4,000 for 40 – May Ride 1

Jindera – Mt Granya State Park via Wymah

Saturday May 14, 2016, 40 miles (64 km) – Total so far: 1,382 miles (2,225 km)

After two weeks of not much riding, due to other commitments and adverse weather, I had a really great plan for this weekend. But alas, it was not to be. However, I want to record something here so I don’t forget to include the loaded miles in my total goal tally.

Nigel agreed to go camping on Saturday night, so that meant figuring out a route that would incorporate Cottontree Campground at Mt Granya State Park. No worries. I devised a route that would give me a bunch of new roads on Sunday and Monday after riding up to the campground on a well-trodden route on Saturday. There would be 7,000 cumulative feet of climbing over the 2.5 days. Just great! The weather forecast was pretty great, too!

However, I’ve been unable to find the culprit for the flat tire I got on my way back to Molesworth the other weekend. I’ve had a few punctures over the course of my riding career where I couldn’t find anything in the tire or feel anything anywhere. But they’ve always just been a one-off. This time, I got a second puncture in the same spot on a day ride a few days after I’d patched the tube. I still could not find the culprit. I even pulled the tire all the way off and thoroughly inspected inside and out. Nothing. I put in a new tube. Crossed my fingers.

Well, whatever it is, is still there. I punctured the tube on my way up to Mt Granya. The first 10 miles were incident-free. But then, the slow leak came back again. Same spot. So I just kept pumping the tire up every 5 or so miles for the next 30 miles to the campground. Not fun.

The other disappointment of the day was that the ‘toy bridge’ where people have been affixing plastic toys to the bridge, had no new toys or creative changes. Sigh…

However, all was not lost. The gravel Burma Road, which has always been in a horrible condition whenever I’ve ridden it, was actually in quite acceptable condition. All of the rain we had last weekend (nearly 2.5 inches) has packed down the loose stuff. All of that rain has set off the improved pasture growth and the beginnings of the wheat crop, too. All of the ‘natural’ or unimproved paddocks are still quite brown and need a lot more rain… but at least there is a tiny bit of colour coming back to the landscape.

All of the improved pasture has started to go green with the 2.5 inches of rain we got last weekend. It is nice to start getting some colour back in the landscape.
The dam still needs a lot more rain to start to fill again, though. This is looking upstream at the Wymah Ferry. The dam currently stands at 19 percent capacity. This far away from the dam wall, that just means the Murray River is running in its old stream bed rather than underneath the lake.
It’s a short 2 minute ferry ride when the dam is this low – you just have to cross the old river course!

Of course, Nigel’s foul mood did not improve with some time outdoors in nature, so I would have rather been camping alone. It really is a rare instance when he cracks a smile these days, so this trip was not nearly as fun as when we came up exactly three months ago when he had a rare moment where the rage and depression subsided.

Nigel has always loved to build a campfire and go car-camping. But even that was not enough to pull him out of the depths of the abyss today.
The guys at the entrance sign – since we’ve been here twice before and never taken this pic.
The crew at Mt Granya. Verne is pretty pissed off with me since I’ve still not fixed the tire properly and we can’t continue our ride. He threatens me with demotion until I tell him I’m on the lowest rung already and already do all of the physical work. His only option is to fire me… and he’s not that displeased… yet.

At least this meant I could get a lift home to deal with the tire 🙂 I’ve put my old Schwalbe Marathon on the rear for the moment. If I can get everything done early tomorrow that I’d planned to do on Tuesday, maybe we can at least get out for an overnight ride tomorrow.

So this trip felt so much like Charlie Brown… lining up to kick the ball and having it yanked away each time. Arrgh!


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