The annual ‘Jarvis Creek Jaunt’ mountain bike ride took place on Sunday June 22nd. The ride is a fundraising and profile raising event that is run by the Tallangatta Rail Trail Advisory Group. There were 30 riders who took up the challenge to do the 49km ride through Jarvis Creek Regional Park, as well as 12 people (8 riders and 4 walkers) who chose to do the shorter 18km option.
Cars began rolling in through the mist at the starting area at Tallangatta at around 8:30am. Although some riders are put off by the misty conditions that we often experience in June, there is something pleasant about those types of mornings, especially when there is warm tea and coffee on offer and plenty of social banter going on between the friendly and welcoming event organisers and event participants.
Riders set off through the light fog at 9am and rode along the rail trail to Old Tallangatta. A right turn then saw riders head up Georges Creek Rd, through beautiful rolling hills and farmland, and along nice smooth bitumen. At the 20km mark, the “fun” began, when riders made the slow ascent up to the Plateau of Jarvis Creek Regional Park. The climb was made worthwhile when the fog cleared momentarily at the summit, letting the sunshine in and giving beautiful views of the surrounding valleys and bushland.
Riders were greeted at the top with the smiling faces of two volunteers who had freshly baked damper and a billy boiling for tea and coffee. There’s nothing like country hospitality, and the opportunity to refuel over a cuppa and a nice conversation by a camp fire, and each rider showed their appreciation with a gold coin donation to help cover costs.
Once recharged, riders then descended the hill, with leaders getting a close up view of a male Lyrebird crossing the trail ahead of the bunch. The ride back down from the summit was very enjoyable, with very few climbs and mostly downhill stretches. It was then back along the rail trail to Tallangatta, where there was lots of smiling faces and discussions about the anticipation of doing the ride again next year.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of the Jarvis Creek Jaunt yet – take it from a first time participant this year – it is well worth the effort. We hope to see even more local cyclists tackling the Jaunt in 2015. Congratulations to the Tallangatta Rail Trail Advisory Committee on running such a great event, and stay tuned for 2015 event details.