Tuesday November 19, 2019

Stratford Primary School

One of the highlights of this year at Stratford Primary School involved a group of Grade 5 & 6 students participating in a 3 day, 2 night bike riding experience along the East Gippsland Rail Trail

The ride began at Howitt Park in Bairnsdale and students rode their bikes along the rail trail for approximately 28km. Once they got to the Caravan Park in Bruthen, they pitched their tents and swags, checked their bikes and then did some exploring and checked out the area around the football ground. During the night it rained just a little and by the time it was morning, the tents and swags were covered with a light layer of ice!

After breakfast, which was eaten inside the camp kitchen with the fire once again providing warmth, all the gear was packed into the trailers. The riders then set off on day 2 of their ride of 27kms. It was a long, slow incline out of Bruthen – 8km of it! testing the endurance of all riders. The scenery was superb, and the rail trail was in excellent condition. The trestle bridges were absolutely amazing. Lunch was eaten at the Stony Creek trestle bridge just before Nowa Nowa. After some quite steep descents and ascents, the riders arrived at the Mingling Waters Camp Ground at Nowa Nowa and once again set up swags and tents.

Day 3 saw the riders embark on a 39km ride to Orbost. Sore muscles, tender backsides and lower than usual energy levels did not stop the enthusiasm and excitement. Once again the bike trail was in good condition, a little stony in parts with quite a lot of long and steady climbs with some exhilarating declines. Upon arriving in Orbost, it was wonderful to see the faces of parents and friends who were ready to collect the riders and take them home.

It was a wonderful ride. An excellent activity for school groups to be involved with. Not only did it test the endurance of the riders and their commitment, it also relied on supporting, encouraging and helping others, and working together to achieve a common goal.

This ride could not have happened without the support of our Chief Cook – Margaret, our catering officer – Emma, our mechanic – Dwayne, the wonderful adults/teachers who volunteered to ride with the team – Craig, Bronwyn, Keith, David and Joan. And most of all, the riders who completed this awesome journey – Katie, Amy, Cassie, Declan, Harry, Lochie, Bailey, Charlie and Daniel.

Joan Keil