2015 Rides – Introduction

Stoking the touring addiction

After my last tour finished in October 2014, I returned home to Australia and went back to my ‘normal’ life. Because I live in regional Australia, where it is always difficult to find work, I didn’t find a good job until April of 2015. My job isn’t full-time, though, so I immediately began thinking that it would give me the opportunity to do many overnight and 3-4 day rides. I began dreaming and scheming. This journal documents these rides. Read more

2015 Rides – July Ride 1 – Day 1

Jindera to Holbrook via Morven and Coorkardinia

Sunday July 12, 2015, 43 miles (69 km) – Total so far: 43 miles (69 km)

The cycling planets have finally aligned. I’ve settled into my job and found a routine. The bike is back together and running well after installing new cables, new handlebar tape, new chain and a new rear rim. The weather has also decided to cooperate. Winter came early this year and has been quite chilly and wet, much more so than a normal winter (which is usually my favourite time of year to ride in my region of Australia). Nature has struggled to string two good days together that match with my days off. But finally, finally, it’s all come together, and we are getting the gear together for an overnight ride. Read more

2015 Rides – Jul Ride 1 – Day 2

Holbrook to Jindera via Mountain Creek and Bowna

Monday July 13, 2015, 49 miles (79 km) – Total so far: 92 miles (148 km)

The big high pressure system remains overhead this morning. The dome of sky is deep blue and the temps have dropped like a bomb overnight. It is just 28F at 8.30 am. If it weren’t so cold, I would have been on the road an hour ago to try to get in some miles before the forecast headwind picks up. But the thick layer of frost outside deters me from leaving early today. Read more

2015 Rides – Sep Ride 1 – Day 1

Corowa to Glenrowan via Wangaratta

Sunday September 20, 2015, 47 miles (76 km) – Total so far: 139 miles (224 km)

Two months have gone by since the last overnight ride. In that time, I’ve had a cold, gone to Sydney for work training, moved house for the summer or until Nigel gets his head back together, and gone down with the flu in a big way. After two weeks of feeling like death from the flu, I’ve only been allowed to do day rides of about 15-20 miles or less for the past month. This ride will be the first weekend I’ve been cleared to resume more strenuous activities. Flu viruses and asthma can be a horrible combination and very, very tough on the lungs. Read more

2015 Rides – Sep Ride 1 – Day 2

Glenrowan to Corowa via Boweya and Peechelba

Monday September 21, 2015, 57 miles (92 km) – Total so far: 196 miles (315 km)

The clouds are dark and threatening this morning. The wind is already blowing back the grass. I did bring my raincoat, but the forecast is a 40 percent chance of less than 1 millimetre. In other words, it is not going to rain. Still, the wind is going to be in my face all day today, so let’s get going. Read more

2015 Rides – Oct Ride 1 – Day 1

Corowa to Berrigan via Rennie

Saturday October 3, 2015, 56 miles (91 km) – Total so far: 252 miles (406 km)

The heat and the flies get unbearable during summer out on the plains. So the plan is to head out to Berrigan before the weather heats up. I’ve never been out that way before, and even though it’s not mountainous, I figure there will be something interesting to see. Regardless, it will be all new roads to me. Read more

2015 Rides – Oct Ride 1 – Day 2

Berrigan to Corowa via Savernake

Sunday October 4, 2015, 55 miles (88 km) – Total so far: 307 miles (494 km)

Daylight savings started overnight. So technically, first light is at 6.20am. But I don’t care what the clock says, I’m packing in the dark and on the road as the purple of the sky goes grey, then white, then pink. It is supposed to get quite hot today and I want to take the main highway back east for about 20 miles to start the day. It is fairly heavily travelled and has no shoulders for much of the distance, so I want to get down the road and back on quieter roads before everyone gets up. Read more

2015 Rides – Oct Ride 2 – Day 1

Corowa to Morgan’s Lookout via Goombargana West and Walbundrie

Monday October 12, 2015, 52 miles (84 km) – Total so far: 359 miles (578 km)

Another weekend, another ride. This weekend’s ride is brought to you by the letters “B”, “G” and “W”. Our ride takes us through the localities of Goombargana West, Walbundrie and Glossop on Monday; Tuesday sees us pass through Walla Walla, Burrumbuttock, Brocklesby and Balldale. Read more

2015 Rides – Oct Ride 2 – Day 2

Morgan’s Lookout to Corowa via Burrumbuttock, Brocklesby and Balldale

Tuesday October 13, 2015, 49 miles (79 km) – Total so far: 408 miles (656 km)

I wake in the dull grey of pre-dawn. Wisps of fog settle about the edges of the creek and coat the tent in moisture. I should get up. There’s a good chance of headwinds today. We could get in some miles before the commuter traffic and the wind pick up. But I’m warm and comfy and not motivated. So I sleep for another hour. The sun is up but not reaching my tent site when I finally get the day started at 7am. Read more

2015 Rides – Oct Ride 3 – Day 1

Corowa to Everton via Eldorado

Sunday October 18, 2015, 46 miles (74 km) – Total so far: 454 miles (731 km)

The hill-climbing on the Burrumbuttock-Brocklesby Road last weekend has reawakened my climbing genes. I love climbing hills. My personality is one of those driven by the need for accomplishment and the feeling of a job well done. I love the satisfaction that comes from finishing an ascent and the rip-roaring adrenalin rush that comes from flying down the other side.

So this weekend, let’s head for the hills! Let’s find some new roads, new vistas, new hills! Read more