Eight Peaks

Bimberi Peak from Corin Dam, ACT

This is something I've been thinking about for a while - climbing the tallest peak in each state/territory. It's a bit like the infamous Seven Summits, but not as death making and slightly more achievable. It was motivated the climb up Mt Ossa while walking the overland track in Tassie.  This would be a long term thing, trying to knock off one or two every year.

ACT: Bimberi Peak
NSW: Mount Kosciuszko
NT: Mount Zeil
Qld: Mount Bartle Frere
SA: Mount Woodroffe
Tas: Mount Ossa
WA: Mount Meharry
Vic: Mount Bogong

I could have a good crack at getting up Mt Kosciuszko and Bimberi peak this year. Maybe Mt Bongong too, if I'm lucky (haha.. Bogong). The others will have to come later!

Canberra - Murrumbateman Return

Had a lovely ride out to Murrumbateman this morning. The ride itself was a little more exciting, and not as hilly as the ride out to 'Lake' George. And it had a lovely little cafe! Exciting!

Waiting for the obligatory coffee is the worst part

Murrumbateman itself is a quaint little town, with lots of nice looking wineries in the surrounding countryside. It would probably make a nice little winter retreat. The ride was on predominantly on Barton Hwy, which had decent shoulders most of the way, with a few hairy spots. My favourite part was planning 'dodge the road construction stuff' - it kept me ammused for a little while.

It took me ages to find a 'Murrumbateman' sign. This was the main park in town, resplendent with gaffitied wheelie bins.

 I ran into Murrumbateman cycle club, or part thereof, at the cafe. Had a good chat with one of the guys. Apparently there's lots of nice back roads around the place for tranquil riding away from the bustling highway. A little local knowledge would go a long way it seems. Might have to catch up with those guys for a ride one day. Now for the stats:

Canberra CC - Race 3

The last of the three 'twilight' races for the year, this was my second foray into road racing in Canberra. A shortish course, only 27 km, but with two significant climbing sections. The first section was a long, fast decent into valley of the Murrubidgee River and a few break-away attempts were made, though all were reeled back in rather quickly. After crossing the river, there was a short sharp climb up towards the ACT/NSW border where the turn around point was. I was about halfway along the peleton at the beginning of the climb and saw this as an opportunity to move up a bit. A group of four riders, myself included, made it to the turn around with a bit of lead over the rest of the field.

Oh yeah... some topo action. Please note how Lake Burley Griffin looks like an angry octopus about to devour parliment.
After the turn around, I could see a massive storm front moving in our direction. There was quite a bit of lightning - I was wondering if it would turn into a wet race. The decent back to to river went fine but somewhere along the line we lost the fourth rider. The climb started out of the valley and my legs were already screaming at me. About a km or two into the climb, the other two riders started to pull away. I caught up two or three times, but they finally broke me after a little while. They stayed in sight, but slowly kept pulling away. Someone started to come up behind me and finally made contact. I jumped on his wheel for a while and then started taking turns, thinking we could have a crack at catching 1st and 2nd. However, he broke away up a hill after I'd taken a stint at the front. I did manage to catch him but it meant I was knackered when it came down to a sprint finish for 3rd place. Just missed out on the podium by a wheel length.

Riders on the storm
I was really happy with the way the race went. I'm glad it didn't rain - apparently it poured at the start/finish line while we were out. We were treated to a spectacular lightning show as we gobbled down post race hotdogs and coke.

Updated List of Places to Ride

In my original goals post, I outlined places I would like to ride to. After a bit more research, I've found some new places I'd like to try getting to, and put them in order that I will attempt them.

- Lake George, 68km round trip
- Murrumbateman, 75km round trip
- Bungendore,76km round trip
- Collector, 110km round trip
- Yass, 105km round trip
- Corin Dam, 125km round trip
- Cooma, 122km one way
- Braidwood, 173km round trip (road might be dodgy though)
- Batemans Bay, 146km one way (dodgy road?)
- Goulburn, 178km round trip (the giant ram lives here!)
- Canberra-Collector-Yass-Canberra, 195km 
- Cooma, 244km round trip
- Sydney???, 286km one way

Canberra - Lake George Return

One of my goals for this year was to ride out to Lake George, and I made it out there on a solo ride a couple of weeks ago. I later found out that this is one of the popular weekend rides for Canberrans (Canbrites?). The ride started out with a climb out of the valley that Canberra resides in along Northbourne Ave, which turns into Federal Hwy at some point. It was a little surreal as at one point I crossed the ACT/NSW border, coming from WA it had never dawned on me that I would ever ride across different states in the one trip!

The route to "Lake" George
At about the 20km, I turned off onto the old Federal Hwy, which runs along side the new one. It was a lot quieter and a lot more scenic than the highway proper, but there was a bit more up and down. Just after the turn off started another climb, a nice steady one with a little kick at the end. From then on it was reasonably smooth sailing, except for the blip of a hill just prior to reaching Lake George. Descending to the lake offered some spectacular views, with windfarms dotted all along the far shoreline. I couldn't see any water in the lake myself, but I've been told there is a small amount along one of the far sides.

It's definitely labelled a lake on the map...
The ride back was really nice as it felt mostly downhill, probably because it was!A very nice change after all the uphill on the way out. I can now can cross this one off the list!

Distance: 68km
Time: 2h 24min
Average Speed: 28km/h
Climbing: 550m