An earlier discussion about a camping trip with friends
led to the innovative idea of an electric bike with trailer powered by solar panels. This provided
the perfect opportunity to test our ebikes and perhaps develop a new product.
We decided to have an Ebike camping trip along the Murray to
Mountains Rail Trail from Wangaratta to Bright via Beechworth then back to Wangaratta from Bright via
Milawa. The electric bikes we took were Hirun ETU with 11Ah Lithium battery which carries
approxamatly 10kg in the panniers and the Jamis E-Coda Comp with 11Ah Lithium battery and 60Watt
36V solar panels fitted to a trailer weighing about 45kg.
Murray to Mountains Rail Trail Map
Murray 2 Mountain Taylor Gap & Bowman Station
Murray 2 Mountains Tarrawingee Station
The rail trail goes through a beautiful part of North East
Victoria with both hard climbs and easy flat sections. It was a challenge to test our products
under all sorts of unexpected weather and road conditions. Our confidence has been reassured when
we finished this 5 day 250km trip, with 1,250 meters of climbing, successfully at Wangaratta.
Detailed Ride Profile of This Trip Here
Day 1 Friday, 6th Jan 2012
Had to reduce trailer weight by 10 kg from 55 kg.
Stayed in tent at Wangaratta Caravan & Tourist Park, warm and dry.
Day 2 Saturday, 7th Jan 2012
Wangaratta to Beechworth via Everton
After a nice lunch at Everton General Store, we started a 15 km climb from Everton to
Beechworth in the heat with a climb of 370 m over 15 km averaging 2.5% gradient with
peaks of 6% plus.
At the top of the climb we visited Pennyweight Winery, 2km from Beechworth.
ETU battery charged at caravan park reception office, Coda battery charged by solar panel
as we travelled.
Stayed in tent at Beechworth Lake Sambell Caravan Park, hot and dry.
Day 3 Sunday, 8th Jan 2012
Rest day in Beechworth
It rained most of the day from early morning, wet and cold. We had to cancel the plan of
riding to Stanley. Instead, we went for guided tour around historic Beechworth town.
Back to caravan park, we used the outdoor fireplace shelter to dry the cloth and had a
Weather improved in the afternoon, we had a nice walk around the pretty lake Sambell before
sunset. Coda battery barely charged by solar panel due to the weather but topped up the
next morning once the sun came out.
Stayed in tent at Beechworth Lake Sambell Caravan Park, windy but not too cold.
Bike Arts RMB on Diffey Road towards Everton
Day 4 Monday, 9th Jan 2012
Beechworth to Bright via Everton and Myrtleford
Lunch at Alpine Gate Cafť beside Information Centre, highly recommended. Local wines are sold at
Information Centre with very reasonable prices. Just out of Myrtleford, the Trailerís wheel
almost fell off due to the loose wheel release but it was an easy fix.
Close to Porepunkah, the Solar panel frame broke. We managed to ride into Bright.
With the help from Zack at Crispy Hardware & Timber, we fixed the broken frame just
before they closed. And we learn something we can improve on the solar panel fitting
in the future.
Coda battery was charged by solar panel through the day, good weather for it.
ETU battery still had a lot of energy, so didnít need to be recharged.
Stayed in tent at Bright Holiday Caravan Park, un-seasonally cold at night, feeling like winter.
Camping site at Lake Sambell
Caravan Park, Beechworth
Phoenix Tree Sculpture at Myrtleford Spot the Bird
Day 5 Tuesday, 10th Jan 2012
Bright to Myrtleford (30km total)
Showers at the time, strong head wind most of the trip. Out of Bright, we had a cup of coffee at
Porepunkah Rail Trail Cafe and visited Gapsted Winery on the way.
Later in the afternoon, we arrived Myrtleford and settled in Ardens Caravan Park. Didn't want to
miss the chance to explore Myrtleford, we had a 1.5hr walk around Reform Hill historic mining
site, overlooking the town from the top before sunset.
ETU battery charged from main in cabin, Coda battery charged by solar panel during day.
Stayed in a cabin at Arderns Caravan Park Myrtleford, which was a luxury for us.
Visit to local bike shop at Bright
Overlooking Myrtleford from the top of Reform Hill
Day 6 Wednesday, 11th Jan 2012
Myrtleford to Wangaratta via Milawa (61km total)
Rain and shower in early morning, cleared in late morning but windy all day. Had lunch
at Everton Station with the stuff we carried and very nice to meet some people there from
Wodonga who work for the High Country Rail Trail Development.
After fighting with extreme head and side wind on the way towards Milawa, our effort was
rewarded by the delicious Cheese and coffee at Milawa Cheese Factory.
Because the rail trail was difficult to identify, we rode along road back to Wang with the
delightful tail wind. The yummy local produces we bought on the trip made up a luxurious
banquet at camping site to celebrate the finish of our successful ebike camping trip.
Stayed in tent at Wangaratta Caravan and Tourist Park, cold and dry.
Banquet at Wangaratta Caravan &
Tourist Park camping site
ETU with 11Ah Lithium Battery, carrying panniers
ECODA with 11Ah Lithium Battery and 60Watt
36V solar panels, hauling a trailer weighing about 45kg.
Little break out of Bowser, on the way to
Zoe on ETU with full loaded panniers
Where are we?
We are here!
Beautiful sunset at Lake Sambell
Fixed our solar panel frame at Crispy's Hardward &
Timber shop, Bright
Water break at Eurobin Station
Overlooking Myrtleford from the top of Reform Hill
Steve fighting head wind through plains towards
Lunch at Everton Station
Sculpture made with recycled materials at the
back of Milawa Cheese Factory