Our good friends Beth and Seb and their Canberra friends (Alex, Steve, Aaron, Lee, Nathan) organised a bunch of keen adventuring cyclists to go to Albury and ride back to Canberra via the Hume and Hovell Track. (The route taken by early explorers William Hume and Hamilton Hovell back in the 1800’s) It turned out to be quite the adventure and I learnt a lot of valuable lessons!!
|At the monument tree ready for departure|
Lesson 1- Don’t eat seafood when you cannot see the ocean. I soon regretted not listening to the older, much wiser adventurer Lee who heeded me that warning when I ordered the Prawn Risotto.
At 11pm the prawn belly hit and I proceeded to spend the next 3 hours being up close and personal with the toilet bowl and the bin with some rest breaks lying on the cold tiles of the bathroom floor. It was not pretty and made worse by the fact we were sharing rooms so I did a good job in keeping everyone else awake until 2am.
Up at 5, I was feeling surprisingly better, I think I was just stoked to have survived the ordeal! Feeling dehydrated but not too bad, I decided I would join the others on the journey to Tumburumba.
An epic day, I clocked 10.5 hours riding time, which included a fair bit of hike a bike up a couple of ridiculously steep mountains, up and over and under fences, it was a real off road and even off trail adventure that brought us 4 seasons in one day including sunshine, rain and sleet. With 40km to go we were stoked and thought it would be a cruise into town, how wrong we were, epic climbs all the way. Thankfully Jess was tracking us via Seb’s SPOT and found us with 40km to go with water and salad rolls, legend!! Soon we were watching the sunset and luckily ALL of us had our AY-UP LIGHTS on either our handlebars or helmets or both. We would have been in alot of trouble without them. Al had had a couple of mouthfuls of my dinner the night before and the dreaded prawn belly hit him in the last 20km, stopping for a quick spew here and there we were both surprised and elated we had both made it through the day.
|Cruisin into Tumburumba at sunset
Day Two saw us leave Tumbarumba and make our way to Tumut, a pleasant 90km trip proved abit harder than initially thought as pine logs had crashed and blocked the track. Initially we ventured up and over the logs, taking about an hour to get to what we thought was the cleared track. A congo line of people passing their bikes up and over huge logs, scrambling losing balance in their cleats sure was a sight! We then had to turn back and congo line the bikes back as it became apparent there was no clear track. A few big climbs in today’s ride, I found if I rode my own pace I felt ok, it was when my heart rate would go up that I would feel as if I was going to be sick. I also had nothing in my legs and I think this was because I had not eaten much the day before and started the journey fairly dehydrated from the Prawn Belly episode. 6.5 hours riding time with an upper body workout meant for some tired adventurers rolling into Tumut. A few of the adventurers partners had been enjoying a lovely day out and had everything unpacked for us in our cute B & B we were staying in, out for dinner where we were all trying not to fall asleep!! Thankfully I had my appetite back and did a great job in refuelling!!
|racing through the water.
Photo: Steve Hanley
|having a blast
I decided not to ride from Tumut to Canberra as I am preparing to race the Scott next weekend. The other guys rode 120km home over a massive amount of climbing and finished off with a hot lap of Stromlo. I had such a great time riding with the 8 other people I had met and it was a real adventure. The navigators did a wonderful job, and I honestly believe the sections where we had to ride fast from the bull, got chased by the farmer, lifted bikes up and down and over logs, climbed fences, rode back the way we came and pushed bikes up the steepest mountains; all those bits that were considered a stuff up; THEY WERE THE BEST BITS!!! They made it an adventure and they are the parts that make me laugh when I think about the trip.
|SS Al Cruisin
|improvizing and creating a bridge
photo:Steve Hanley pre-ride coffee at the coolest cafe with loads of teddies and iteven had drop bears!
For more photos check out: http://svana.org/photos/humehovell2012/