Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wednesday Mt Oxford Epic

Rather large ride today, and likely the last of the year for me. 

Paul and Luka arrived at mine at 7.15 and we Brava'd out to Nelson's. Weeded my garlic in short time then we hit the road for Coopers Creek, Nelson following in his own car.  Parked at the end of Mountain Road and got riding about 8.50... When I say ride, all was well for a start, but eventually ducked down over a bridge and there was a bit of a walk, then rideable climbing, but it got steeper and steeper with less opportunities for riding and more opportunities for walking. Eventually we were all walking, pushing at first, then carrying. One or two small taunts of riding and then above the treeline we were all carrying (tho Luka held out and managed to push (rather than carry) most of the way).  All of us found a method of carrying that worked for us - Nelson, kinda seattube across his soulders, back wheel behind his head, rest of bike hanging down behind; Paul - either arm through the triangle, top tube on shoulder, pedal in elbow, hand on front wheel; me - sort of top tube across my shoulders, wheels out either side, but for a long haul I somehow managed to have it similar to Nelson, with maybe my pedal hooked on my pack and I was hands free walking, trudging, up the incline. We probably carried for an hour, at least. It was very long and quite arduous, taking around 2 hours 40 mins to reach the top.  A couple of women and 3 kids up there when we arrived, tho they'd gone by the time Nelson got there.

Bit of a break and feed, then off down the ridge to the west. Passing the family on the way.  Some steep stuff, and a little bit of climb. Then down the side into the bush and wicked steepness. A few nasty climbs thrown in for good measure just to keep the rinsing, and rooty gnarl and steep steep steep. Stopped at one stage and Nelson took out his brake pads to see if the spares he had were any good, they weren't, and the ones he'd taken out weren't as worn as he'd thought, so got going again.  More steep rooty goodness, with a few really flowy sections chucked in.  Then finally(!), Wharfdale hove-to and we hung a left and clambered up this to the Link Track. 

This held a HELL of a lot more climbing than I'd ever recalled, and lots of getting off and walking/carrying over rooty boggy bits. Met a few walkers on on their way up while we were on the way down too.  We were all getting pretty rinsed by the time we got out, just over 5 hours after we'd departed

We climbed 1075m in total, over a 19.25 km loop.

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