Bikepacking Through Little Germany (Australia)

Rufant

Well-known member
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This is a trip report from a four day solo bikepacking adventure through South Australia.

Starting at the country town of Burra, in the Mid North of the state, back to my home town of Adelaide. The long way.

First a quick introduction. My name is Anthony, I've been back riding bikes just under two years, after a long hiatus. This is my second multiday bikepacking trip. I did a seven day excursion last year. I've always done a lot of outdoor type things, hiking, travel and 4x4 exploration.

Let's start with a couple of maps:

This is the approximate route, as usual google doesn't like dirt roads and tracks, but you get the idea.



Then a broader picture of where we are in the country as a whole. Burra is the red marker.



Now, unlike last time, where I was mostly following a set route (the Mawson Trail). This time would be more, choose your own adventure. This is how I like to explore, not quite sure what you are going to get, or how you are going to get there. This uncertainty often leads to frustration. However, the cool things you discover along the way, do feel like your discoveries. So, it was pick things that look interesting on the map and go that way.

Speaking of maps. For this trip I had invested in the Gaia GPS app for my phone. After trying a few different apps for the last year or so, as the Hema mapping I used in the 4x4 just isn't detailed enough for bike/foot exploration. The paid version of Gaia gives you a South Australian topographical map, in about as much detail as you can get in Australia (I still have the ipad and Hema as a backup GPS, plus ye olde paper maps and a compass).

A good map makes a world of difference, and I actually changed my intended plan slightly a few days before leaving. After studying the map and deciding that there was more around the Burra area I wanted to check out, so I mentally added another day up there and decided not to go as far south as originally planned - however, as usual the plan was only loose and anything and everything (or nothing) could be changed along the way.

Firstly there was some outback pub opening business to attend to. A friend was back in town from interstate to travel up to Carrieton, where her friends had bought and renovated the local pub. Did we want to help celebrate the opening? We didn't need much convincing.



The new owners asked me to give them a 'soldiers five' around their pub kitchen. I used to cook professionally, I could see they were a bit intimated by the commercial cooking equipment. I tried to reassure them that although it might seem a bit intimating now, once you get used to it you'll love it. It's designed to make life easier when you've got to feed a lot of people. Tools for a job. I imparted what knowledge I could (it's been a while) and left them my number if they had any other questions. They'll be alright, they want to make it work - that's half the battle.

Some fermented liquids were consumed.

***

The next day we meandered back south. The lads dropped me off in Burra, before heading home.

Right, time to get to it.

Heading out of Burra, the first of many churches on this trip.



I had a rough plan to take the dirt road to the west of the range of hills that lie south of the town and then take one of the tracks through those hills I could see on the map, and camp at a good spot I knew on the eastern side of the range.

Or not.





I knew access would be an issue, especially this far south (and therefore relatively densely populated). No matter how good your mapping it rarely shows what is public access and what is private property - remember what I said about frustrations of travelling like this? No worries, this is nothing. Once you've done this a while you normally have a Plan B (and C and D). So a short backtrack to the outskirts of the town and took the next road along, slightly further west.

Agave going feral along the way.



I knew I would have a few km to knock over before the next possible track through the range on the map came up. So I started cranking them out. The road was nice and quiet so not too bad a way to settle into the trip.

Another thing I would see plenty of this trip, ruins.



The Mid North is a great area to explore through, plenty of pioneer history and just enough variation in the landscape to keep things interesting.

I arrived at the next possible track through the range.

Yeah? No.



No worries, I wasn't out of options yet. Please note, this range of hills looks mellow and rolling from here, barely a range at all. It looks like that from almost every outside viewpoint.

The next junction, there was a road heading east I could take.



A few hundred metres down it I came across a lady farmer, her son and dogs. I confirmed that this road does at least go through, eventually to Robertstown. "there's a fork that'll take you to a park and a locked gate, you don't want to take that..." so of course, that's what I wanted to take.



