Wow, what a day! I knew I was in for another huge day of climbing, but the Snowies sure delivered! It’s probably not even my slowest day on the bike, but it’s for sure in the top 5, maybe top 3. I ended up with the most elevations meters ever on a ride, but that also meant an average of 18,3km/h at the end of the day. Funny enough it was only today that I was absolutely 100% sure I was going to make the finish line.
Cabramurra was about 80km from the motel, and the first goal was to get there for lunch. So I departed early-ish again, to cross the state border into New South Wales and start the long climb. It’s nothing like the Back of Falls though, I think the steepest parts were about 12% and they didn’t last too long. That being said, with the state my legs are in, I would only just about manage to keep grinding in the lowest gear until it got flatter. The weather couldn’t have been better for the climb. It was warm, but overcast and the breeze was maybe blowing in the wrong direction, it had a nice mountain coolness to it. But most of all, the scenery was so good, it was an absolute pleasure to suffer through it. Especially the dams up on the ridge gave some wonderful views.
Up on the ridge was also where the wind became more problematic. Without the protection of the trees I’d sometimes get thrown around on the bike. And once I was in Cabramurra with my big lunch (chicken nuggets, steak sandwich, potato wedges and best of all: a fresh fruit salad) the wind picked up even more. It made descending a lot more sketchy than necessary. I was also reminded of the fact that I needed to be careful for wildlife on this descent when I nearly hit a kangaroo. I was going at high speed when I saw the kangaroo hanging out really close at the side of the road. We made eye contact and he got startled and for a second I thought he was going to jump in front of me, but I was already passed, thank god.
The ride towards Cooma was then a near endless up and down, but luckily with more downs. I wanted to try and put the hammer down a little, because so close to the finish I didn’t feel like I needed to spare myself. So for the first time this trip I changed the Garmin from showing the route (it was just one way all the way to Cooma, even I wouldn’t get lost) to showing my basic info like speed and such. Well, that was a painful eye opener. Bike packs + tired legs = always slow speed even when you think you’re hammering. But, I still managed to push it and got to Cooma a little before 7pm.
I was going to stop there for the night, because then it will be a relatively easy 100KM into Canberra tomorrow. It also gave me the opportunity to complete the family reunion part of this trip and meet up with Phil, Lisa and James. They had a 90 minute drive from Merimbula to come see me at the parcours, so it was great it wasn’t just a quick wave, but we could actually sit down and have some Thai food (me slightly underdressed in my smelly cycling gear). I still can’t get over the fact they were willing to come all this way! I’ve now virtually met every Aussie family member (except for some of the kids).
Tomorrow I get to hand over the tracker to my team mate Myfanwy, who will bring it home to Sydney. That means my part will be done and I get to enjoy some clean clothes and time off the bike. The trip has been great, but I’m glad the end is in sight. 🙂