Billed as 'not just another bike ride' the Audax Alpine Classic offers a range of eight rides from 60km to the Epic 320km monster.
By getting involved in the 'Audax' you'll get the chance to ride some of Victoria's best roads and sample some of the top food and wine in Australia.
One thing is for sure, it's one of the best ways to spend your Australia Day weekend!
Words - Mike Boudrie
At La Velocita we love the Audax Alpine Classic. It is without a doubt one of our favourite long weekends of the year and on the 25 January 2014 we'll be riding. If it's your first year heading to Bright and the Victorian High Country heres a couple of things worth checking out.
Of course it's all about the riding! There are so many options to choose from.
All the rides offered by the Audax team require preparation. Conditions can be harsh in the mountains, with massive variations in temperature and weather. It's important that you are well prepared and your bike is in top condition before even thinking about attempting most of these climbs.
One of the reasons we love this weekend is because of the awesome attitude of the riders, it's clearly not a race and people like to chat along the way. You'll see a mixed bag of people. Old, young, new, experienced, road bikes, touring bikes, mountain bikes, commuter bikes, folding bikes, recumbent bikes, steel, carbon, titanium... we even saw a bamboo bike last year. The Audax Alpine Classic has it all.
The food and water supplied along the way by the Audax team is second to none. You feel well cared for (and tired) at the end of the day!
We recommend that you take some extra days in Bright and do a few rides. Here's a few rides to try in the build up to your chosen ride on Sunday.
Bright-Hotham return - Hotham is a cracking climb, 30.8km, average gradient 4.2% and an elevation gain of 1,279m. There's a couple of pinches on the way up where the gradient picks up to around 10%. Top end riders will complete the climb in about an hour and a quarter.
Bright Buffalo return - If your chosen Audax ride does not climb Buffalo it's worth climbing for an amazing expeirnece. At 20.9km with an average gradient of 4.8% you'll climb just over 1,000m. The total round trip from Bright is around 65km.
Bright-Tawonga Gap - If you want to go easy on the legs, ride from Bright to Tawonga Gap, the climb itself is just under 14km and gradually increases in gradient as you get further into it. With a average gradient of 3.9% and an elevation gain of 537m it's the perfect climb to keep your legs in shape.
We love checking out the Climbing Cyclist's site prior to any climbs, check his website out here.
Eat & Drink.
The atmosphere in Bright is fantastic over the weekend. Bikes and riders everywhere you look, old friends bumping into each other, food, drink and the free Bonjour Bright festival the Audax puts on by the river is great.
Here are a few places not to miss:
Boynton's Winery - Feathertop Wines - Just out of Bright an awesome setting for a special lunch and some great wines
Bright Brewery - Great beers and atmosphere right in the centre of the action
Thirteen Steps - Awesome restaurant in town, quality breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee
Of course there are loads of good coffee shops, cafes and things to see in Bright so make sure you get involved!
Check out all the Rides on La Velocita's Events page here