Wednesday, February 2, 2011


On Australia Day Eve we attended the Sunshine Coast Regional Council Australia Day Awards where Tri Adventure received recognition through our nomination in the Sport and Recreation Category… was a great afternoon and the MC was Steve Bradbury, Winter Olympic Gold Medallist in Speed Skating…..he was absolutely hilarious and we were thoroughly entertained and relaxed by his Aussie humour and wit….and proud to be amongst the other award nominees in all the categories – some very amazing people!
Richard & Howie relax under a shady tree
Meeting at Pomona – 7.00am – we only had Howie joining us for the first climb – Mt Cooroora…. The climb was great and bagging peak number 1, we made our way down.  We were hotting up for the big day ahead… Richard met us at 8.30am – he had chosen to miss the mountain climb and ride out to Pomona….and we took off on the exciting Trail 5 for the ride out to Cooran.  Transitioning at the cow-shed, we went on foot up the fence-line and started on the steep, rocky track up the mountain.  On our climb the previous Sunday we had marked the trail…so it was easy going and we bagged the 2nd peak in 26 minutes….not bad for a couple of veterans, a vintage and a legend!   Ant, who had come straight from work, met us at the Cooran turn-off and we took off out along the scenic Kin Kin Rd to Camphor Rd… We were heading to Middle Lookout…and in the Garmin stats of the day it actually looked like we had bag 3 peaks as Middle Lookout is almost as high as Mt Cooran – and you can ride all the way up there!  Off we went up the steep road, then onto the steep, grassy hill… Up a few false summits before eventually getting to the top……Yay!!  We doused our heads in water from the over-filled tank, and then cooled and refreshed we rested and got some food in….. We looked in the visitors book and noted that “God” had passed by and signed in – dated 2053….Mmmmm….Ant thought we were possibly high enough to be in heaven….even though it felt like Hell…… We reassured her it was downhill all the way back to Pomona….except for those extra little hills we forgot about….. It’s all character building we said…and we all rode on.  Richard left us at the Porters Rd turn-off for his ride home and totalled 89kms for the day – with a mountain climb thrown in….What a great effort.  We finished the ride on Trail 7 back to Pomona and filled up on a great breakfast at the Mountain Stop Café….with a bit of amusement thrown in, once again!
This is one we had been planning for quite some time – and it didn’t disappoint – but the harsh conditions we encountered were definitely a challenge that we won’t forget for some time!
After dropping our bikes at the TA (aka Richard’s place) we met and set off from the Lions Park a little after 7.00am.  Howie was amazing in his first paddle of the Fenn XT, Kim & Ant were in the double Fenn and yours truly took Aunty Kim’s Epic.  The gusty winds whipped up by approaching cyclone Anthony proved to render us quite a challenge on the normally benign Noosa River….lucky the wind was behind us….we were dreading the way back!  The Epic was misbehaving after a previous rudder problem (the Lake Weyba saga) and a lack of steering was proving a problem for Aunty Jan….so a boat swap was in order….as Aunty Kim can handle her own boat in ANY state…with no steering…AND filling up with water as it was on Lake Weyba!  So, Jules & Howie were powering along….Aunty Jan was now at the helm of the Double with Ant in behind…. We docked at the beach right before the ferry….and Jules was sitting, waiting with helmet on and ready to go…. We explained we had to stop and change boats…..and hurried our transition to catch the next ferry….. Over the river and onto the horse track…..Swamp, rocks & mud were a challenge….as we took the ‘hard way’ to the beach…via the airstrip….(we do that...) A small amount of bush-bashing was the only way to go before we emerged on the dunes….only to be nearly blown away by the increasing cyclonic winds….see pic  

We hardly had to pedal for the next few km’s as the wind just blew us along…..we would pay the price for this easy ride on the way back – big time!   When the walking trail was not obvious from the beach, we decided to go into Teewah village, leave the bikes and head off on foot…. 
..bit like Geoquest...walking to beach, looking for the track!

and after a few failed attempts (nearly walked up to the hang-gliding platform) we found it…. ‘Eureka’….and in we went.  This is what we planned the whole day for….and the Cooloola Great Walk was amazing….undulating through coastal scrub then small pockets of Scribbly Gums it gave us peaks of the ocean to the east and spectacular views of Lake Cootharaba to the west.  Jules, Howie and Aunty Kim made it to Brahminy Walkers camp and then we all re-grouped and met on top of Mt Seawah on the way back….It was so beautiful….well worth the trip if anyone is considering it!!!  See pic below… Now it was time to get back down and onto the bikes…..We were all a bit fatigued at this point and we were not looking forward to what lay ahead….but….these are the challenges that make us stronger…. As we had feared, the headwind was incredibly strong….and we couldn’t see into the distance where it was going to end….but it was the only way home and there was no helicopter to pluck us out of this difficult situation.  Aunty Kim was a machine with Ant on tow, but was struggling to keep up until we formed a little echelon against the wind….it was great, all working together to get us home…..this is what adventure racing is all about and what sets it apart from other individual sports with an ‘all about me’ attitude….. Our little ‘riding machine’ forged ahead….into the wind…cars going by on the beach were slightly amused at us….but we were now on a mission….and eventually the end was in sight…..In better conditions we would have ridden the entire length of the beach – but opting out at the 3rd cutting was our only way of staving off being killed by the company!  Jules muttered that it was the hardest ride she had ever done…..and recently she has completed Hawaii Ironman with a 180km road ride through the lava fields….!  The few km’s of tar road was a ‘breeze’ (now that we were out of it) and we just made the ferry for the trip back across the river.  Ant had decided she’d had enough…and took the easy option of riding home…the rest of us got ready to face another onslaught of the cyclonic winds and started the paddle back down the river…..Sadly, we were still going against the tide….and now that unforgiving wind as well…. We took the mangrove tunnel around the back of Sheep Island which kept us out of the wind for a little bit…but getting back into the main river and crossing to the right side was one of the most challenging paddles we had done….especially for Howie as he had hardly done any at all….He was a master of the XT and stayed upright the entire way!  Jules was a machine in the back of the double and Kim was challenged just trying to keep us all in her sights!  We gave Howie a rest for the final stretch home….put Jules in charge of the double and away we went….We were tired, hungry & wind blown…but no-one stopped paddling until we got to the Lions Park….What an amazing effort….sliding into shore at 3.30pm….we had made the day stretch out to 8.5hrs!  Well, we didn’t plan it to take that long….but sometimes that’s what happens when you go out with the Aunties!  We had a lovely feast at Café le Monde….obviously had missed breakfast and lunch….it was more like dinner by then…. c’est la vie!
Peace offerings at the summit of Mt Seawah now we're off and running into February....with plenty of adventures coming up...
See you out there!
Jan & Kim