2021-03-29 -36 148

From Geohashing
Mon 29 Mar 2021 in -36,148:
-36.3910060, 148.4310398
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On an epic solo cycle tour in the NSW Alps near Jindabyne.



This was never planned as a geohashing trip. I had a week off work and I was off for a relaxing cycle tour through some of Australia's Alps. Due to the random coincidences of the algorithm, geohashing ended up defining trip.

Saturday morning I'm on the train up to Albury, the start of my ride. With low expectations, I casually check the coordinates. Monday's point looks awfully close to my planned route. I zoom in, yep, it'll be easy! The only catch I was planing to ride past on Tuesday, not Monday. I dismiss the idea as silly. Why would I blast through the best part of my ride quickly? It gnaws away in my head and by the time I've reached Albury, I'm going to take a crack.

I fly out of Albury, quickly picking up some food to eat while I ride. Dodging some heavy showers, I make it 10km further than planned. 106km all up. This might be possible.

Sunday: Plan was to get up early before the general store in the next town opened. I didn't. Rolling at 8:30am. Time for ginger beer and ice cream instead. The day starts easily, cruising along the murray river. After 2 hours I turn off from the flat lands and head up into the hills. I've got about ~1400m of elevation to gain. My four wheel drive track is steeper than expected and I have to go into the red zone to keep climbing. 800 meters higher I'm back to easy sealed roads. 10 hours, 100km and over 2500 meters of climbing I turn onto the management tracks I'm here for. I push a good 10km in riding under the full moon. Absolutely beautiful, despite recent fires. I arrive at a hut to sleep in. Dinner and straight to bed.

Monday: This is it. The day of the hash. 90km to go. Through some of the toughest riding I've done. I try to get going early, but it's cold and I'm tired. Finally rolling at 8:49. It's beautiful, tough riding, but I'm enjoying every minute and full of irrational optimism. 2 hours and 17.5km in I'm brought back to reality a little with my first flooded creek crossing. A bit of faff to cross this and I know there's at least one river that could be in flood to come. Still, I maintain a foolish view about reaching the hash.

29km and 3 and a half hours in, I close in on Mackey's hut a good spot for lunch. I fill up my water bottles at the creek just before the hut and jump back on my bike. *Bang*. My saddle falls away and I'm left with a bare seatpost.

The M8 saddle retention bolt has snapped. Despair sets in. My bike is unrideable. I gather up the parts of the seat post and push my bike to the hut. I rummage through my spares, I would have sworn I packed a spare M8 bolt. I can't find it.

Then wave of relief washes over. It's ok. There's nothing I can do. I'm not going to be able to reach the geohash. I may as well enjoy where I am, have lunch and work out what to do.

I enjoy my lunch and environment. It's just on the edge of the horrible 2019/2020 bush fires and I was loving returning to unburnt alpine bushland. I pull apart my spare kit. Nothing. I end up using an M5 bolt to hold the saddle in place. I backtrack ~10km to a dirt road that I can roll down into town. Initially the M5 bolt was slipping, but after numerous adjustments, the M5 bolt appears to be holding ok. I fly down into civilisation. It's 6pm. Not much sun left. I ride through a hamlet, hoping there's someone that could give me a lift into Jindabyne (another 40km, the first place that will have a bike shop or hardware store). No one around. I roll on as it gets dark. A car coming the other way slows down, "Are you alright?" I pause. "Sort of..". I then explain my situation. The driver offers me a bed for the night and a lift into Jindabyne the next morning. I graciously accept.

Tuesday: The geohash is long gone. I get a lift into Jindabyne. Buy two new bolts. Grab some bakery treats and roll on. The second half of the trip runs smoothly. Except for the fatigue. I may have pushed a bit hard at the start... Would have been worth if I'd made it. Maybe next time.




Talex earned the Train wreck consolation prize
by failing to reach the (-36, 148) geohash on 2021-03-29 For want of a bolt, the seat was lost.
2021-03-29 -36 148 PXL 20210329 022807288.jpg