Alpine Valley Bike Tour Camp Reflection
This was to be my first ever Activities Week due to Covid, and I was very excited to see what I was in for! There were a dozen students and three teachers on the camp, so we all got to know each other very well over the week. The camp was based in and around the Bright area (Wangaratta, Bright, Beechworth), and we would do 300km (give or take) of riding.
We were told that the weather would be very wet throughout the week, and I was worried during the whole 3-hour bus ride up to Wangaratta. This worry was accentuated by heavy clouds in the skies, two punctures, and a few wrong turns that ended up adding many kilometres to what was supposed to be an easy first day. Due to all this, we had to call the 45km ride early, 8km before we arrived in Beechworth, due to darkness at 6:00 pm.
I went to bed that night feeling very anxious about Tuesday’s 75km ride.
When we woke up, we were greeted by a nice breakfast made by the teachers, giving the day a good start. We were then told that we would be going down the massive 20km hill that had defeated us yesterday, giving the day a great start.
That day went by very quickly, and we ended up finishing our 75km ride (to Bright) a lot earlier than the 50km ride that we had called short yesterday. I went to bed that night feeling much more confident and excited for tomorrow.
On Wednesday, we didn’t do much riding (35km or so), but we did get some good bonding time; having a relatively slow, lazy ride up towards Harrietville – the base of Mt. Hotham – that gave us plenty of time to chat with one another. Then came the fast, exciting race back to Bright, which added a bit of competitiveness to the day. We finished the day at 3:00 pm and got the chance to chill at our Bright accommodation.
That night we were told that Thursday was definitely going to be our most challenging day; the reverse of Tuesday, 75km finishing uphill to Beechworth. When it came around, we found it was also our best day from a riding point of view. We managed to stick together more than other days and rode at a solid pace most of the way.
We eventually returned to the hill we had failed to complete on the first day, and everyone was nervous. We knew we only had a few hours before darkness and impending rain, and we didn’t think we were going to make it. The teachers weren’t too confident either, as they had said the night before that if you were not able to keep going, you would have the option to take the bus up the climb. We started the hill feeling energetic but worried for the next few hours, as we knew it would be tough, but no one was willing to be the first person to go on the bus, and everyone stuck together at the same pace. We ended up finishing the hill with hours to spare and had a victorious night together in Beechworth. I felt very proud of my accomplishment and connected with all my friends who had done the same.
It was a great feeling and a very great camp that I would very happily go on again.