May 12, 2002 5:14 PM
|Here in the Nation's Capital it's getting uncomfortably chilly in the mornings. Yesterday, (Sun 10 May) it was downright cold before about 10AM.
S, The Maverick and I went out the back to Uriarra. The Maverick only rode Uriarra for the first time on Saturday, and was well pleased with himself. To celebrate he decided to ride it again on Sunday. S has an aversion to the top ramp coming out of the river crossing, but was in good form after a strong fourth in Saturday's road race, and is climbing well on the new Specialised, so she resolved to accompany The Maverick. I went along too - the race on Saturday had smashed my legs (3rd in C grade and more points!), but I figured they would be good another 80kms, particularly if the pace was 'slow', as S and The Maverick had agreed it would be over hot chocolates at Cafe Essen on Saturday afternoon.
Overnight, I learned from the radio news, it dropped to -1 degrees. Descending into the Cotter at 9:00AM, the cold was slicing my calves from the bone, sawing my fingers from my hands, carving my ears from my head. The cold was making my stomach shiver, my nose run, and my eyes water. I stopped for a toilet break at the Cotter campground, while S and The Maverick started on Mt MacDonald. Only 4 months ago I would stop and then catch S on the first hairpin - yesterday I had to chase hard up to the U17 KOM before I got them. The Maverick was looking pretty comfortable and held on across the top. On the descent he chanted "Gu, Gu, Gu," in delirious happiness. I was warm now after the climb, and I could see where he was coming from. The land is dry but still beautiful. A flock of western Galahs started from the field beside us and wheeled and banked in the sky above us. There was no traffic.
S did a big turn across the back road and I jumped away on the descent into the crossing. I was comfortable coming out the other side, but my heartrate didn't go past 172 despite the fact that I pushed hard on the top ramp. I waited: 2 minutes on S and 3 on The Maverick, and wondered how I'll go racing up that climb. We cruised into town. The Maverick gleefully attacked on some of the smaller hills and earned his name - again. The speed was fairly high - Saturday's Hot-Chocolate Speed Accord clearly in tatters. At Carlos I ate the half breakfast and quaffed a coffee.
Outside, as we rode home, it was sunny and still, and I was snug in windstopper gloves, three jerseys, neoprene overshoes and knee-warmers.
|Nice report from down under mate!||AllisonHayes|
May 12, 2002 6:03 PM
|I have always wanted to go to Canberra's Belconnen region. I understand the views are fantastic.
Have you ever gone to Mt Kosciuszko or Perisher & Charlottes Pass? I also hear the Orroral valley is magnificent as well.
When is wild blackberry picking season?
|Nice report from down under mate!||willem72|
May 12, 2002 7:09 PM
All of Canberra and the surrounding countryside is fab right now. There are 15 million trees in Canberra (50 per person), and many of them are turning colour and dropping their leaves. Belco has many lovely suburbs, and from Black Mtn the autumn colours are wondrous.
S and I walked to Kosi and Club Lake from Charlotte's pass in Feb this year - bloody fantastic overnite walk. I've been snoboarding at Perisher and road riding there too. It really is stunning.
Haven't been to the Orroral Valley, one day soon tho. Maybe on the tourer for a weekend ride with The Maverick.
S and I have had a pretty good year: kayaking in the Shoalhaven Gorge in Oct, cycling at Bright over Christmas, Kosi in Feb, plus I did 10 days in Tasmania in Mar on the Overland Track. Anybody who knows Aus will know I'm a lucky bloke.
I'm keen to ride on roads like those shown in MB1's picture feature. I wonder how they'd compare to those which wind their way through our beautiful bush.
Would love to see you (and the others) anytime you're in the Great Southern Land. Blackberries in spring, I think - so come in Sep/Oct and bring your warm gear because it can still snow that late around here.