Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A day in the Life of Tri Adventure....

The lovely Susie Blissner was the only ‘brave’ one lining up to join us for our ride on the Pt Glorious trails recently… We set off not long after 7.00am…..there was a heavy fog in the Mary Valley…..it was stunningly beautiful as we climbed Buckby Road and viewed the peaks to the west poking up out of the low-lying cloud…A mother cow with twin calves watched as we pedalled by….it would be a different picture on the way home!

We reached the trail-head – and in we went!  First trail was too muddy….later on we were ploughing through mud….but at this early stage, we decided to take a nicer trail in…. It was cool and inviting….and we travelled along a very pleasant track which took us down to the upper reaches of Belli Creek..
...at the creek junction
Lots of creeks have their source on this major ridgeline…..and on this side was the Mary River catchment… The creeks were running nicely – not too much so we couldn’t cross…It was delightful…. We climbed up out of the watercourse and were still heading up to the top of the ridge.  Some hike-a-bike…but some good riding as well…. The next track-junction signalled our turn off the main trail and we took a single track down to another creek crossing and up the other side.  The forest was quite damp…but we were happy to be out of the heat of the day.  We T-boned the main road to Pt Glorious and turned right.  This road took us down and up a bit and then we followed a great downhill which was part of Hells Bells last year (and 2 years previous…)  Another beautiful downhill had us at the bottom on Browns Creek Rd….Hmmm….the only way home was to go back up and over…. We will have hills, hills and more hills at our up-coming races - Bike Buller and Godzone….and Suse was happily along for the ride….but not doing either of these events!  However, she is doing the Simpson Desert Classic….which will be a majestic challenge in itself…. Probably some sand hills to contend with out there….
York Creek cascades
So, after a little break at the cascades (and a chocolate frog for Aunty Jan..) we started the long climb back up the ridge… It ended up being an hour of climbing….after we deviated off checking out some unknown tracks…..but all rideable…and a lovely way to get back up there…. Approaching the top we had some spectacular views of Mt Eerwah which sits right in front of Pt Glorious….but didn’t get any pics of this….so you have to imagine it! Finally up, and we have a short ride to out the Point…. When we get there and check out the views we realise how hot the day is, as the viewing platforms are in full sun….we have been in cool of the forest all morning….and it was pretty damned hot it that sun… We retreated into the shade after taking some pics….   
Suse and Aunty Kim at the lookout

After taking in the views and a well-earned snack, we set off for the final “downhill”…..technically it was…..in reality we had a bucket-load of climbing left that we hadn’t counted on…..you know how Aunty Kim forgets….well, it wasn’t all her fault….it was the fault of the map….  You see, because we only had Suse as company, we did a little bit of exploring….we knew she wasn’t the type to spit the dummy….so we took an unknown track “2kms all downhill” back to the cars...and you wouldn’t believe it,  500m from the road the track suddenly stops in a mountain of lantana and long grass.  (you would believe it…) Hmmm….this is not good.  We have just absolutely barrelled down the track….Suse was on fire, following our lines and getting super-confident on the rocky, slippery trail…. We are 500m from the road….we can hear the cars…. We hatch a plan to bush-bash along a fence-line…instead of the common-sense alternative to go back to the trail we know exists and follow it to the end…. Aunty Kim goes in to have a look….. It looks ok, but we did see another track back up the hill that might be better… We make a decision to push back up to it and check it out.  It looks ok….ie: going in the right direction….so we take it…..only to get about 400m and it’s another dead-end….Oh dear, again!….the bush here is now very steep and thick with prickly vines and other nasties….. We push back up to the track-junction.  Here we make a decision (the wrong one…) to go back down again and try to bush-bash where we were previously…. More downhill skills for Suse…. We arrive back at the dead-end…. We take to the bush… Crawling, lifting and pulling our bikes through the scrub is the reason we don’t need to go to the gym….It was our resistance training for the week…. We go in about 200m and find a huge cliff…. No going down this one with our bikes…. It is now about midday….we have been out for 5 hours!  Eventually, after scouting around the cliff top to look for a way to the bottom we make the ‘common-sense’ decision to go back to the track… We are all used to this situation in adventure racing …..sometimes you have to deal with taking the long way around….even if it is on the 3rd attempt…. Back up the hill we go…. Suse learns the art of the ‘bike carry’…. She has wanted to learn this for ages…. There’s a positive…..  We ride out the way we came in…..down into upper Belli Creek….up, up, up the other side….and finally out onto the road.  We had a super-fast downhill on Buckby Rd…..past the view of the Mary Valley that was shrouded in fog on the way up…..and the mother cow and her calves were long gone and probably under a shady tree now…..and when we got to the tar on Eumundi-Kenilworth Road we really felt how hot the day was! 

100 metres on the tar was quite enough for us….and we had a cold drink at the Belli Store….and reflected on our ride…. 6 hours….lots of hills but some awesome views .....and we noted that some map corrections are in order!!!  It was a fantastic day and we hope Suse made it home to Brisbane ok….. 

More of these adventures in the pipeline....no doubt!

See you out there!

Jan & Kim