No, 'NO BIKES'. So, again for the first of many times I split the bike and trailer and hauled them over the gate.



The perimeter track seemed to correspond with my map, and it's not like I had any other choice so I just followed that.

I came across an old shearing shed. I presume this conservation park is a repurposed sheep station.



Some effort has been made to replant some trees here (bottom right above).



I had my first break here since leaving Burra, a couple of hours ago. I had made a conscious decision to fuel (eat) differently this trip, compared to the last trip - I had brought no carbohydrates with me, I had only fat and protein based foods, so I hooked into the homemade kangaroo jerky.



Let's understand, this is not a frequented park. I was confident I wouldn't see anyone now, maybe the odd adventurous bushwalker. However, I was basically on my own. No worries, I'm prepared for this sort of thing - I'm running basically the same set up as I was for the previous trip, so that's over four litres of water and plenty of food, sat phone and a PLB. Of course, ******** can still go bad, but I've got some top cover.
 
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Rufant

Well-known member
Good, 'cos the hills were coming at me.



At the crest I got an idea of what I was dealing with. Looks like nothing from the outside, right?





Properly barren and remote in the middle. Just like the Flinders Ranges (which of course this is what this range eventually becomes). Buckle up.

Crap selfie for your time, looking chuffed like usual.



A bit further on I came across this cabin.



Door locked. I just feel it's a shame you can't access these facilities. Not open slather, we all know where that ends up, but some sort of permit scheme...? I'd love to spend a long weekend up here.

Push on.



I arrive at a junction. By now I'm way off the map, whatever track they mapped back in the - who knows when - is long gone. I just take the fork that seems to head in roughly the right direction heading further into the park, though the range.



This section particularly reminded me of parts of the Flinders Ranges. The white gum trees, the stony dry creek bed.



Another familiar sight from the outback, colloquially known as spinifex grass. This area recovering from a fire.



A mixture of pedalling and pushing saw me drag the rig up the next hill, coming to another junction. Again I took the option that seemed to head in the direction to go through the range.

Picturesque.



The scenery was exceeding my expectations. I hadn't known what to expect in here, but I didn't expect it to be this dramatic, or feel so remote.

A bit more climbing and I came up against a fence. That wasn't a concern, the lack of track beyond the fence was. I had a good scout around but couldn't see any way it continued. This was the view looking in the direction I wanted to head, still plenty of ground to cover.



Bit of fossilised wood I found whilst wandering around.



Nothing to do but head back the way I came and take the other fork at the junction. These were probably originally station tracks, with no requirement to continue over the fence, probably a different property. Bush-bashing through the range would be a great adventure, not today though...

I followed the other track through. Same end result. No fence this time, but no defined way through.



As you can see the shadows are getting longer. I had been a few hours in the park now. It was getting to that time to start making decisions about camping for the night. I could see on the mapping that I wasn't that far from the Heysen Trail - South Australia's premier long distance walking trail.

So I decided that rather backtrack all the way out, I would just follow the GPS to that track. The country was open enough at that point, and the light was still good. Leaving the trails is always a risk, but almost everything about this activity is a risk assessment one way or another. So a careful km or so across the scrub, and bang on target.

 

Rufant

Well-known member
So I followed the Heysen till a junction where the walking trail headed back off into the range, up a steep incline.



Now, I was very conscious of how badly I had over exerted myself on Day 1 last time. So I decided to give up on crossing the range today and get to somewhere to camp. I didn't know what land I was on, but fair to say it belonged to someone. So I just kept following the fence line, knowing the eventually I would hit a road.



Down there somewhere!



Breaking Bad type cabin on the edge of the property. Mr White didn't appear to be home.



Final fence crossing.



Ok, so we're not trespassing anymore. However I'm not exactly overwhelmed with options for a suitable camp in this area. I don't have any big miles left in my legs, after the steep hill climbs today. I spy a cemetery on the map a few km away, should be peaceful at least...

