Sunday 26 October 2008 - Old Great North Road (+ Spiders!)
A brilliant days riding. A little marred by the fact that one rider lost his water supply through some unfortunate leaks, and with the necessary sharing, three of us were out of water before we managed the return journey in 30+ degrees of sunshine...
[If it hadn't apparently happened before, the offender would have gone nameless, but from what I hear JOHN M this is not the first time...! Perhaps a new Camel might be in order?]
Setting off from the pumping station at a leisurely hour, the weather was perfect - not too sunny, some cooling moisture in the air). We were pretty quickly into it, and the bush was just beautiful.
The crowd at the end of Spiders (John, Martin, Stephe, Donal):
And some 'scenic' shots!
We had a quick bite to eat at the beginning of Spiders, and then had a blast along that section (which was just plain great!).
Then back through the farms, on to the road (said "Hi" to the dude that lives on the property we pass through, and he was an entirely nice chap!), and then to the climb up Shepherd's Gully.
It was hot, and it was very (very) hard.
At the rest point at the top of Devine's Hill, John M had been out of water for a while, and with increased consumption Stephe's ran out, and Donal was running low (I confess that I'm not sure what Adventure Racing Legend Martin was up to on the water front at that stage...!).
We cruised back along the ridge line, counting every hill, with John M feeling progressively worse (amazing just how quickly not enough water can harm you). Finished the last of the water at the junction with the Western Commission Track, and then raced to the Wat Buddha Dhama for a desperately needed quenching!
It was equally amazing, however, just how quickly we all recovered from that point once the water was into us. It was a great ride down the hill, although the finish involved Stephe getting stung by a wasp while handing bikes around the fence, dropping a bike (which Martin caught before it sank into the resevoir), and then cramping up with all the screaming and yelling. But, that was quickly a memory as we conquered the last 500m of vertical bitumen and fell back into the cars.
Old Great North remains the best ride in Sydney, yee ha!
Full set of photos (such as they are, Stephe ain't no photographer, of that we can be sure) are here.