Sunday, December 07, 2014

Great Vic. A bike ride... Part VII

Day 3 - 1st December 2014

Yackandandah - Bright

Got the routine down pat. Up super early (5:30am) Pack up sleeping gear, prepare bike for ride, eat breakfast early to avoid the crowd, pack up tent and stow gear in truck.... Start riding 6:45am!

Big ride today! There's a big lump of rock between Yackandandah and Bright and it ain't moving!

It was a hot day, good riding felt a lot stronger by now and was finally over my dehydration but tired from not enough sleep. The events of the various days rides are becoming foggy to me now but here's a few highlights.

Following the road from right to left. The uphill started just off screen and ended before the first white dot on the blue line.. The whole rest of the way was downhill! Sweeeet ride!

After a long and beautiful ride along the Kiewa Valey Highway we took a sharp right turn onto the infamous Tawonga Gap Road....!! Which makes a serious incline over the mountain range separating Bright from Mount Beauty. Up up up... we rode. A lot of people started walking outright at the beginning of the road. I dreaded the thought of giving up too soon so I shifted to a low gear and peddled on. No one was passing me and after about a km I stopped passing other riders, we just strained and pushed, heaving one rotation of the chain-ring after the next. Finally I stopped riding, pulled over and had a drink. After the first stop and as I became tireder the temptation to stop became greater until it seemed I was stopping for a rest every 500 metres... (I'm sure I was riding further than that but not much) oddly as frequently as I was stopping not many passed me. Everyone struggled on this hill! 

Going up? (7km climb - 20km descent)

Sweet cool water for your climb

Yep! I wore the cycle gear!
Toward the top of the hill a group of us stopped at Lawler Spring, where sweet fresh water flows from the ground. 

Musical encouragement

At the top of the hill we were met with a juice jug band and jelly beans! 

Google maps describes the site as German Town, Tawonga Gap Rd but there is no town, just a lookout. From that point on we had a 20km down hill ride all the way into Bright! Orright!

Bits of rim metal not a good look for downhill breaking!
Top speed riding down the hill 67.5 km/h. Coulda gone a lot faster but my breaks were dodgy and I'd only replaced the front ones back in Yack... so it so chances of a prang were pretty high at faster speed. Managed most 35 - 45 km/h corners at 50. A couple of riders came off on the downhill and the Police had to start regulating groups descending. I was lucky to have a free ride down and not have to follow a police bike.

Unloading semitrailer No.5

My tent before the rain

Taking refuge from the storm

Being among the first to leave camp in the morning and having made it to the top of the hill on reasonable time I made Bright fairly early, in time to unload the truck and set up camp before rain.

I watched people ride in the rain. Latecomers had to ride in the Hail.

On that night I was lucky enough to go to sleep in warm dry tent in the middle of a very damp paddock.

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