The cemetery turns out to be a great option, or at least the carpark area next to it. Fenced in, so now chance of getting run over. This remaining wall from some ruins, will provide a bit of a wind break as it's a bit breezier out here in the open - although I pitched the tent far enough away just in case the wall decides that this night is the night in the last few hundred years, that it's had enough of being a wind break.



I get the tent up as the sun goes down. Salmon curry for dinner. Tired but no too beat up, and in good spirits. I take a 1.5L bottle of water to bed, like a party animal.



Good start. Certainly a few challenges, but already this feels like a good adventure.
 

Rufant

Well-known member
Part 2.

A couple of photos from my packing before the trip. Safe to say the gear side of things is still an evolution for me. This is only my second multi-night trip, and whilst I did learn some things from the first trip, it is most definitely still a work in progress.

No/low carb food.



Rucksack kit, which stays with me all the time.



BOB trailer kit.



I make various notes before during and after these trips. this is what I wrote whilst I was packing.

'The trick of course, is to be comfortable in all 'possible' conditions. Whilst taking as little as possible. A nice jumper or cotton shirt would be great for the evenings, but until I get to the stage I've got 'spare' room, such luxuries just have to wait till the next 4x4 trip.'

['possible' being for that part of the world at that time of year, I didn't pack for minus twenty and half a metre of snow. However frost on the ground, 35 deg C during the day, torrential rain and galeforce winds are all possible, if not probable - now I think I'm just trying to justify taking too much!]

***

Anyway, where were we?

That's right, camping in a spooky cemetery.



I'm not sure this is approved Brooks saddle conditioning.



During the night I had drunk a litre out of the water bottle I took to bed, so I was probably a bit dehydrated. Note to self, drink a bit more today.

It was cold, Buffalo jacket weather. Everything that wasn't inside the tent had a good layer of moisture on it. As did the tent flysheet.

The fence came in very handy to get things up and out of the dirt, use what you've got. You can see the good old South Aussie sunshine getting straight to work burning off that mist.



I decided some hot breakfast was worth having. So sardines, spicy sausage and a tin of tomatoes. An unconventional breakfast for sure, luckily everything tastes better when camping.



I went to check on the neighbours.



Lots of German names, I had noticed that with a lot of the road names yesterday. My parents have some South Australian friends named Schuppan. I knew the nearby Barossa Valley was heavily German settled, I didn't realise it was so prevalent up here too





I got everything as dry as possible and packed away. Had a good look at the paper map, to make a plan for today. Time to hit the road.

The sun was picking out the cobwebs covered in the morning's mist. Pretty.





I had decided that the only reliable way though the range was to follow the Heysen Trail. So once the road intersected it, I picked it back up again.



The rig. Note the drying microfibre cloth that I had used to dry the tent and the bike this morning.



Not a bad day for it.



The air temp was still cool, with the mist hanging around in low lying areas.



Good riding.



Plenty of pedalling meant I was ready to shed some layers, and put some sunscreen on.

 
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Rufant

Well-known member
I was bracing myself for the expected effort that was going to be required to get through the range this morning.

I hauled the kit up a steep incline to head back into the hills. More pretty cobwebs.



Just over the brow of the hill was the first of many stiles to climb over - which mean splitting the bike and trailer. The loaded trailer is about 35kg, so it is more of man-handling over these obstacles. Photos never show the steepness of the terrain, but you get the idea here, as the BOB trailer literally rolled down the hill after I lowered over the fence - luckily those things can take a beating, no worries.



Back into the range.



I had a considerable pause before crossing this wash. I found yesterday that on the steepest slopes there is a limit to what you can push up. Despite the fact I ride in proper Scarpa hiking shoes, the loose stones often meant I was pushing myself backwards as much as the bike forwards. It doesn't look it in the photos but this was super steep. Now I've never been a particularly talented or natural skills rider, but I rode this, literally saying "confidence, confidence, confidence!" out loud to myself going into it. Had enough momentum to pedal out the other side, phew!



