Day 1: Jindera – Lockhart: The Drought

Saturday January 4, 2014, 63 miles (101 km) – Total so far: 63 miles (101 km)

Some call it “The Big Dry”. Others call it “The Millenium Drought”. From 1998-2010, the areas I will ride through on this tour experienced what is considered the worst drought since the beginning of settlement.

In a normal summer, the land in these parts is brown. The cured grass and the stubble of the harvested winter crops give the landscape a rather lifeless look. So it is hard to describe just how lifeless, wilted and dry such a place might look after more than a decade of drought.  Read more

Day 2: Lockhart – Wagga Wagga: The floods

Sunday January 5, 2014, 52 miles (84 km) – Total so far: 115 miles (185 km)

he cruel aspect of Australia’s climate variability is that floods often follow droughts. Dorothea Mackellar nicely sums up Australia and its climate in the famous lines from her poem, “My Country”. She writes:

“I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons, I love her jewel sea,
Her beauty and her terror – the wide brown land for me.” Read more

Day 3: Wagga Wagga – Cootamundra: The bushrangers

Monday January 6, 2014, 74 miles (119 km) – Total so far: 189 miles (304 km)

In the cool of morning, we head off into a building southwesterly wind. If it is this strong at 7 am, I’m going to get a good push up to Cootamundra today! So much for the light wind forecasts….

I head back through North Wagga and turn onto the Oura Rd. This whole area was covered in waist-deep water in 2012. The road is flat as it travels across the floodplain. The river is a kilometre or so off to the south, though. Read more

Day 4: Cootamundra – Tumut: The road

Tuesday January 7, 2014, 62 miles (100 km) – Total so far: 251 miles (404 km)

Some roads are a joy to ride. They sweep away through sinuous curves, inviting the cyclist forth into a landscape of long, gorgeous views. Other roads are more of a chore. Their surfaces may be poor; the scenery may be dull.

We’ll ride a variety of roads today – none particularly outstanding nor dull. Read more

Day 5: Tumut – Tumbarumba: The industry

Wednesday January 8, 2014, 48 miles (77 km) – Total so far: 299 miles (481 km)

My quads are sore and fatigued. They are not so politely asking for a day off. However, I refuse for a couple reasons: 1) we’re on the edge of Kosciusko National Park and it’s school holidays so there are heaps of city people out here – way too many people for me; and, 2) I’d rather do a couple short days in the final days than take a whole day to sit around a town I already know.

So off we go down the Snowy Mountains Highway. Read more

Between the waves: Conclusion

Friday January 10, 2014

So Friday ends up being my rest day… at home, instead of during the ride in Tumut. I do some laundry and I take three naps. Three naps? I really need to get the thyroid levels checked again….

A lot of our ‘luck’ in life seems to do with timing. You might meet the love of your life just days after purchasing a new home on the other side of the country. You might have a beautiful holiday ‘off-season’ on a nice South Pacific island and then return home just a couple days before the island is flattened by a cyclone. Read more