Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brindabellas Ride.

David organised a ride for Sunday, it was to take us on a loop through the Brindabella Ranges just outside of Canberra. The weather looked great and held out perfectly for an early start.

Initially it was uphill on well formed fire trail. For some reason I thought we'd soon reach the top of the range and it would flatted out, but it didn't. I suppose the major difference between this ride and the Ororral ride earlier in the year is that instead of super steep pitches it incessantly climbed through the hills and really tested your physical and mental endurance. An hour or so in we stopped for mornos.

Many kilometres later we crossed into the more dense foliage of the Brindabellas. The roads became a little more confusing and before long we needed a map stop. There was some confusion before we deployed a scout in the form of Ian, in no time he had confirmed the right way to go.

Not too soon afterward we again stopped for a 'check'. I wasn't overly concerned as long as we didn't need to go up THAT hill. Luckily we were to head in a more humane direction.

We ventured further until we reached a truly awe inspiring sight. The only issue was that the trail was barely rideable due to its downward gradient; so much so that if we rode down it we would actually have issues getting back up if the need arose. David had planted a seed of doubt in his own mind earlier and decided to actually utilise his GPS to confirm our position.

We were in the wrong spot but luckily the calf workout was only short lived as we had barely still hurt though!!

We eventually lost Chris to fatigue and he headed home once we reached the intersection almost at the top of the range. We had been climbing for four or five hours and were all starting to feel the cold now that the temperature had dropped.

The historic Mt Franklin Ski lodge was an interesting stop and made me think that it may be a fun ride to come up here one day when it's a bit snowy.

We then headed for the summit of Mt Ginini. It was cold; in fact only 5.7 degrees at 3pm according to the bureau. Needless to say we didn't stay long.

We left the summit before David and Jeff actually arrived and later found out that Jeff had suffered so badly from 'Single Speed envy' that he destroyed his Sram Black Box rear derailleur in order to convert his newly purchased Voodoo Dambala into one; after all, with its sliding dropouts it was always destined to be that way.

Of course this meant that his ride out was going to be a little more difficult, but it turned out that luck was on his side. I swear that out of the 30 or so kilometres we needed to travel back to the cars, maybe 5 actually required pedaling. So we adopted the TT position and flew back. I wont mention the close calls with random 4WDs and sharp blind corners, although Marea and Ian did comment on the odd looking skid marks leading very close to the edge of the precipice on some corners; Jeff, Trent, any ideas??

So we made it back to the cars after around eight hours and eighty kilometres of riding. It was a fantastic ride and an area I'd love to explore again, especially once it gets a bit icy.

Huge thanks to David for getting it organised.