The scenery was just spectacular. I lost the trail and just followed the dry river bed (which I think was actually the trail).







Then, just like that, I was through. The Heysen Trail just follows the watercourse so just stays low the whole time. Nothing gives you quite a boost as something being much easier than you thought it was going to be. Mind you, no regrets about yesterday's efforts. I had certainly experienced the range to its fullest. I wonder how many people get in there, not many I guess.



So, and easy ride out to the bitumen road, and in good spirits (important when riding solo). A short detour north up the bitumen, past Worlds End campground I thought I'd be staying at last night. Then turning off east, heading out on more farm tracks.

I wonder how old that gatepost is?



A nice steady climb. Looking back, with the extra distance you can start to see some of the dramatic slopes of the North Mt Lofty Ranges, which I tried to cross yesterday, when you're closer you can only see the gentler slopes on the edges of the range.



More steady uphill I got to a good lookout. Looking east towards the Riverland.



It was starting to feel pretty remote again. Even though I wasn't that far from relatively busy regional areas. On a bike it's just different.

I disturbed a large group of Emu's, maybe 20 adults. You don't normally see them in such large groups. The private conservation efforts must be paying off, as they clearly weren't used to seeing many humans. One fell over in its own feet such was its haste to get away, no harm done though it would seem.

The scenery was starting to look properly 'outback'.



Another mini, little known park to check out. This also marked the point I turned the bike south, time to start riding towards home.







Good riding today. One of the benefits of picking these little known places and roads, is the roads are generally much less corrugated than the more populated tourist areas.



It was about time for a break, elevenses as we call them in the old country.. This low carb food was working out great, good sustained energy, none of the high/low energy crashing I had on the last big trip.

 
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Rufant

Well-known member
South Australia is clearly mostly a dry environment. however, as you can see from the dry river beds, when the rain comes, it really comes.



I passed many ruins. As one farm gobbles up another throughout history. Some of them look like you could do a bit of DIY and basically move in.





Others, not so much.

What always strikes me is the amount of workmanship and material that goes into these structures. That's a lot of work. How many generations did it take before it could be left to ruin because there were other options?



Eventually I ran out of dirt road and an easy ride down the tarmac to the small town of Robertstown. I was hoping there was an accessible water supply here. I was down to my last bottle.

Almost all of the buildings that would once have been a 'facility' are now private residences.



However there was this nice park for a spot of lunch, toilets, phone reception.



Most importantly...



Country humour I guess..?





Late lunch, rehydrating and txt messaging done. It was time to get back on the road. I had seen a 'Scenic Road' back over the range I had crossed yesterday, with another road leading to it. That should be a nice afternoon's ride.

This sign on the way out there planted a seed of doubt.



5km down the road I could see what was coming.

When the road 'looks' that steep you know it's going to be no joke. I paused here for a while, it was about 2.00pm from memory. The options were to bust myself up over that climb and take whatever the scenic road had for me on the other side, and get into the town I was heading for well into the evening tonight. Or, take the boring dirt road this side of the range, and be in early enough for a beer and set up camp in the light...





Boring road won.



Boring it was too, only the odd old car wreck to divert the attention. However it was the right choice. Still with two days to go after this at least, you can only push yourself so hard. The cumulative effect of too many big days adds up. You only get so much recovery out of a mini trangia meal and a night slept in a tent on a 3/4 sleeping pad.



The dirt ended at the small hamlet of Point Pass.



 
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Rufant

Well-known member
A few km down the bitumen I came across this familiar striking Lutheran church. I've been this way many times before, on my way to or from some northern adventure.



The beauty of being on the bike is you notice and stop at things that otherwise might pass you by. So a few km later I had a wander round this cemetery set back slightly from the road.





