Granya – Jindera via Wymah and Bowna
Sunday February 14, 2016, 40 miles (64 km) – Total so far: 448 miles (721 km)
I have planned out two options for today’s ride. I could head over Granya Gap again, then down to Eskdale and then back up over the hills to Wymah and home. Or I could just head back toward Wymah then head north and west to Culcairn. Either option has me returning Monday afternoon. I want to get in more climbing before the 10-day tour since I won’t have a chance to ride next weekend. But we’ll see how I feel – I’ve been low on sleep again this week and my asthma is still giving me grief.
I set my alarm for 6am and will make the call then. At 6am, it is an easy call. Do the easy ride toward Culcairn. I did not sleep well last night. My stomach never likes any big meals, particularly with meat or fried food, after about 5pm. We ate at 7.30pm. Then I put a bunch of wine on top of that. Plus it was so hot all night long. So I didn’t get much sleep.
So around 9.30am Nigel heads home and I head out on the road. Given the quality and quantity of wine last night, I thought I might have a headache or feel hungover today since I rarely drink. But no, I’m just tired and it is hard to breathe.
The wind is a tiring nuisance today, too. It is blowing at 25kph out of the WNW (the direction I’ll be heading almost all day) with gusts to 40kph. It is one of those days where you quickly realise you are not going to go anywhere fast, so you might as well be resigned to putting the head down and just pedalling it out. The landscape is going to unfold very slowly today.
We ride along the lake with cliffs to our left and open views over to the hills on the NSW side of the river. There’s not much traffic this early and it’s nice to just cruise… well… pedal… there’s no cruising today with that wind. I will not make it over 10mph much today at all. It’s just a grind into the wind.
Still, the views are that pleasant pastoral backed by dry hills that is so prevalent in this area. I would rather ride here than many other places. I’m so fortunate to live somewhere with this sort of riding opportunity so close to home. It’s also amazing to go up to a campspot 40 miles from a population center of 100,000 people and have it all to yourself (like we did last night). I have so many things to be thankful for, and I remind myself of all of them while I grind into the wind.
I cross on the ferry. The ferrymaster is in his normal sarcastic mood but I do get to see about 10 old cars of varying types as I pass all the car club members waiting to head across on the ferry.
Then it’s a climb out of the Wagra Creek valley into the Fowlers Creek valley. I’ve written up this ride before – we’ve done it a few times in the past six months. It’s a good ride down through the creek valley with large trees lining the road and fairly big hills a constant back drop on either side.
It is all good, except for one car who passes me too closely on double lines on a blind crest. Normally, I would move out in the lane (take the lane) to force a safer pass when I see a guy like this coming up in my mirror. But I could also hear (but not see) a vehicle coming up the other side of the blind crest. So I hugged the road edge and kept an eye on the guy behind me.
The asshole passed me with less than a metre to spare. If he had just waited behind me until I made the hill crest, it would have cost him a whopping 16-17 seconds of his day. If you pause the video below at about the six/seven-second mark, you can see there is about 1.5 metres of space from the road edge to his vehicle when he goes past… and I am in that space. The scary thing is that I did not find this scary. How close are the ones that actually scare me then?!! Maybe riding with a camera is not such a good idea!
Then it’s on down the service road, then the awful Bowna Road (very thick gravel instead of washboard today -this road always sucks), then over the freeway and through all the hobby farmer and lifestyle blocks back to Jindera.
I’m moving out of my crappy apartment next weekend, so it is unlikely there will be any riding. Then the following weekend I take off on the resumption of my 10-day Forest Gumption tour.