On one of the hottest days in summer, with a limited water supply, what better idea than to attempt a mountain bike tour?
The idea was to ride 30 km up Mt Nebo’s South Boundary Road, staying the night at Light Line Road Bush Camp. With a total of 700m elevation one way, it was going to be tough. – Tour Cycling On A Mountain Bike
“Adventure often starts on the edge of the unknown”
All up, this weighed around 4.5kgs without water – 7kgs with water.
Water Bottle – 75g, Hydration Bladder – 125g, Spare Tube – 200g, Pump – 185g, Spare Pants – 98g, Matches + 4X Firelights – 34g, Wet Wipes – 17g, USB recharge battery – 175g, Go Pro – 150g ,Head Torch – 73g ,2X Cliff Bars – 150g ,Oats – 170g ,Sleeping Bag – 1.14kgs ,Hammock – 592g ,Yellow Bag (will use for handlebar roll) – 448g , Fluid Back Pack – 418g
Not in picture but will need to bring (inculded in weight)
2X Tuna – 200g ,Water – 2.5kgs ,Plastic Spoon – 5g
Meet the crew:
The Kokoda Warrior and I rode to the start of Mt Cootha and travelled up and over the Powerful Owl Trail. The temperature that day was 39 – 42+ degrees C. As we climbed, I noticed my heart rate was well over 85% Max just trying to recover from a few steps up the trail.
This probably would have been a good time to realise that it was far too hot to ride… We kept on pushing.
We travelled down and along to Highwood Road where we met our third crew member – York – AKA “Bushcutter” (He had already done about 10kms). We then proceeded to travel up South Boundary Road which was a steady uphill gradient.
The heat exhaustion that we experienced whilst travelling over Mt Cootha was starting to slow us down dramatically. We stopped a few times to get food and water out of our bags, which eventually increased, stopping at the top of all the ascending sections.
We began to realise, help was required. We had travelled around 20 km by this stage and decided that it was far too risky to travel any further.
The decision was made to evacuate South Boundary Road and exit onto Mt Nebo Road via Scrub Road.
Scrub road was the first solid section of downhill riding we encountered. So we FLEW! so much so that I punctured both of my tires at the bottom. Talk about icing on the cake!
Followed by a steady incline of 2kms @ 7%, we finally arrived at Mt Nebo Road. 5 Hours later.
The call was made to our last crew member – “The Trail Blazer” Who was wise by meeting use at the top. He performed an emergency trail exit by providing super cold Zooper Doopers to the weary cyclists. We all rejoiced.
The Kokoda Warrior was transported by car to the nearest floor on which he spent most of the night. York and myself rode down Mt Nebo Road and proceeded to order Pizza and Beer.
How To Fail Gracefully
When plans don’t work out, often you can feel disappointment. I definitely felt like I let the group down by pushing on through the heat. I didn’t have a Plan B, so for a brief moment the journey felt like a failure.
However, as we travelled down Mt Nebo and watched the city glow, I began to realise that we had created a far greater adventure than previously planned. Adventure often starts on the edge of the unknown. It certainly was a great feeling to be out of the bush and returning home, but it was also intensely inspiring to know we where able to divert our plans and still have a great time. This is definitely an indication that our experience was comprised of a great group of people willing to push our own limits.
Isn’t that what adventure is about….?