These gothic masterpieces caught my eye.



Not just German names here, these were inscribed in German.



One of the good things about writing these reports, is you can educate yourself when you get home, on the things you discover but don't know much about. Like Lutheranism:

Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. The reaction of the government and church authorities to the international spread of his writings, beginning with the 95 Theses, divided Western Christianity.[1] During the Reformation, Lutheranism became the state religion of numerous states of Northern Europe, especially in northern Germany and the Nordic countries. Lutheran clergy became civil servants and the Lutheran churches became part of the state.
wikipedia.

Or, the German settlement of South Australia:

Organised immigration to South Australia from Germany began from 1838, with the sponsorship by George Fife Angas, chairman of the South Australian Company, of a group of religious refugees from Silesia led by Pastor August Kavel. The first group settled on the River Torrens north of Adelaide at a place they named Klemzig after the town from which most originated.
Other groups followed, settling at Hahndorf and in the Barossa Valley. Between the 1850s and 1870s large numbers of German immigrants were arriving weekly at Port Adelaide. By the First World War 10% of South Australians were of German descent.
As farm workers in particular, the German immigrants were valued for their steady industriousness, and the origins of South Australia's wine industry are credited with individual German families.
State library.

I rolled on. Into the charming country town of Eudunda.





Coopers Dark Ale. The publican came out for a chat/to smoke a rolly... He has owned/run pubs all over outback South Oz, including Melrose, Maree, Oodnadatta and then retired to Morgan on the Riverland. This pub came up needing restoration and here we are, obviously in his blood! (I'm not sure his wife shares his enthusiasm, but there we go).



Made even more charming by offering free camping behind the footy oval. I might have been stretching the friendship by camping on the grass, but no one seemed to mind. Between lush grass, a table, water, even power to charge my phone. I was not complaining (although I didn't think it through about the lush grass, until the sprinkler system hit the tent in the middle of the night, with full force! My 15 odd year old tent held up, luckily...)



I make a point of spending money in the towns I pass through. So I walked back into town for dinner at the pub.









Another good day. More to come. Thanks for reading.
 

Paddler Ed

Adventurer
Glad to see another fan of Pile/Pertex - I've got a Montane jacket I got in about 1999 (back when Montane were still made by Geordies and you'd speak to the ladies who worked on the shop floor to find out how an order was progressing), and a couple of Mardales I got in 2007; I've got one of my Mardales out here in Aus with me as well, and it'll get used this weekend I suspect as it's pretty cool up here at the moment.
 

Rufant

Well-known member
Glad to see another fan of Pile/Pertex - I've got a Montane jacket I got in about 1999 (back when Montane were still made by Geordies and you'd speak to the ladies who worked on the shop floor to find out how an order was progressing), and a couple of Mardales I got in 2007; I've got one of my Mardales out here in Aus with me as well, and it'll get used this weekend I suspect as it's pretty cool up here at the moment.
I've heard the Montane stuff is very good, the Mardales are new to me though.
I got my Buffalo Special 6 Shirt in 1999 too! Other jackets have come and gone but it is still my go to. I recently bought another one which took several months due to the situation in the UK.
Whereabouts in NSW are you? I've done a bit of travelling there in the fourby.
 

Rufant

Well-known member
Part 3.

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Come the morning my 'drying cloth' got another good work out. To dry the outside (sprinkler system) and inside (condensation) of the tent flysheet. A random microfibre cloth was something I chucked in at the last minute on my last trip, yet one of those item I used nearly everyday, and so it was on this trip too.

Again, use what you've got to make the pack up easier.



Packed up, it was back into town for a bakery breakfast. As I said I was mostly fuelling differently this trip, but some things can't be missed, they are part of the trip (also, stay metabolically flexible :)



Riding into town coincides with children walking themselves to school. I get plenty of waves, smiles and saying hello. The most natural thing in the world, especially when there is a fool with a push bike and trailer to liven up the morning walk. Except you wouldn't get it in the cities, the kids stare but but don't say anything. I get why people move to the country to raise their children.

