Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day 7 - Tallangatta to Albury

Saturday November 26, 2011, 53 km

Grey wet morning, and was told there will be no change in the weather any time soon. So the plan this morning is to cruise along the highway to Albury.

The many undulations should not be a problem as I will cycle as slowly as possible to take it all in, smell the country side, listen to the birds, and get to my destination for lunch. Come to think of it, I have not had a rest day as yet, so this will happen in Canberra. The plan is to get to Adaminaby and explore the Boboyan and Yaouk roads, weather permitting. By the time I left Tallangatta, surprisingly, the weather started to change for the sunnier and warmer.Yesterday, the lake could hardly be seen for the downpour. This morning it wad a sharp, vivid blue, so it doesn't feel like backtracking at all. 
 Stopped at Ludlows reserve for a sandwich, and then followed the rail trail to Ebden and Bonegilla.
 I then left Murray Valley hwy and followed Bonegilla rd towards the Hume dam, and then Riverina hwy to Albury 
The ride was pleasant with a few good, solid climbs after the dam. I must have crossed the border at some point but saw no official signs. Rolled into Albury and have seen the ant's nest for the first time since leaving Melbourne, smaller yet still full of busyness. Since I enjoy pondering, ponder I did, and it came to mind that all the while on the bike, thoughts never cease, nor diminish. Thoughts tend to be rationed when climbing steep stretches of road. In fact, they are reduced to the lowest common denominator, which, in my case, consists of counting cadences to see if I can break my own record. So, 150 cadences is the go, a rest, self congratulatory remarks, a sip of water and, next push perhaps 160 cadences. The downhill which inevitably follows consists of zero cadences, and thoughts return to their rampant and stampedal selves. It wad on this pondering that the process changed when Emily Sharp (fellow CGOAB) came to meet me in downtown Albury. We dined and spoke, of course, about bikes, routes done and routes to be done."At which point did you get hooked?" asked Emily."Second day of the tour...." I responded. Leaving Warburton, 2 minutes into the ride, the very steep road to Donna Buang, the one that reduced my fantasy of cycle touring to pain and painful effort, followed by the sublime downhill through Marysville forest. That did it for me. A special moment. One must pay one's dues in any new undertaking or adventure. Nature does not give a toss for the suffering cycle tourer. Nature will not say "oh, look at that poor fellow...lets reduce the gradient for him...." So, that second day was an initiation. I discovered that the muscles required for steep climbs have not yet developed, hence the sore knees, pinch in the back, and occasional tingling of the feet and hands.I won't comment on the ride that got Emily hooked for this telling is reserved for her, and i am both thankful and grateful to have been privy to it.

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