Monday, February 15, 2021

Pushing On


As Covid outbreaks continue to wreak havoc with forward planning via snap border closures, flying is being cut right back and pounding the pavement around the warehouse is becoming the "norm". As such, I needed something to look forward to so when Deano suggested another Sub 24 Hour Overnight bikepacking ride I said "lock it in"!

I am glad it was locked in as by the end of the week I was pretty stuffed and the last thing I felt like doing was riding a heavily loaded bikecycle up a bloody big hill. However, we took it pretty loose with the departure time and that allowed me to decompress and by the time we had bought beer, food and unloaded the bikes I was looking forward to the ride.

This was partly because we were riding up that old faithful, Duck Creek road with it's superb, hidden campsite. I last camped up there in 2015 (I think) as the road has been closed since cyclone Debbie washed away a section of the road in 2017 (as well as much of south east Queensland!😳). It would be interesting to see what the problem with the road actually was.

Rolling out of Beaudesert, where we had left our cars, it was still pretty warm and quite muggy even though it was almost sunset.

We soon settled into a rhythm and got off the slightly busy Kerry rd onto an even more "back" road. It was dark well before we got to the base of the climb but there was little traffic and we were lit up like christmas trees with our blinky lights.

Being not very fit (and getting quite tubby with little riding) we were off, walking pretty much all of the climb. This was ok as we didn't have a deadline. Just plug away and get there when we get there was the theme of the night.

We managed to find the camp site at around 2130 and with our Tarptents quickly set up, we sat on a log in the dark, eating Subway washed down with Balter XPA. 😎 This was livin'.

After taking in the lights of Brisbane in the distance for a while it was time to turn in. I slept really well in just my SOL bivvy. Yep, no need for a sleeping bag here in SEQ at this time of the year.

I was awake just after sunrise and punctuated the serenity by pulling the plug on my air mattress! Even though breakfast was at least an hours ride away we took our time packing up, trying to take some half decent photos in the low light. I didn't really succeed. 

We eventually got rolling at around 6am taking it easy as we kept climbing up towards O'Reillys resort. This section of the road is much less steep and soon plunges into the rainforest.

 After a few more photo stops we emerged at the Canungra - O'Reillys road.

It was basically ~30ish mostly downhill kilometres to Canungra....and breakfast. 

But first we decided to take a 500m detour up to Kamarun lookout. This proved to be a great idea as we stretched out on the lush grass and took in the view of the Gold Coast hinterland for a while.

Deano, always smilin' ! 

Kings of the world!! 

Returning to the road we enjoyed the long, fast descent. It is amazing how fast you can hook these heavy bikes around the tight twisty bends (in just a foam helmet and some lycra!). I don't think I'd be any quicker in the actual corner on a motorcycle. The exit may be a different story though!

We were soon in Canungra enjoying some breakfast and coffee, looking at all of the motorcycles parked up and those cruising through town. 

Next came the bit of this ride that I hate. It is a 5 or 6 kilometre section of main road with almost no shoulder, populated by motorists who can't possibly be delayed by 10 seconds. 🙄 

I would suggest not trying to pronounce that name lest you do yourself an injury but my Kiwi readers would be like "here, hold my beer"! 

We survived!! and began along another dead end back road. 

This was the bit of the "loop" that I was concerned about. We would need to enter some private property to follow the gazetted road for a few kilometres so that we could link onto another quiet back road and complete the ride into Beaudesert.

About to enter the paddock from hell.

Easing into the paddock we were greeted by my worst fear. No, it wasn't blocked, meaning a 40 kilometre backtrack, worse still, the grass was chest high and the "track" had seen no traffic along it in quite a while. 
The fear stems from Australia having something like 9 of the 10 most deadly snakes in the world and the grass in this paddock being not only chest high, but as thick as a jungle. In a vain attempt to keep feet off the ground we pedalled on, pushing slowly through the grass and hoping that our front wheels wouldn't disappear into a massive hole. There was no time for photos here as it was HOT and muggy in this windless, shadeless snake pit of a paddock. 

We crested a ridge line then found a track with much less grass cover that the cattle had trampled into a rideable track. This soon had us out on the back road, headed towards the cars in Beaudesert.

Riding into town we went straight to the Beaudesert Hotel for a cold refreshment to help us cool down. 😉

"We survived"!

We had started out at about 6pm Friday night and rolled into the pub at about 1115am Saturday after 110 kilometres and about 1700m climbing.

Not a bad way to spend a Friday night. 

Cheers Deano!