Cycle Victoria, Road Ride, The Pyrenees 100 Ride
The name of this ride might be misleading as it doesn’t quite make it to the 100 kilometres, but a short ride around Avoca will fix that last 0.7. You could also do what the Maryborough Audax Club do for the Pyrenees Magic Ride, which is held every November over the same route. They just tack a bit on the Elmhurst - Glenpatrick Road. There is nothing to say about this ride, but that it is fantastic; good riding roads, great scenery, a few good hills and an easy finish, with great food and hospitality choices.
Made country roads. The Sunraysia Highway has a good shoulder, but the Pyrenees Highway is not so good.
The busiest section of road is on the Sunraysia Highway but it’s fairly safe. As for the rest, apart from the Pyrenees Highway the roads are extremely quiet.
Avoca is 183 kilometres from Melbourne on the Western Highway via the freeway around Ballarat. Once past Ballarat turn off onto the Sunraysia Highway (B220) travelling through Learmonth, Waubra and Lexton. The ride commences in the centre car park next to the Pyrenees Winery information board in the main street. VicRoads Map: 556 D4.
Food and Drink
Avoca has some great little bakeries and cafes and there are general stores at Moonambel, Landsborough and Amphitheatre and a few country pubs along the way that serve food. Of course, there are wineries everywhere; names like Blue Pyrenees, Dalwhinnie, Mount Avoca, Redbank, Taltarni and Warrenmang, just to mention a few. Warrenmang, just out of Moonambel has an award winning restaurant and equally superb accommodation.
There is a short ride out to Mt. Avoca, which is well signed from Duke Street in Avoca. At the foot of the mountain, there is a nice picnic area. You could also continue along the Elmhurst – Glenpatrick Road after leaving Elmhurst riding up to the tiny hamlet of Glenpatrick, nestled in the hills, about 10 kilometres return.
The ride commences in Avoca and heads north out of town over the railway line and into the countryside, with the Pyrenees Ranges on the western flank. You turn onto the Moonambel Road and soon come to the first of the snug little towns that dot this ride. Leaving town you pass by Summerfield Winery, then Warren¬mang and a number of others. From this point the road begins to rise for a bit of a haul to cross the first range, but you are rewarded on the other side. When you come to the Landsborough Road follow it as it winds to the left, down hill around the side of the range.
This section of road to Lands¬borough rolls along with one small outcrop range to cross over. Approaching Landsborough you enter farmland and come onto the Ararat-St Arnaud Road. Leaving Landsborough you pass the modest house of sculptor Kevin Free, which is surrounded by his curvaceous creations. Buy one and tie it to your racks. The next climb lies ahead and is the only section of the route that has any significant gradient, but it’s only a short section. Coming down the other side through bushland, you emerge into a pretty valley surrounded by the ranges and through Glenlofty.
Passing through some more rolling country, the ride climbs up across another shoulder of the range, down and across the Wimmera River, up and across the railway line to meet the Pyrenees Highway. Turning left you are not far from Elmhurst where the pub doubles as a milk bar. Toward the end of the town you turn left down Clarke Street, cross over the railway line again and head toward the ranges.
When you come to Sandy Lane turn right or go further up the road to clock some more km’s, even as far as Glenpatrick if you want. Back on Sandy Lane you eventually come back to the highway. From here on it’s a direct route back to Avoca via Amphitheatre. When you reach the Sunraysia Highway after passing over the Avoca River, turn left and you’re within sight of the finish.
99.43 km / 61.783 mi
506 m / 1,662 ft
506 m / 1,661 ft
417 m / 1,369 ft