2017 Disjointed – Testing out the bike refurbishment: 12 March

Sunday, 12 March, 10 miles (16 km)

The best laid plans….

The original plan this weekend was to head off to Woomargama National Park on Friday after work and camp at the Samuel Bollard campsite on the Hume and Hovell Track. Then I would hang out Saturday while Nigel went four-wheel driving in the national park. Then, on Sunday, I would head off for a two-day ride to test out my bike refurbishment and pick up a couple new roads for my list.

But…. there were already people at the camping area that would enable that plan. So, in the waning daylight of Friday we went bouncing along the four-wheel drive track to another camping area 20 kms further into the park.

This totally wiped out my original plans. It was for the better though. I was still able to test out my bike (it is awesome now!) on Sunday on new roads (tracks), spend time with Nigel, and go for a bushwalk, too. The weather Sunday turned out to be very hot (36C – 96F) and incredibly windy (35-40 kph with gusts to 65 kph), so I was glad not to be out on the original route.

Monday I will do a favourite ride from home before heading into town to get a helmet mirror and other items for the upcoming high country tour. Here are a few photos from the weekend.

Our campsite in Woomargama National Park. There are shadier and more aesthetic sites around if you don’t want a picnic table or proximity to pit toilets.
Went for a bushwalk with the guys on Saturday. They are a little disappointed in this creek – there’s evidence they would be under water at other times of year. But it’s totally dry today.
Aahh, a creek with ferns, that’s better.
And a mozzie-ridden puddle along the creek with reeds and other things that make turtles and frogs quite happy.
This whole area was sluiced and excavated for alluvial tin back in the day. Now it just means swampy areas of reeds with lots of mozzies.
We get up early on Sunday morning to go test out the bike. We have installed a new drivetrain, bar-end shifters and a new headset. This is a 4WD track and our other track is just a fire trail with steep bits. We figure this is a good test of the worst road conditions and gradients we will ever subject the bike to. We do this partially loaded.
The good bits of the track looked like this, but there were lots of steep bits, eroded bits, big rock bits, etc. Most of the forest looked similar to this, however.
Nigel calls these ‘orb spiders’ but I don’t know their proper name. They are pretty huge though. Body and legs are a few inches across. They were across the track, so I had to duck under their thick webs.
The Mundaring fire trail has been subject to pretty recent fire… and here is all the regrowth.
We start to see some of the lowlands as the fire trail starts to steeply descend. I’ll be off the bike soon, as it gets too steep to stay in control on the descent while on the bike. I prefer pushing uphill to downhill… but we are going to get the chance to push the bike back up the steep hill when the fire trail ends on private property up ahead.
The track gets steeper again. All in all I get in 10 miles on really tough tracks… so it was a great test of the bike. It is soooooo good!! I love it – why didn’t I do this earlier than the 30,000 mile-mark? Hopefully, this gives me 20,000 more miles before it is time to retire the bike. I had planned to ride home after riding back to the campsite and having Nigel gave me a lift back to pavement. But the heat, nasty northerly winds (40kph +) and total fire ban means I wimped out and got a lift all the way home.


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