Thologolong – Granya – Wymah – Bowna – Jindera
Sunday October 9, 2016, 52 miles (84 km) – Total so far: 2,048 miles (3,296 km)
It’s all familiar roads today – we’ve ridden all of these roads many times. But this is still a favourite of mine, so I don’t mind the repeat. While I normally get tired of the roads I’ve ridden a million times, I don’t get tired of this one.
I do take off from the camping area early though. The winds are supposed to get quite strong today, and I’d like to minimise the time ridden in 40kph gusts.
The rest of our ride back today to Wymah is along the waters of the dam. It is a joy to hear the water lapping up against the rocks below and to just think about all that water!
I leave about 7.15 am which means I only see two vehicles in the first 15 miles heading downstream. It is a grey old morning so the layers of water, sky and hills lose some of their relief and it’s like riding through more of a two-dimensional scene instead of three.
We head up and down the gentle undulations and its not long before we’re rounding the corner at Granya and then heading for the ferry.
I roll up to the ferry pole and push the button. Eventually, the ferry operator says he’ll be down ‘shortly’. I always figure he’s on the toilet reading magazines when I come through in the morning, because it’s always a long time before he emerges from his house to operate the ferry!
It’s really windy here, but I do get a couple of pics to add to my collection from this spot at different dam fill levels. I also eat some high fibre biscuits for ‘breakfast’ while I wait for the ferry to come across.
After getting let off high up the slope on the NSW side, I turn on my Ipod and put it in my handlebar bag so we’ve got tunes to help propel us up the hills and into the building wind.
At the ferry road junction, I meet up with a touring cyclist from Melbourne. He’s just ridden from Albury to Sydney and back and is now heading in to catch the evening train back to Melbourne. He is contemplating which road to take. He rode out of town on the Victorian side and likes the idea that this side is less hilly. Ultimately he decides to ride the NSW side and takes off in front of me (I tell him I’m slow so he should go ahead).
The guy takes off and is quickly long gone. I just slog on along into the wind. There’s not too much traffic today, but by the time I get to the climb out of the reservoir arm, the wind is getting obnoxious.
I’m starting to catch the other touring cyclist, too. Maybe he took off extra fast to get space between him and me but is now losing energy. By the time we get over Mullengandra Creek and the two hills beyond, the guy pulls off the road for a break… or to let me get by… or whatever. He doesn’t wave or anything and I just keep pushing on. I’m not hungry or feeling fatigued.
We ride onto the frontage road and head down to the Burma Road. I hate that road since it is always in poor condition, but I do like it better than the freeway. However, that road goes under several metres of water when the dam gets over 88 percent or so. This means we have to get on the freeway for a bit.
The good thing about heading south is that this is the ‘new’ side of the freeway from when it was duplicated not all that long ago. That means we’ve got ample shoulder width and it is all concrete instead of rough chipseal.
The wind is just right that it shoots us up the first three kilometres. Then it becomes a crosswind. Combined with all the traffic of everyone going home on the last day of school holidays, it’s not a real pleasant ride. No one moves over in the lane either. Plus this direction is gently uphill. Blecch!
BUT the wind becomes a tailwind to quartering tailwind when we turn off onto Tynan Road. It’s an annoying quartering headwind on the road to Gerogery, but then it’s a tailwind down the final few kilometres to town. Yippeee!
Some local riders pass me and then slow up to ask where I’m going. Last week they passed a guy riding around Australia. They seem a bit disappointed that I’m just heading home but are impressed with my weekend route. Then they are off at speed to do a loop out to Walla. And I’m stopping at the supermarket to get a milk and some food for dinner. I’m home before the rain and before that gusty wind turned into a headwind. It’s a winner of a weekend all around.