Dirt Roads, Challenging Climbs, Amazing Daylesford Produce

Cyclist riding on gravel near daylesford

Our third Bici e Gusti experience took us into the spectacular Daylesford – Macedon Ranges region of Victoria.

Cyclists riding on a Victorian weekend escape near Daylesford
Dirt roads and climbing ‘the ramp’

Our departure point was Bacchus March and it didn’t take too many kilometres before we started climbing, and then only one more km until our first section of dirt.

This was was shaping up to be a good day.
The landscape was open, clear, quiet and spectacular…

We cruised along undulating and deserted back roads until the 20km mark, where we had a little 2km “ramp” with pinches of 14%.
This was a slow and hard grind to the top. 

With a total of 1600m of climbing for the day, we were still going up, but it just would be in a more reasonable fashion. With the hard work done on ’the ramp’, the rest was about enjoying the changing landscape and quite roads.  It was a nice realisation at about the 100km mark of how few cars we had encountered.

As the day progressed, my thoughts were turning to dinner and the magic of porchetta cooked on a charcoal spit.

Farm fresh local produce

Succulent porchetta and organic ‘picked today’ veggies – Regional Produce at its best

Our focus is on regional produce so all of our ingredients were sourced from local suppliers:  the organic pork from Tammi and Stuart at Jonai Farms (http://www.jonaifarms.com.au/), our veggie box straight from the garden, courtesy of Doug and Carolyn at Captains Creek, as well as their beautiful organic wines (http://www.captainscreek.com/), cheeses from Meredith Dairy (http://meredithdairy.com/) and our prosciutto from Istra Smallgoods.

After rolling slowly up the pebble drive of the spectacular Aghadoe Estate  http://www.aghadoeestate.com.au/ it was time to stow the bike, shower and relax with a glass of Harcourt Perry Cider (http://www.harcourtcider.com.au/) and some homemade antipasti.  There’s a great story behind this cider, having made it to the Slow Food Ark of Taste.  

With the fire lit and the creation of a bed of coals underway, the attention turned to preparing and seasoning the pork and seasonal vegetables.

Cyclist riding in the Victorian countryside

Four hours later, we sat down to a superb meal of slow cooked pork with fennel and chill, a warm root vegetable salad and a dish of braised silver beet in five vibrant colours.  This was matched perfectly with the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Captains Creek.  Our dessert of poached pears in red wine was served by the fire as the group chatted and laughed, still bantering about the day’s ride.  Everything was finished off with a little homemade digestive of basil liquor. Bellissimo.

Porchetta being cooked on a spit over charcoal
Easy like a Sunday Morning

We woke to the sounds of the country and were ready for another great day. The weather had turned a little and was cold but this didn’t dampen the chatter. 

After coffee and a cooked breakfast with more regional, organic goodness, it was time to head north into more new territory. 

Small roads, dirt roads, little hills, tight bends and the landscape stretching to the horizon.  It was just so refreshing to be in the country. This ride finished all too quickly and before we knew it, we were sitting down for lunch at the Captains Creek Winery, where they served a beautiful selection of tastes from their garden. This was a delicious conclusion to a weekend of amazing riding, food and friends.

We’re already planning what will be in store for Bici e Gusti #4 in November.

If you’re interested in coming along to a Bici e Gusti weekend, drop us a line at aqto@aqtocycling.com


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