Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Well, in the absence of my getting to do any racing, how about a little write up of my adventurous weekend?
Thursday last week marked the 4 week point since I had surgery to repair my broken collarbone. This weekend just gone happened to be the Oceania Championships, a race which I had been targeting and hoping to race with the team in the goal of us taking home the win. These factors added to some others, and I needed to get away. To do something a little silly. So after an 8am conference call at work, I headed home, packed a small musette, some food, and my credit card + myki card, and off I went. Destination – Bairnsdale.

Packing light
The plan was to catch the 10.44 train from Caulfield to Traralgon, and to pootle my way 75k east to Stratford, then jump on the train to finish in Bairnsdale. This was ‘Plan A’, and the smartest move given my limited riding since the surgery. Getting to Caulfield I hit the first hurdle. The little bag I had with my credit card and myki was still sitting on the bench at home. FAIL. Back home I went, and considered not going until Saturday morning, yet I grabbed everything I needed and headed back to the station to catch the train an hour later having just added 20mins to my total ride time for the day, and given myself a much tighter deadline for arriving to Stratford.
Take 2 at the Station...
Arriving in Traralgon, it was damp, and getting damper.. But there was nothing to do, but to get on my bike and go! Heading the back way through Heyfield & Maffra, I was making ripping progress thanks to a very stiff Westerly wind that was with my for about 75% of the journey.

Yep, it was wet, but Yep, I was still smiling!

Lots of long straight roads, perfect when the wind direction is in your favour!

By Heyfield the rain had stopped and the clouds were starting to part, and I couldn’t stop smiling! I made it to Stratford in plenty of time to catch the train, but with the sun shining and a quick look at the flags blowing the direction I was about to turn, I made the decision to push on the final 55k.

Quick stop in Stratford for some Paleo Sweet Potato muffins that I made to fuel my ride
This time I took the most direct route, on the highway, as there was a shoulder at least 1-2m wide the whole way and I knew I would be safe. Still ticking along at a decent pace, but I was starting to fatigue. I hadn’t ridden longer than 2h 45 since the accident, so things were starting to hurt. The hardest part about the country cycling is the fact that you just don’t stop pedalling. There’s no lights to have a rest at every few hundred metres like on Beach Rd! The rough/dead roads don’t help much either.. Regardless, I pushed on, and made it to Bairnsdale just in time to catch my parents closing up the shop and getting to surprise them with my arrival!

#countrylyf is pretty nice sometimes

After chowing down on as much dinner as I could fit in, and chilling out for a bit, it was off for an early night and the best night sleep I’ve had in a couple of weeks.. I wonder why?!

Chooky trying to steal my food.. Lucky she lays amazing eggs or I might have tried to eat her for dinner!

I was feeling it the next day, so I decided just to do a shorter ride and to then finish in Lakes Entrance where I met mum and dad for lunch and some wandering around the town. A nice relaxed late start to the ride and a pretty awesome day. Just what was needed. The inevitable post big ride day ‘permahunger’ had hit by then though, and I couldn’t stop eating. Mum was heard to comment to dad ‘I’m glad we don’t have to feed her every day!’ .. As Loz Rowney and I would often say - #thegirlcaneat. 
I even managed to get mum to do some alterations to the 1 jersey I had there with me, taking it in so I didn’t have to pin it!
Another good nights sleep and I woke to a perfect morning. Warm sun and clear skies, which had me sitting out in the back yard not wanting to move. Coffee and Breakfast (a-MAY-zing fresh eggs from ‘chookie’) outside and I contemplated not riding that day and just catching the late train back...

Ready to set off on the homeward journey. Sun's shining!

But I was on an adventure and had a plan! So at 10.15 I rolled out the door to ride the ~3hrs back to Sale to catch the train home.

More long straight roads.. 

Depending on how things went, I had a backup plan that would see me going a further 30k to Rosedale, and with the assistance of only a light headwind and a determined attitude, that’s what I ended up doing.
Rosedale Station.. Waiting for the train!
It was a stunning day, and whilst the addition of a tailwind would have made things perfect, I was pretty happy with where I was at. A quick stop at the IGA for some food to stop me from hunger flatting on the train, and I was set. The adventure continued though, when I found out I couldn’t use myki further out than Traralgon, and that I only had enough cash on me to get to Clayton which meant an extra 5k on the journey. Oh well, it was sunny! Just getting in extra k’s..

Rolling in the door at 5pm, guzzling some food & having a much needed shower, I was quickly off to dinner to catch up with some friends I feel that I haven’t seen anywhere near enough of lately. It capped off a pretty damn good weekend!
So next time you feel like doing something a little bit crazy, just do it. It’s probably exactly what you need!
Smiling inside, but cooked on the outside!

Road Kill Count for the weekend -
3 Kangaroo
5 Wombats
6 Foxes
10+ Possum/Rabbit
1 carcass that had decayed so bad, my eyes watered and I couldn't determine what it was...

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