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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Cobram “I don’t do Hills”

Bit of seat repair before the start.
Early Morning start from Cobram Willows Caravan Park

Close to start time

Simon and Richard


Phil, John and hay bales


Possibly a bit of photoshopping would help this! Its me.

Digging ditches for irrigation pipes

Simon and Silo in Nathalia

Youanmite Silo

Zoomed in, tractor advertising a farm near Youanmite, and

Zoomed out.

Silo in Tungamah.


A few weeks ago I was part of an online conversation about this Audax ride: a few of the Ozhpv committee were meeting in Cobram, making a weekend of it around Rodney Cruz’s Audax rides on the Saturday.  I was happily roped in and had the added incentive of being able to hand over OzHpv’s gazebo to Dome Deli at the same time.  Dome and a few other New South Wales crew will host a stall at The Sydney Classic Bike Show in Sydney in late March and he needed it for the event, I was happy to have it not occupying space at the top of our cupboard at home. Simon had booked a cabin in the caravan park, so it was all go.

Despite starting a few small projects to make the trike go faster including a front fairing, nothing new was ready, so the trike was the same as the one I took on Buckley’s Ride except for a bit of seat repair. Prep included downloading the Ride with GPS Map for the course into my Garmin 520 bike GPS unit and tweaking my spares and repairs kit, and making sure I had a rainjacket and waterbottle on board.

I arrived in Cobram at 6pm on the Friday, chatted and had dinner with Simon and Richard and went to bed.  Dome came in a bit later, he is a very keen cyclist and had driven 8 hours from Sydney to Cobram for the event. 

We were up early and left our cabin at 6:40 for the 7am start.  Rodney gave the usual ride introductions (“Apologies in advance for the headwind”), but really most of us were just happy to be riding on a cool (20 degree) summer day when most of the last month in Cobram had been 35 degrees plus.  So off we go!

Soon I fell in with Simon behind everybody else, and we slogged our way into a headwind to Nathalia where we saw a few other riders and stopped for coffee.  We had a tailwind (Whew) out of Nathalia, but about 12k into this stretch, Simon slowed down, he had felt his heartrate rising and his heartrate monitor confirmed his ticker had been going fast for a while.  He decided to bail it back to Cobram making his day 100k instead of 200, and that left me to plug on through the rest of the course by myself.  

And I managed this! The course was a little bit rugged with 2 rain squalls, 1 puncture and 40k of headwinds but this is par for the course for Audax rides really, and there were no navigation difficulties, it wasn’t too hot or too cold, I managed not to get too hungry or thirsty, most of the passing traffic was friendly, and it didn’t get dark while I was riding, which are all standard Audax occurrences.

Anyway, I got in about 6:30pm, which was about 2 hours after Dome and Richard and 5 hours after Simon who made it in safe. Rodney was organizing a dinner and as I came in to the caravan park everyone else was heading off to it.  I was a bit tired and passed.  Anyway, I was very happy with the ride.  Next morning there was a brief Ozhpv committee meeting and after that Dome did a 100k ride with a few other Audaxers, Richard rode home to Tungemah, and Simon & I drove home.

See you soon, Steve Nurse

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