13 July 2020
52 kms (32 miles)
It’s an out-and-back ride today. We’re finishing up unfinished business. Last week we tried to ride to Eldorado, but fog sent us in another direction. So today I make good on the promise to take the guys for a float at Reedy Creek.
Now you may remember Reedy Creek from previous rides.
It looked like this in February of this year on the ride where we almost lost Kermit.
Then it looked like this in March. The stagnant pools weren’t all that welcoming for a float.
But today, it looked like this.
The guys and I head out around mid-day. We had 2.5 days of good rain. In fact, my area got almost 50mm. This is a fair bit more than they got in Wangaratta, just 20 kms away.
The good thing about all that rain is that the frogs are noisy on our whole ride today and there is water pooled all along the roads in the first half of the ride. I really do like riding in winter here.
The other good thing is that all that rain has really packed down the gravel. All the sandy and corrugated bits are rideable at decent speeds today, and the good gravel goes under our wheels as fast as the chip-seal.
The whole point of the ride is to go and see what Reedy Creek looks like and give the guys a float. As always, there are heaps of people on the Woolshed Valley Road. I see 9 cars (12 in total, but 3 are repeats when they get to the crossing and turn around). This is more than I see on the sealed Eldorado-Tarrawingee Road and the sealed roads between Tarrawingee and Milawa! When will they seal this stupid road!!!!! It is terribly corrugated as always. The only thing that makes it bearable is all that moisture holding the sandy stuff together and the smoothed tops of the corrugations being beaten down a bit.
There are plenty of macho 4WD guys going across the floodway to prove their manliness. The water is not really that deep – just 20cm – it is just the speed of the flow and the fact that you’d get your feet wet that would deter a cyclist.
So I head upstream on a little track and find a nice, quiet spot for the guys to float while I eat a banana. Listen to those noisy frogs in these videos!
You can see the main creek flow behind the guys on this one.
If you are not video-inclined, here is a still picture.
I give the guys another float on a smaller backwater that would have seen flow yesterday but has receded enough today to be its own pond.
We then head home the same way we’ve come since all that gravel was riding so good today. Plus, I’d seen a section of road where the water was flowing along pretty well in the ditch. I thought Kermit would love to have an untethered float down that ditch on the way home. It would make up for taking him back on that terribly corrugated road and making him relive the trauma from that day where he bounced out of the handlebar bag and we had to go back and find him.
So I play with Kermit in the ditch for a while on a quiet rural road where no one passes for the 20 minutes I let Kermit have a few runs down the road.
And here is the dam where all that ditch water was ending up.
It’s not a long ride today, but I do get to keep a promise. I hate having planned rides remain unfinished.
And here is the finish to another story. It’s almost exactly 3 months since I got chomped on by the Staffy cross. The leg is good. It is still lumpy and a bit bruised around the puncture wounds, and a bit tender if pressed, but all is good. I expect it will still be some months before the bruising is totally gone. When I got hit by a car in 1997, I ended up with a huge hematoma on my hip and one on my thigh. Those took six months to resolve… back in the days when I was young and fit. So this one may take a bit longer, now that I’m old and my body can’t heal so quickly.
Next week we hope to do a longer and more challenging ride. At this point, the weather looks good. It’s too bad we can’t stay in a motel and do a long overnight ride – but I can’t see myself staying in any accommodation other than my home or my tent for the foreseeable future. Motel stays are allowed, but I’m staying well away from public spaces for some time to come. We’ll see what we can come up with though – it’s been too long since we did something really fun!