Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Audax Wuthering Heights 150km

Stunning riding through tall forests on the way back from Bronte Lake.
Each year a talented and handsome ride organiser, who I shall call Chris, runs a ride that centres on a fishing lodge at Bronte Lake in the central highlands of Tasmania. There's the option to ride 150km up and back or 200km each way with a night of convivial company and tall stories in between. Sadly last year I missed this ride and was determined not to do so again.

Unfortunately the weather bureau intervened. The forecast Saturday was for heavy rain, including thunderstorms. Not I'm not saying I was looking for an excuse but the idea of getting up at 5am to ride 150km uphill in the rain didn't appeal as much as perhaps it should have - not matter how keen I am to get some miles in. 

Leaving Bronte Lake on the short stretch of gravel.

As it turned out, the forecast was disappointingly wrong. Hugh and I caught a lift up to the lakes with Chris, passing the trio of diehards as they ground up the final steep climb. Purely out of courtesy, we didn't crack a beer before their arrival but instead rode out to meet them and escort them in after their hard day's toil. There followed a night of superb food, a few drinks and apparently some snoring in the bunkroom.

By agreement, the 200km lads set off an hour ahead of us for their out and back loop with the intention of catching up up later in the day. Nathan and I turned our wheels eastward and enjoyed warm and warm conditions as we swooped through the gorges and valleys on the way to Ouse, where we ate our fill of roadhouse tucker.

Long downhills and open country in the Derwent Valley.
Underway again, Chris passed us on his way home and informed us that Hugh was breathing down our necks. He caught us at the end of the long and very pleasurable descent into New Norfolk and the three of us made a happy paceline to the finish at the Cenotaph. As I'd left my car at Chris' house, we had 10km to go, which made for the perfect imperial century for the day, as Hugh demonstrated his superior fitness and all-round athleticism by outpacing easily me on the final hills. All the same, I was happy with what was for me a solid day in the saddle. 

A superb ride, thanks to Chris for putting it on. I'm been to travel both ways under my own power next year. Some video highlights below.

879km so far this year.

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