100KM GRAN FONDO CLASSIC
A fantastic ride for enthusiastic cyclists, offering a few hills around (but not over) Mt Alexander, including Harcourt, with amazing views of the scenic countryside. Traversing alongside orchards, vineyards and meandering hills before an easy ride back to Bendigo.
Terrain: Undulating with a few steep climbs
Time: 4.5 to 5 hrs approx.
Leaving Bendigo’s beautiful Town Hall building you head up Williamson Street turning right onto Hopper Street after the railway line and left onto Mitchell Street. Heading toward Spring Gully you pass some of Bendigo’s famous heritage homes. Gentle climbing up Burns street and down Diamond Hill road really shows off the region’s natural bushland and old gold mining ruins.
Heading out of Bendigo you will cycle along a section of road known locally as the “Juvenile”. Many years ago young local cyclists raced on these roads.
Keep an eye out for the open water race running from Malmsbury to Bendigo as you make your way up and down the beautiful bushland. Be sure to stop to take in the view of beautiful, rolling green hills.
Turning right up to the North Harcourt Road (If you're curious about the road's nickname …best ask a local!). You then climb to the highest point of the ride, soaking up the view towards Mt Ida and the Camel Ranges.
Now it’s all downhill through apple orchards, past the water storage reservoir and up to Porcupine Hill on the old Calder Highway. Turn left and roll into the hamlet of Harcourt.
Enjoy an optional break and coffee here before heading to Blackjack Road (beautiful wines) then turning back onto the Old Calder Highway. Enjoy the trees and beautiful views and turn left just prior to the infamous Faraday School. Look for Mica Grange gardens on the left just as you crest the hill with the turn off to the mountain, but no mountain climbing today. Down the hill with a few sharp corners (caution please) as you head to Sutton Grange. Check out the view of Mount Alexander to your left… stunning!
From Sutton Grange, you will head back towards Bendigo, with a right turn at Axe Creek Road. Look for the modern castle on your right and stock grazing in the paddocks. Turn left at the local telephone exchange and cycle through more bushland to Emu Creek as you zigzag your way through to Strathfieldsaye joining the 35km and 25km rides for the journey back to Bendigo.
Heading back towards Bendigo, McIvor Road climbs slightly then you turn right with the traffic lights at the Powells Avenue, McIvor Road intersection. Turn left onto Strickland Road, then right onto Nolan Street opposite the local TAFE. Turn left onto Hargreaves Street just after the rail crossing, and return to the Town Hall by taking a left at Baxter Street, then right at Hopetoun Street. Celebrate your completion of the 100km Gran Fondo Classic with a refreshing drink at our ride after-party!
Note: Roads are not closed so all care should be taken and normal road laws apply.