Welcome To Bendigo & The Singletrack Southern Headquarters!

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Only a few weeks ago, my partner and I arrived back in my hometown of Bendigo in Australia. Following two and a half years of living and working in the UK, for various family and work reasons, we decided it was time for us to make the move back down to the other hemisphere.

So far, things have panned out pretty well. Despite the relocation, I've been fortunate enough to remain a part of the Singletrack team, and will be continuing on with my role as Technical Editor, albeit in a remote capacity Down Under. That means I'll still be managing the UK test team, as well as reviewing bikes and gear myself, just in an ever-so-slightly sunnier location than Todmorden. I don't expect to be getting too many requests to test waterproof jackets and booties though...

bendigo mountain bike australia
It's sort of a doer-upperer, kind of like the place we lived in Todmorden. Photo: Tim Arch.

It's been swell catching up with friends and family who we haven't seen for a while, and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience of exploring and rediscovering old trails again. Though as we've arrived at the start of summer, it's taking a bit of time to get used to both the heat and riding on dust again - that stuff is lethal!

I've also been getting stuck into some local group rides, and on a warm, sunny Tuesday evening the other week, I decided to take a couple of GoPro cameras along for shits 'n' giggles. Wanna know what some of the riding is like? This video will give you a pretty good idea;

https://youtu.be/JwHTLk3Gvgs

Since arriving back in Australia, a few of you have been asking me about where I'm living, what it's like, and how I'm coping missing out on a third UK winter. So I've put together a few of those questions with some answers, along with a variety of photos I've collected over the years to hopefully paint a bit more of a picture of the new Singletrack Southern Headquarters®.

Bendigo, Victoria

For those not familiar with Bendigo (it's ok, I won't blame you), it's a big regional town that lies about 150km north west of Melbourne. If you go west-ish in a car for seven hours, you'll stumble across a place called Adelaide.

Although the population is apparently just shy of 100,000, you wouldn't guess it, given everything is so vast and spread out. It's got that typical Aussie country town vibe where all the houses and backyards take up big ol' blocks of land, and the fat roads are double the width than they probably need to be. Makes for great bunch riding on the road bike though.

hotel bendigo architecture pub
Bendigo is chock-full of late Victorian-era architecture, like the Shamrock Hotel that dates back to 1854. Photo: Jason Tavener
bendigo historic pub
Beautiful old pubs are dotted all around town. Photo: Tim Arch.
pub hotel
Hot outside, Victorian style inside. Photo: Tim Arch.

The town is most well known for being the centre of the Gold Rush back in the 1850s, at a time where the road between Bendigo and Melbourne was the most travelled in the whole of Australia. Tens of thousands flocked to the Goldfields region to find their own fortune, with some 20 million ounces of gold discovered - a lot of it quite close to the surface in river beds.

Evidence from this period of affluence can be seen around town in the over-the-top Victorian era architecture, while trails in the bush routinely follow old watercourses and historic mining infrastructure. Also connected to Bendigo's gold-mining history is its reputation for having previously held the record for the most pubs per capita in all of Australia.

There aren't quite as many these days, but there is still a tonne of quality drinking holes around town. The foodie culture - a big drawcard for me and my wife - is also particularly strong here, with some quality cafes, micro breweries, coffee roasteries, and restaurants drawing tourists up from Melbourne.

coffee cafe bendigo
The cafe culture is very strong here. Photo: Tim Arch.
cafe coffee
The new gold of Bendigo. Photo: Tim Arch.
burrito food cafe
Post-ride burritos. Photo: Tim Arch.

What's The Riding Like?...

 

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