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23 November 2013

20 November 2013 - Let your car gps take you on an adventure

After a great day & night staying at a friends shack in Orford, I planned to go for a mountain bike ride somewhere in the Wielangta Rd forest area.

I drove to the Thumbs lookout reserve area and headed up a fire trial that had a boom gate (to stop cars & trail bikes).  The start of the track is near 'Flash Tier' on my 1:25000 map and I was aiming to get to the Three Thumbs peaks a few k's to my north, but also to find out where the track went.

Quickly the track was heading to the south, but I needed to go the north to the Thumbs.  I took every option to the north but I kept reaching dead ends where the track just petered out.

After spending a few hours hitting dead ends I headed back to the car.  Near the car park there is a walking track to the Thumbs but I was hoping to find a fire trail to ride on - unsuccessfully.

I then set my car gps to plan a route home using the 'shortest route' options - knowing that this could take me through some 'short cut' tracks.

Initially it was plain sailing continuing down Wielangta Rd but then I had to turn right at Franklins Rd.  The trouble was that when the gps said I was at Franklin Rd there was no turn - just dense bush.  At the next narrow gravel rd to the right I turned up a small rd/track and was soon crossing rising creeks in the fairly heavy rain and dodging boulders.

After about 20 minutes of challenging terrain I reached a 'regular' gravel rd that ended at a locked boom gate.  I turned back and just like my bike ride I started checking all the side route options.  Again each track became steeper, muddier and narrower until they became just bush again.

On many occasions I found I had to reverse back along the challenging track after reaching the end and not being able to turn around.

About 6 hours after I started my 'short cut' in the car I got back to Wielangta Rd and then had a 20 minute drive home following the normal person route.  I used up a whole day taking short cuts but had a great time. 

My little subaru forester with cooper tyres was great in the mud & I used the low range gears a lot up some steep climbs.

16 November 2013

16 Nov 2013 - Seven Mile Bch peninsula ride lap

After a few emails with John about bike adventures & other stuff, I was a bit inspired so headed to Seven Mile Bch for a lap around the peninsula (and the rain & miserable weather had finally broken).

The whole peninsula is soft sand so the ride would be resistance training.  I started on a sandy track and after 5 minutes I was struggling in the soft sand.  I was surrounded by pine trees (it is a pine plantation) and I tried to ride on the thick bed of pine needles so I didn't sink in as much.

After a further 5 minutes I decided to head out onto the beach because I knew it was low tide and I would continue on the soft sand as well.  This was faster, except for the strong s/e sea breeze.

I reached the eastern end of Seven Mile Bch opposite Dodges Ferry and then turned north up the channel with the sea breeze.  I was surprised that the Pied & Sooty Oystercatchers were less spooked by a bike than when I walk along this beach.

As I headed further north, opposite Lewisham their are wide sand flats at low tide and lots of oysters.  Progress would be unpleasant on a bike at high tide but at low it was fine.

Eventually I turned another corner and had views back up to Midway Point.  There was about 500m of dry sand flats from the shoreline to the water.  I continued to the Five Mile Bch car park and then headed back into the soft sandy pine plantation to get back to the car.

I was stuffed from the soft sand riding but it was a pleasant afternoon with lots of sea birds & some large patches of soldier crabs.