us down. We had a quick chat, then got going. Might warm up a bit pedalling; it wasn’t warm right then, with the wind chill off the water.

We had about 10km of riding more or less along the water (the third photo above is on that section, looking back towards Portland) before having to rejoin the Princes Hwy. (Yep, back on the A1 again – it had found its way down into Portland from the north, before doing a sharp turn to the east.)

We had a snack just before the turn-off, and then one more by the side of the road, before reaching Yambuk and a little general store with food. 55km down; just over halfway.

Another hour saw us into Port Fairy for lunch. 74km.

Marc’s FB notes: The ride to Port Fairy started ok although traffic increased the further we went. The road shoulder was mostly there but too rough to ride at normal speed and disappeared at a few inopportune moments. Trucks not as feral as yesterday but still more than enough to make the ride a chore. Glad to hit Port Fairy for some lunch.

We faffed around choosing somewhere to eat (outside seating/being able to see the bike), settling on a bakery with outside seating. Then we found public toilets a block off route on the way out of town, with a bit of a view from there.

Only 26km to Warrnambool.

Marc notes: The last section to Warrnambool was really quite busy. The road shoulder was good enough though … pretty much the whole way. The gloomy weather and a stiff, cold headwind all day meant we were glad it was over when we arrived at Warrnambool.

Warrnambool is sizeable enough to be called a city, and we had about 6km of increasing traffic to contend with through the outskirts of town into the centre, after slogging up and over Tower Hill about 10km out of town.

At the motel, when I asked about using the laundry, the lovely Asian owner of the motel insisted on doing our washing for us. I had to convince her that we didn’t want it to be dried in the dryer! Free washing, and done for us. Nice. She was gobsmacked about how far we had ridden and called out to her husband to tell him.

I was stuffed. Marc must have walked across to the shops twice – once for beer (and to take a photo of the Melbourne-Warrnambool Cycling Classic sculpture in the middle of the huge median strip across the road), and then again to pick up some Thai takeaway for us.

Apparently, it’s the second oldest one-day cycling event IN THE WORLD.

Tomorrow, Great Ocean Road. And a bit of climbing to get up to Lavers Hill, our destination for the day.

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