Excellent day out on the dirt. Carlin, Rowan and myself headed up the FOA contingent, and Nadine and Alison joined us.
The dirt started about 4km down Wiseman’s Ferry road, and straight into a pretty decent climb. Then a pretty rocky descent and some riding through an amazing green valley with a lot of paths that had mown grass growing over the original convict-built roads. Carlin scouted out some historical culverts. There were some overgrown sections that were pretty great, like riding through a rainforest. My mudguards decided to detach themselves a couple of times after taking on thick grass and sticks.
Then another hefty dirt climb. Honestly didn’t think I was going to get up it. After stopping at a gate I couldn’t get enough traction to get rolling and into the saddle, nearly stacked it. A mountain biker flew past downhill at one point, I said g’day and he just came back with “good luck”… One more big kicker just after that, another gate and up a bit more then we hit the tarmac. I also started cramping on that section.
Hit the mangrove mountain shops for a packet of chips and a coke, then it was time for the big tarmac descent. We split up almost immediately, with Rowan and the two ladies disappearing after a couple of turns. I ended up in front of Carlin and lost sight of him after a bit, so for me it was a solo time trial along the river for the last 40km. Super courteous drivers and motorcyclists on this stretch made for a pleasant cruise. I had nothing left in my legs so was pretty happy to not hit any more climbs.
Got back to the ferry and Rowan was waiting. Nadine and Alison had pace-lined away from him after a few kms. Turns out they’re both seasoned gravel and road riders, Nadine fresh from a huge stack at Thunderbolt the other week.
Carlin rolled in a bit after, he’d burped his rear tyre and had to stop and reinflate. A kind motorist had offered to catch him up to us but he’d declined.
So it was a great day. I struggled on the climbs a bit, haven’t been doing much apart from commuting lately. Was pretty happy to get through it without making everyone wait too much. Hurting today though…
Thanks to Carlin for organising and the other for the company. Hopefully Rowan will have some pics from his gopro to put up.
Thinking about doing the Dummies ride out to St Albans again sometime soon. 45km or so at a party pace, lunch and beers at Settlers Arms. Watch this space.