Thursday, November 22, 2012

Melbourne Cup Day adventure ride – Day 3

It's the Monday intervening the Melbourne Cup and I wake up in Jindabyne feeling really fricken tired and sore from the work out in the dirt yesterday, but as happy as a pig in the proverbial. Another perfect sun drenched day to climb more mountains.


We started a bit later than normal today with slightly less enthusiasm from my part. I was really feeling the toll on my body from the previous two days riding. Mostly, I think the concentration and effort of the haul in the dirt had tired me out a bit more than I expected. Slightly jet lagged is how I would explain it. But the day was young and it wouldn't take me long to get back into it. Or so I thought.

 


 We headed out and looped around Lake Jindabyne on the Snowy Mountain Highway to Adaminaby. I was love the fast open sweepers and took the lead and disappeared, the boys trailing behind me at a more leisurely pace. What I failed to realise was that we were apparently turning off to Cabramurra and then down the mountain to Khancoban, but I flew straight past that turn-of heading to Tumut for fuel. I was sure that was the plan at Adaminaby, and I planned that would take me right to the edge of the 200km range. At about the 1.5hr mark I fancied getting off the bike for a stretch and saw this awesome look out point just after the Yarrangobilly Caves where I took this happy snap. Pretty sure the bike wasn't meant to be out there, but I couldn't resist.

I'm thinking to myself at this point, I have waited more than long enough for the guys to catch up, and was starting to wonder where they were. I can't be that fast, can I? :D The vibrating phone in my pocket reveals the answer. They turned off at Cabramurra and went to the 'top of the world' and I now needed to turn back. Looking at the clock from memory I had just hit 170km on a full tank, and by my estimate cruising I should have at least 30 - 50km to go. I also calculated that Cabramurra was only about 35km back.

Tumut was maybe 15km ahead, but in the wrong direction. I decided to go back and hope like hell I made it. Stupidly I had emptied my emergency MSR fuel bottle and if I were to run out, the guys would have to come back and put that siphon hose we bought to good use. Turns out that is exactly what happened. I made it about 4kms from their final destination which is a really top spot up very high in the Snowy Mountains where you can actually feel a lack of oxygen when the Hyper just gasped, sputtered and completely died. 230km on the tripmeter, I had under calculated just how far away I was.
Nice place to run out of fuel


A quick call and the guys were on their way down to rescue me, then another biker comes along, slowing to let me know that he had spoken to them and they were minutes away, only to notice that he had a flat tyre. It didn't take long to realise that we were going to be here for a while as the tools came pouring out of cavernous BMW panniers (including an air compressor) and the big ugly cruiser went up on sticks and logs and gradually the tyre came off. It was a long annoying process due to the weird assembly of the back end of those bikes, most of which I could do nothing about. The guys were all in form and got that sucker back up and running just under two hours from start to finish (including me siphoning litres of fuel out of two different BMWs) before we made the run back down the mountain to Khancoban.

 


 I think I lost my mojo on that mountain side watching hopelessly as I sat idly by with little help or advice to offer. Getting back on the road I just ran out of steam, and I noticed with all of this piss-poor attitude I had started riding really sloppy. At parts it came back, but it didn't last. Sadly I knew, I had reached my point. I needed to head home. It was an easy decision as we were only 3 hours straight ride down the freeway which would gain me an extra day at home to tub the bike and return it back to normal and rest up; so I said cioa to Wombat and Murphy at Talangatta and I took the cruise home while they returned to Harrietville for another night. I believe there is nothing worse than riding challenging roads when you have a bad mental state, or pushing through fatigue.

Tub and a panel swap in order


Back home by 8:30pm that night I was happy to jump in the spa with a bucket of vino and think about the ride I'd just had - what a cool adventure; a little over 1800kms total, 200 of those kilometres in the dirt, and some of the best mountain roads and conditions you could ask for. Some great testing of new gear, heaps of footage to cut up and share, new tips and tricks that I'll add to my cachet and everyone home safe with no damage to report, except to a BMW pannier... It's what keeps me chained to the desk year round; the thought that it won't be much longer before we head off again.

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