A Daylesford & Macedon Ranges Adventure

two riders cycling on gravel in daylesford

We arrived in to Daylesford to still and very cool conditions.  We knew this was going to be another great weekend filled spectacular riding and fantastic food

As guests arrived, the prosecco started to flow and people began to unwind from their drive and preceding work week.

Our Friday night dinner is a casual affair with pasta, and this time it was handmade ravioli with pancetta and three cheese, and a fresh tomato sauce.. This is hands down one of my all time personal favourites……. and it also falls loosely into the rider friendly, carbo loading category.

This was washed down with a beautiful Granite Hills reisling from the Macedon region and followed by a rustic pear tartin.  All was well in the world.

All that was left was a nice 9 hour rest and we’d be sharp for tomorrow’s adventure.

We all rolled out at 9, and with a 114k tour around the area and up into Mount Macedon, with 1400m of elevation, it was looking to be a good day on the bike.

Anyone who knows Daylesford will realise to get from one side to the other or from the lake to out of town, you need to go up……. this was a rude shock to be climbing right at the start but on a positive note, we were warm very quickly. We proceeded to roll out of town and take in a couple of the surrounding towns as they slowly woke to a clear, cool and beautiful morning in the country..

We took the back way up into Macedon and then descended to lunch, and the much needed warmth of another coffee.  Following lunch, I made the bold statement that ‘it was all down hill from here’…. not the most accurate thing I have said.

Within a km or so,as we dropped away from the high country of Macedon, we were on the smoothest piece of gravel road that I have encountered.  It was a spectacular few km’s of riding and the upside was that it was also “warmer” than we had been all day.  The downside was that now the winds had actually picked up and was buffeting us from the side.

With 45km to go to get home, the undulating and rolling stretch was broken up with another beautiful 5km’s of gravel, and tall trees and kookaburra’s ..surely the happiest birds on earth.
I find it quite amazing the things that you see when you are on a bike out in the country.
A rabbit amongst a group of cockatoos
A lama protecting a ewe as the little lambs had a drink
A flock of Eastern rosellas flying from barren tree to tree as we approached them, and the splash of red and brilliant blue, simply amazing.

For most, the first thing once we returned to our accommodation was a well earned beer to take advantage of the well documented rehydration properties they are known for. …… I on the other hand needed a hot shower as there was some important work still to be done, namely the “lighting ceremony” of the charcoal for our slow cooked Porchetta on the spit.

A collage of people riding and local country food

While the coals were doing their thing, the prep was completed for the sides of locally sourced rainbow chard and Trentham potatoes, and then while the pork was slowly spinning, we made a chocolate and amaretto pudding as our sweet finish.  With the hard work done, all that was left to do was join the group, grab another glass, and graze over the home made antipasti selection.

As the conversation and wine flowed, and the group of strangers had now become friends, it was nice to see that good food and wine, coupled with good, challenging riding go hand in hand with bringing good people together.

As the night progressed, we finally got to talking about the start time and length of next morning’s ride.  This has become a bit of a pattern after a big day out on the bike and a couple of glasses of wine. The intention was to add another 80 clicks to our total, but after a little discussion, we settled on a revised route cutting it down to a modest 60km’s. After a full day on the bike and some great food and a couple of drinks, another good night’s sleep was definitely on the cards.

All awoke hungry and keen for another ride. A couple of coffees, OJ and a frittata made with local farm fresh eggs and bacon, took care of the hunger and now it was time to get out on to the bike….with ice on the cars this was to be a cold start.

We again climbed up from the lake and out of town, heading in the direction of Hepburn Springs, and after a bit more climbing, it was just beautiful descents and rolling hills, past some of the prettiest country in Victoria.  This kept up virtually the whole way until about 10km from home and it was time to start the climbing back into Daylesford. With tired legs from yesterday, it was a little hard going at times but everyone stuck together and made it home safely, and with not a puncture or mechanical for the whole weekend.

The weekend finished off with a sensational lunch at Passing Clouds winery.  Their set “Feed Me” menu was ace.  Charcuterie and terrine were paired with preserved and pickled vegetables, and an amazing kingfish starter, followed by more spit roasted goodness.  We knew we were ‘on brand’ when we saw the fire roaring.  This time it was roasted chicken with salsa verde and beef with wholegrain mustards, and 4 different sides of local vegetables.  Dessert was a beautiful pannacotta.

This was a fitting way to end a sensational two days in the country.

If you’d like to find out more about our Bici e Gusti cycling, food and wine weekends, go to Upcoming Adventures or email us on customerservice@aqtocycling.com

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