Monday, June 2, 2014

Day 2 - Warburton to Alexandra: Initiation into cycle touring.....pain and ecstasy

Sunday November 20, 2011, 85 km
     
Woke up at 5 am after a long arduous attempt at sleeping.A thump thump party across the Yarra river, Kookaburras with their particular sense of humour and the general discomfort that a hard floor donates. Up, tent packed away, porridge consumed, coffee, and another chat with Alan Murchison.At 72 years of age, he has been cycle touring since 1990. "Had a good run I reckon" he says. "The run up the Acheron way is pretty tough, but you'll love the downhill. We'll see. Departure at 7 am. 
  At 7:08 I was huffing and puffing so hard, the heart was doing a machine gun beat, that by 7:09 I had to stop for a drink and slowly begin to face the reality that my intentions may not be matched by my abilities. Should I not be able to conquer this hill then how on earth am I going to climb up to Dead Horse gap. 
  This torture went on for 9 km's non stop. 200, sometimes 300 meters and a brief rest. "I accept my inability to do this..." I squeaked, in tandem with sqwaking birds. After the 9 km climb on the sealed, it continued on gravel, but it somehow seemed easier. No rests or cursing until I reached the summit. 
  Not sure whether the road had flattened or that the porridge and the bananas and muesli bars had kicked in. 
  Then came the downhill on gravel.....did I pedal? of course not. Had done the hard yakka so now it was time to relax.
 No traffic at all!Once I entered Marysville forest, the road was paved, and the ride became 40 km/hr. Pure joy. 
 

  Here one is surrounded by both the devastation of the bushfires almost 3 years ago and the stunning regrowth. 

  Then it was all over. Out onto the Maroonda hwy to Acheron. But first a pie at Taggerty. AN OBSERVATIONFor as much as going uphill is hard and painfull one is able to clearly hear the birds and the creeks and the sound of one's heartbeat. Whereas going downhill is the exact opposite. One's hearing is subjected to the long, long wooooosh. No pain at all. The lady from the shop at Taggerty said...."There are a couple of good hills to Alexandra from here"Great! Just what I need. "Take a detour at Acheron and go on to Alexandra the back way....it's lovely"Yes, it was lovely. This road had another 4 good hills. My legs were going to go into an entropic state, but inevitably came the downhill straight into Alexandra. A double shot latte, shower and early night.

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