That the (adult) people are more friendly goes without saying.

This artist is cleaning up around here.



Hints of the German settlement past are everywhere.



Unfortunately I feel lots of that culture has been lost, especially a lot of the food and wine culture. However it can't have been much fun having a German surname around here in WW2. I can see how celebrating being 'German' would have been lost also, or maybe it's just the natural passage of time in a new country, no one here celebrates being 'English' either.

The state government has recently made a big deal about opening up our reservoirs, and the land around them for recreation (they will feature for me tomorrow!). Promoting this recreational resource heavily. Why were they locked up? That decision was made in WW2 due to the high German population in the state, the government were worried about the water supply being poisoned. In 2021 they feel that threat may have passed...

Fuelled up, I headed back out.

Pub from last night.



Non functional water tank on the way out of town.



Back to the oval to brush my teeth and refill the water. A couple of false starts getting out of town (land around towns tends to be more locked down unsurprisingly), in the end a short ride along the bitumen. Then onto something a bit more peaceful.



There was a patch of almond trees. Someone was trying to keep the birds off at least one of them.





King John Road stumped me for a minute, until I realised it wasn't an English King it was named after.



I was slowly winding my way south, sticking to the dirt roads.



I came across this striking lemon and lime church.



One of three churches in a row. This one built when the (very plain) one next to it became too small for the congregation. Once again it struck me what a hugely important part religion played in settling this, at times, harsh and barren country.



I disturbed a flock of very large pigeons that call the three churches home. Happy with me they were not.

More gothic triumphs in the cemetery.





 

Rufant

Well-known member
The dirt roads were easy riding, with only the odd challenging section to navigate.



Through the village of Dutton and then more back roads to the small town of Truro for lunch.

Past this substantial and substantially dilapidated house.



Truro is a busy little spot, sitting on a main thoroughfare for tourists and road-trains alike. It was a bit of a shock to my system after being mostly on my own for the last few days.

I had only consumed one small bottle of water this morning. I'm figuring water consumption has nothing to do with time or distance and everything to do with exertion. You can't have '3 days' of water, if you don't know what those days will bring. The paradox being is the terrain where you are likely to need lots of water, is also the terrain you are least likely to find it.

Predictable lunch.



Range Rovers... They get under your skin.



Back on the dirt. I was now skirting the edge of the Barossa Valley, which means only one thing, vines, lots of vines.



They have churches here too.



More good backroads. I was really clocking up the km today.



However they eventually ran out and there was nothing for it but to pound bitumen.

I was now into the foothills of the Mt Lofty Ranges, these rolling hills were keeping the lactic acid flowing in my legs. The climbs are moderate, but relentless. A bit of Type 2 fun to round out the day!



Then back onto dirt for the final section for the campground I was heading for. More pretty vineyards.



I was heading for a Forestry SA campsite. On arrival I read the sign about booking online, no worries I had full phone service now. The website was saying the campsite was full. This seemed highly unlikely on a Tuesday night in autumn. I decided to split the bike and trailer, hop the locked gate and go and look for myself.

Now splitting the bike and trailer with the trailer loaded is a bit of a trick and I didn't pull it off this time, I ended up with only one side of the axle disconnected and the unstable weight of the loaded trailer keeled over and bent the still attached other side lug... I was tired and frustrated. I should have checked the campsite booking earlier. I recognised this mental state, poor decision making leads to more poor decision making if you're not careful.

I hit the circuit breaker and got my good head back on. First, fix the trailer, as it won't currently fit back to the bike. A bit of massaging with the Leatherman and all was good. Good old chromoly steel. Now are there any other campsites? You've got internet... Yes, another campsite I knew only 5km away. I actually didn't feel like riding anymore, but I booked a site and knew it would be worth it once I got there. Google said 25 minutes ride, cross country.



