I just spent a very pleasant three days touring this rail trail on a self supported ride (tent, food etc on board) Leaving the car in Mansfield at 9am, Day One was 77.84 km's to Alexandra with a stop at the Giddy Goat cafe in Yarck for lunch. Staying at the Alexandra Tourist Park rather than stealth camping was to appease my wifes safety concerns, I still managed to visit the said Commercial Hotel where overindulging made it a seedy start for Day Two, especially when packing the tent...
A 7:45am start back along the branch line to the main trail saw me at Yea a bit after 10am and I set up in the Yea Family Caravan Park to ditch the load before continuing on to Tallarook and returning to Yea for the night. 119.52 km's for the day.
Day Three was returning to Mansfield from Yea - 84.65 km's recorded, including another stop at the Giddy Goat for the "Fat Farmers" breakfast... All up, 282 km's in just over 16 hours of ride time - no records set, in fact a top speed recorded of just 36kph a leisurely and enjoyable time out from life for a while.
Trail conditions were very good, a bit bumpy in parts either due to channels left from riders in wetter times, or loose chirt yet to bed down or be swept from the track through use. Crossed paths with several hundred riders over the weekend and speaking with a few of the local traders, they were very happy with the increased tourism brought by the full trail opening. Ran into Mark from www.railtrailbiketours.vpweb.com.au
a couple of times and he had several groups out on the trail for the weekend.
I highly recommend the trail to all, it is easy enough for any rider to negotiate as long as you plan your distances.