Pie Eater 1.01.SE – Ride report: Part 2

16 06 2010

Continued from part 1:

We followed the GNW through to Millfield and then did some road touring as we rode through to Congewai. There was some beautiful scenery along the way with wide open pastures, lagoons and amazing escarpments that hemmed in the valley.

Ellalong lagoon

Some 12 years earlier, Brad had ridden a section of the great north walk from to top of barabba spur down to Congewai and remembered that it was going to be “uppity” with some hike a bike sections. Engrossed in conversation, we were thoroughly distractred by the scenery and sailed right on past the turn off.

We stumbled across a little stream which looked postcard perfect so Brad decided it would be suitable for drinking water. I was a little dubious and refrained from drinking any since I didn’t really want to get sick so soon into the journey. Brad was washing his face, filling his bottles and telling me how wonderful the water was when an unholy racket started up across the paddock. It sounded like a donkey trying to excrete a watermelon. To top things off, it was coming from upstream. I quickly decided that the disgruntled donkey was sick due to the water and left Brad to frolic in the stream while I attended to my front tyre this time…… DIY tubeless be damned!!!

Donkey stream crossing

Donkey stream

More pumping

We motored on and were now on the hunt for the trail junction (not knowing it was several kilometre behind us) and rode until the fire road petered out. A quick cross check of the topo map and the GPS soon showed us the error of our ways and we made our way back to the trail junction.

We climbed the fence to access the GNW and there was a barely discernable trail meandering through the paddocks. It was amazing riding! From this point, the trail began climbing. Slowly at first, as we followed the invisible trail through the paddocks and then more steeply as we linked up to a fire road. I managed to clear most of the climbs on the fire trails however, there were a couple of spots where I stalled and had to push up.

Trail by brail

GNW fence crossings

Soon the fire road gave way to what can only be described as a goat track. This bit was a killer. There was no other option than to get off and push. We climbed a couple of hundred meters and eventually approached the summit where the climb eased off and we could re-mount and continue riding.

Hike-a-bike

The photog using a photo as an opportunity to have a rest from pushing

Finally we could start riding again

Late afternoon sunshine

Mid trail obstacles - quite a challenge in full bike packing kit.

In the late afternoon, we reached barabba trig camp ground. We ate some food, put on some warm clothes as the evening chill was beginning to descend and I re-inflated my front tyre yet again. Brad had decided by this point that he was going to photograph me everytime I got the pump out so my humiliation was complete.

I'm starting to get a bit camera shy with a pump in my hand

Barraba spur was our first camping options as it has the most amazing lookouts and one of the best campgrounds I have ever seen! Since there was still plenty of light left, we decided to push on to Awaba and get some water along the way from one of the tanks at Heaton camp ground.

View from the main campsite on Barraba trig

The fire trail to Awaba was up and down as it followed the ridge line and there was some tough climbing mixed with some fast rocky descending. I burped my front tyre yet-again and needed to stop and pump it up – much to the delight of a Brad with camera in hand.

Not funny anymore!

to be continued…

To Part 3

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One response

17 06 2010
Sammydog

Did you have problems with your front tyre?

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