Cycle Against the Beast – 2022
10th March, 2022
Today will be a moment of truth – will my bike hold up all day? Or will a flat tyre let me down again? I guess time will tell! 🙂After waking up this morning, everything seemed ok. So, take 2, I was feeling confident. Breakfast was at the local Macca’s this morning. We all packed up, got on our bikes, and rode the short distance. Two Bacon and Egg McMuffins and one hash brown. Yum. Hannah and I quickly hopped on our bikes to ensure we get get some distance before being overtaken by the others. Today’s destination was Narrandera, but with a stop at Ganmain. Ganmain is apparently well known for its pies. Some have stated that they’re the best pies around. Before that, though, we had to cross the Murrumbidgee River. The river itself is not that wide. However, due to the flood plane and the meandering river, the bridge carrying the Olympic Highway across it is quite long – about 1300 metres. Thankfully, there was a decent enough hard shoulder.
After crossing the birdge, we were off the Olympic Highway and on to the Old Narrandera Road. Not as busy, but still a decent amount of traffic. There was going to be one steep climb on this road. The bike was holding up nicely, though. After about 12 km, the climb was upon us. And a steep climb it was. I’m the first to admit that I’m not the fittest guy on the planet. And my hill climbing is a start-stop-start-stop affair. It was no different on this hill. But the descent down the other side was a fantastic reward. Our route would take us through the small town of Currawarna and I was looking forward to dropping into the general store for a cold drink – except that there was no general store. The next place to get anything would be Ganmain. Oh well. At least there was a bit of a tailwind (unlike earlier in the week).
After arriving in Ganmain, my bike was still holding up. Unfortunately, I wasn’t. I was pretty much broken for the day. Despite trying to remain positive, a combination of frustrations had finally got to me. A triple whammy, really. But I treated myself to a 750 ml bottle of ginger beer and a Ganmain pie. And, sure enough, one of the best pies I’ve ever had! I hopped into the bus for the rest of the day. In a way, I’m glad I did. There was one big climb into Narrandera, which was quite wicked. That evening, we were hosted by the local footy club in their new rooms.