Tour Report: 3-speed tour of the Murrumbateman vineyards

There are a number of wine producing areas within a reasonable driving distance of Sydney that give you a chance to cycle through vineyards and of course taste the wines. In particular I'm thinking Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley, Mudgee, and the Yass Valley.

I recently toured around the Murrumbateman vineyards in the Yass Valley. (Disclaimer: When I say tour I really mean an overnight trip.) The area specialises in cool climate wines.

There is quite a cliché picture of cycling through vineyards - picnic in a cane basket, wind tossing helmet-free hair, sit-up and beg bicycle. Keeping with this ideal I took my 3-speed bicycle to ride. Since many of the vineyards are within 10km of Murrumbateman village this was not a problem. I've previously ridden my 3-speed through Pokolbin and intend to do the same through Mudgee soon.

Most of the riding is in-and-out of Murrumbateman. There are loops circuits but these do dump you onto the Barton Highway. Pokolbin and Mudgee are better for loop rides. Off the highway the traffic is light. There were some agricultural trucks, and on Murrumbateman Rd several logging trucks also passed me. Routes have some gentle undulations. Many of the vineyards in the area only open weekends or Wed-Sun but a couple are open 7-days.

Although I didn't do so there are longer rides to Yass and various villages in the area.

Sandwiches in the bag, coffee in the thermos and a tarp for picnic rug.

COSTS
Accommodation - $70 per night at pub.
The pub serves lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Typical pub fare.
There is a IGA at Murrumbateman along with two takeaways.

BIKE
Early 1980's Apollo II repainted frame. 3 speed Sunrace (Sturmey-Archer) IHG drive train.

RESOURCES
Yass Valley Vineyards Map
Pokolbin Map
Mudgee Region Cycle Map

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There's a bit to be said for travelling light. I haven't quite reached that stage yet, but probably only half of my overnights are in the tent, and I no longer bring the kitchen. The rest are pub, motel or cabins. My 79 y/o former touring companion recently did an ebike conversion to his tourer, similar to mine. He bought an extra battery to extend his daily range and he's touring with the ebike and staying in pubs, etc. Hills are almost a thing of the past for him!

Yeah. When my knees give up the ghost it will be an eBike for me.

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