2017 Disjointed – Around town

Sat 2 Dec, 15 miles (24 km)

All week they’ve been warning of an ‘unprecedented rain event’ for southern NSW and Victoria. The warnings have been dire. They were predicting up to 300mm (12 inches) of rain over a couple days in our part of the state. It was supposed to start Friday and go through Sunday. We even had people at work who commute from nearby towns stay home on Friday – in case water went over the roads and they couldn’t get back home.

But Friday was a bit of a fizzer in most places. We only got about 16mm of rain where I live. It is unusual to get a day where it rains almost all day in December, but it would not be unusual at all in July or August. It even stopped raining around 4pm and the guys and I went out for a ride around town after work – just to get out. Read more

2017 Disjointed – Caught Up

Monday, 2 October, 52 miles (84 km)

You know one of those really long days on the bike, where you just keep riding and riding? One of those days where you aren’t sure where it will end, so you just keep pedaling and pedaling? You tick over mile after mile, growing more tired but knowing you can pedal for as long as required. But then, when you FINALLY stop, the fatigue hits you. You sit down, and that is it. You can’t pedal another revolution. You are completely exhausted. Read more

2017 Disjointed – The best time for gravel

Monday, 9 Oct, 26 miles (42 km)

I caught up with a friend on Saturday. It showered off and on all day Sunday (thank goodness, it hadn’t precipitated in over three weeks). It rained this morning. But then the southwest sweeper of a cold front brought gusty winds and pushed out the clouds.

It is the perfect time to go ride some gravel. Not long after a rain, the dust is down and the loose stuff isn’t quite so loose. I have a lot of little unridden roads to ride, so off we go on a short ride to tick off a few on our list. (Actually, a few roads on my map, I don’t have a list.) Read more

2017 Disjointed – Around Lake Eildon

Sat-Mon, 14-16 Oct, 115 miles (185 km)

There was a ride on my map that I was terribly disappointed not to accomplish before I left Australia permanently. It was the “Around Lake Eildon” ride. It has beckoned to me from the map and streetview for a long time. But because it’s a two -hour drive away, it just didn’t happen. But through the crazy paths of life, we find ourselves back in Oz, and the weekend weather forecast is perfect. So we get a second chance for the ride that almost got away. Read more

2017 Disjointed – When the music moves you

Sat-Sun, Nov 4-5, 63 miles (100 km)

Day 1

You know you are heading the right direction when a local asks you with a look of concern in their eyes, “Do you know where you are going”?

The question today comes from a Council worker in a b-double gravel truck that has passed me twice already hauling gravel for some road repair up ahead on Healey’s Lane. This time I’ve gotten off the single-lane road for him as I can see the cloud of dust up ahead coming my way. Read more

2017 Disjointed – Going easy on the tire

Sun-Mon, 19-20 Nov, 46 miles (74 km)

Day 1

Any ride this weekend needs to be pretty gentle. My deteriorating front tire (about 10,000 miles on it, so it’s had a good life) has sped up its demise on the last two rough gravel rides. The fuzzy liner stuff is starting to poke through where the tire is starting to split, and you can peel back the tread in places if you desire.

I’ve got a new tire on order, but it’s winging its way from England, so I’m not sure when it will arrive. Estimated delivery times are always laughable where I live. So I wanted to do something with decent gravel and chipseal this weekend. Read more

2017 Disjointed – Safety First

Sun 26 Nov, 19 miles (31 km)

Friday night we had our work Christmas party. My ticket number was called in the raffle which meant I got to pick a prize from the table. There were gift certificates, bottles of wine, various pamper packs, etc. But I chose a deluxo first aid kit. Everyone laughed – because they know I don’t drink much at all and don’t like anything frilly. The comments were all, “yeah, Emily would always go for something practical and sensible!” Read more

2017 Disjointed – Twenty years ago


Day 1

 We start the trip in deficit. Yesterday I drove to Eildon straight from work. Upon arrival at 6.45pm, the petrol station, the takeaway shop, the pizza shop and the supermarket were all shut. The nasty, unmaintained pub required previous bookings. So there was nowhere to get food. I had not eaten all day and had spent two hours through the day at work doing sweaty physical labour to clean out a shipping container. So I was hungry.I was a bit concerned with my food supply anyway. I’d already figured out how I could ration the food I brought over four days. Weight vs energy needs are always a concern when doing steep gravel roads with no places to resupply. So, cautiously, Thursday night I ate one package of Madras lentils and the last 1/3 of a bag of corn chips. I went to bed hungry.

This morning we are rolling at 6am – just after sunrise. The motel owners have been kind and are letting me leave my car there (I buy them a bottle of wine on my return in thanks). I do think you could probably stealth camp at the Oval though – most other places around the pondage have ‘no camping’ signs, but because there is no vehicle access beyond the parking lot at the Oval – there is no demand there. You could set up behind the kiosk.

So we climb up first thing toward the dam wall. It’s a massive thing sitting over there. We pass the cemetery which sits under the massive high voltage power lines. The span over the lake just over the hill is the longest in the southern hemisphere at 2.2 kms. It’s an industrial feel until we turn right and up toward the marina, boat ramp and campgrounds.

Read more

2017 Disjointed – Conclusion

On the 19th of December, the day after the big ride last described here, I slept most of the day. No big deal, right? It HAD been a demanding three-day ride AND I had driven that blood sugar really low on the last day.

But then on the 20th, I was still very fatigued and my leg muscles really hurt. I passed it off as delayed lactic acid build-up. I ignored the brain fog and went to work.

But then things progressively got worst until my short-term memory was completely eroded, I had to talk myself through the steps of simple tasks, and the pain in my muscles and joints had become un-ignorable. I started getting pins and needles in my legs…. Read more