I've ditched quantity for quality and today rode 52 awesome kilometers with Shane recce-ing his audax dirt ride From Fitzroy Falls, down through Meryla to Kangaroo valley. We decided to forego the car shuffle and take only one vehicle and ride back up Barrengarry as good Alpine Classic preparation.
The dirt bit was great, after a bit of exploration, and startling some Wallabies, we were able to find a side track that led us through the Falls lookouts and up to the fire trail and from there down into the valley. for a great descent and creek crossing watched by a Goanna and a water dragon. We paused for photos -
From the creek we had a bit o' climbing to get out of the valley. Shane aced it, while I lost concentration and lifted the front wheel and had to walk the last 100 or so metres to the gate. From there we undulated along (it's all downhill from here says Shane) until we found bitumen and headed to the end of the route at the Barrengarry Pie shop, where we had a well earned pie and long cold drink.
It was getting close to midday and it was really getting warm as we headed off to get back to the car. My Garmin had the temperature topping out at 42 as we approached Barrengarry Mountain. We encountered 3 broken down vehicles on the side of the road as we made our way up, all overheated and got to watching the NRMA guy drive up and down the pass rescuing them. We also encountered a lot of positive support from motorists, both the broken and the mobile during the ascent. I'm sure they thought we were mad.
It was a tough and slow climb on the MTBs but as with all things, it passed - and we were soon at the car most satisfied with the days riding. Driving back, we watched the outside temperature climb as we descended Macquarie Pass until we arrived at Shane's place for 37c, and we both glad for the cars air con.
We'll be back in a couple of weeks to ride it officially.