Shifting – July Ride 2 – Untethered

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.

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Then it looked like this in March. The stagnant pools weren’t all that welcoming for a float.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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7 thoughts on “Shifting – July Ride 2 – Untethered

  • When Kermit hit those rapids on “Untethered 2” I was on the edge of my seat. Exciting stuff. It reminded me of some canoe trips where that fast-moving water would provide a big emotional boost from long stretches of slow paddling.

    • Haha! Kermit has ridden much bigger waves, and I can strap him in for bigger waves. He is very light compared to the amt of air under him, so he bounces/skims over most stuff. Poor Verne is a bit heavier and drags on a lot! I’m sure Verne and Kermit would love to go canoeing with you. You could just tether their floaties to the canoe and reel them in so they were on-board for the bigger stuff 🙂

    • Thanks, Nancy. Kermit and I had lots of fun. Poor Verne is too heavy for that shallow of water and would have just got stuck on things. As I told Tony, my job is so full-on and serious that it is nice to go play in the puddles like a kid every so often and forget all the stress!

  • Kermit has a wonderful carefree attitude with his ‘arms up let’s see what happens’ approach to the speedy ditch water. What a terrific way to take life on !! Anyone driving past would have taken a long look at you, the ditch and the guys as they would have been very impressed with how you were taking the trouble to give the guys a special experience.

    We just had 2-3 very nice winter days and immediately the mind goes to planning camping trips trying to recall the latest ideas for carrying the load on the trike. Maybe next month!!

    Keep on keeping clear of Covid.

    • “they would have been very impressed with how you were taking the trouble to give the guys a special experience”.

      How kind of you to say that. I am sure they actually would have thought: “wow, what a weirdo!” That would have been fine, I’m old enough not to care what others think. Work is so full-on and serious that it is really nice to play in the puddle like a kid on occasion!

      Yes, we are in for a string of good weather this week, and I had got excited by the forecast for a low of 5 this coming Sat night. I did get in an overnight camping ride last year the third weekend of July. Alas, they’ve dropped the low back to 1 for that night… so maybe not, since everything here is saturated after the 50mm of rain! It’s fun to plan though, and for many years it seems like NIgel and I always got our first ‘warm’ camping trip of the year the first weekend of August. I hope you can get a chance to tour around TAS while your borders are still closed though. It seems like you’d have less tourist drivers to contend with!

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