15 minutes later I'm there. Nothing wrong with the body, it's all in the mind. Something you have to be careful with on these solo adventures.

I arrive as the sun is literally setting, and grab the first campsite.



The ground is super hard to get pegs in, they are just bending (it's probably time for some new pegs to be honest). I can't get any tension on the flysheet, with no wind or rain predicted it should be ok... Not for the first time a freestanding tent design seems to make a lot of sense.

Another tinned fish/fermented sausage concoction for dinner. For these trips I go to the Op (Thrift) Shop and buy a second-hand book to read. I had this book for months, as I'm reading it I realise it's set in Germany...



Big day today, maybe 90km. A real gravel grinder type day. Male Koalas carrying on during the night didn't stop me getting a good nights sleep, that's the one thing guaranteed out of this.

***​
 

Rufant

Well-known member
I'm up for sunrise.



Bent and loose...



I'm packed and on the bike in quick time. Good chance I can ride home today.

Pretty views through the pine trees on the way out.



It is cold in here though. I've got 2 x long fingered gloves on. Having long since learned that is the solution to stop frozen hands on a bike. On cold mornings like this you want uphill to warm yourself up, so of course I get a nice long descent to the reservoir. I stop in the sun to thaw out.





Autumn rules.



These newly opened reservoirs have trails through them. I decide to follow them this morning, no need to look at the GPS hopefully, just follow the signposts. I've ridden the second section before, however this first section is new to me.

Deciding to ride until I'm warm enough to loose the winter gear, I keep an eye out for somewhere for breakfast.

Not a bad spot.



Keto brekky.



I watch an ant make off with a flake of cheese, twice his size. Sometimes it's literally the little things.

Sat here I'm in a pretty good place. I say to myself, let's really enjoy today.

See - ecstatic...



Fuelled up. I hit the trail. So far it has been open and easy to follow. A couple of km later it closes in, considerably...



We head steeply uphill. I have to 'bump' the trailer over those wooden steps. This is strictly pushing territory. My lovely new wide bars, which I had appreciated so much up until now seem to snag everything.

Take a moment to appreciate some nature.



More uphill, more bushes, plenty with small thorns. It's death by a million scratches and a thousand pedals in the back of the thigh later, I finally get to the top.



Warren Conservation Park, crap, I've been here before. This terrain is no joke.

The trail opens up and I'm back on the bike. More mountain biking fun.



The downhill is about as extreme riding as I'm up to. The photos don't show the steepness. I actually walk two sections, but that brings it's own problems with the un-braked trailer continually trying to run away and jack-knifing with the bike.





I ride as much as possible. The rear of the bike is actually more stable than normal, not surprising with 30kg slung a metre off the rear axle. I'm really grateful for the full off road tyres in this section.

We bang, bump and skid our way down. You got to be glad for good gear here, we're all taking a beating.
 

Rufant

Well-known member
Finally I pop back out to the pine plantations. Phew! That was intense.



These tyres had literally 50km of road riding on them before this trip. They certainly had their work cut out - that seems like a lot of wear for 3-400km of riding.



Back to the easy plantation roads.



I pick up the trail I've ridden before, I know what's coming up and crack my final water bottle.



The Adelaide Hills is a pretty area.



So there are a good four or five steep hill/gully climbs coming up. I know now the technique is just to push as soon as you run out of momentum. On a shorter ride I'll crank as long as I can, but energy conservation is the name of the game here.



The new fuelling is working great too. No longer after doing a climb like this, do I come round the corner and see another climb like this, and think - I'm not even sure I can do this... I just get on with it. Probably not just the diet, experience is key too.



I bump the trailer over the last style. Talk to a lady about to walk her dogs, who are intent on sniffing me - yeah I probably smell pretty funky by now.



I've made good time. Just a lazy three hours on the bitumen home from here.



Good trip. Thanks for reading.
 
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