Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Distance - 1847 kms
Average distance per day - 88 kms 
Time - 106 hours 45 minutes
Average time per day - 5 hours 5 minutes
Average speed -  17.3 km/hr
Climbing - 7448 metres

There were no epiphanies along the way. No sudden flashes of illumination. No becoming. No confronting fears. No need to find ourselves.

Instead this trip was a ruthless stripping back of the superfluous and inessential.   

What we have discovered is:

1. It would be easier in a car
2. It would be easier if we weighed less
3. The other side of the road is not smoother.
4. Head winds are always stronger than tailwinds.
5. Any food is good when you're hungry, even spam out of tin (when prepared carefully)
6. Public funding of research into making a better bike seat should be a government priority.
7.You can't always see roadkill, but you sure can smell it.
8. Chicken schnitzels are the energy source of champions. And hot chips. With chicken salt.
9. You don't need TV for entertainment. Go and talk to someone you don't know, it's a lot more interesting
10. Most of our problems are first world problems. 
12. You need very little to prosper, in fact the less you have to achieve something, the better the memories will be.
13. This type of experience could be addictive.

Thanks everyone for the phone msgs, blog comments and text msgs of support - they were all very much appreciated.

Now, what's next? We are open to suggestions.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Day 23 - Unfinished Business - Thredbo Village to Eagles Nest

As it turns out, the Merrit walking trail to Mt K is closed. Pity we didn't find this out until we got down from as high up as we could get.

Our bike ride has been book ended by warm weather, with cool weather in between. This has conspired against our quest for the summit. Some late season snow and the current warm temperatures   have made the upper reaches slushy and impassable with our standard walking attire.

We manfully gained the Eagle Nest after several aborted attempts. Fearing crevasses and after talking to the girl behind the counter, we reluctantly turned back.

I think the chairlift operator felt sorry for us so he gave us the ride down for free.

My comments on the Thredbo Villiage. I have no comment except to say that wandering around the ski fields for four hours I found 15 cents. If I'd stayed for another few weeks I could have found enough cash for an FUIC in any shop on SA. I would have had to stay an extra few months to buy one in the village bakery. 15 cents is also the change you get from $25 when you buy a pie and sausage roll.

My comment on global warming. If global warming is true, we could have walked to the summit with our hands in our pockets.

Stream half way up Mt K

The first snow up the walking trail to Mt K

Look at notices before you start

Hard to find your way - sign posts missing and snow obscuring the trail

Week 3 summary

Distance - 637 kms
Average distance per day - 106.21 kms 
Time - 32 hours 38 minutes
Average time per day - 5 hours 26 minutes
Average speed - 19.53 km/hr
Climbing - 4745 metres

Day 22 - Won't need to buy ice for the beer tonight - Khancoban toThredbo

Distance - 76 kms
Climbing - 2618 metres
View the ride here:

One of the best days' riding I can remember. Divided into two parts. I had planned to say that we travelled at speeds ranging from 6 to 60kph but we did get as low as 4 at some points.

The travelling South. 

The first climb saw Tony dancing on the pedals like Alberto Contador after a visit from Dr Fuentes. We climbed 1000m in the first 20 K's only to lose 600 in a steep decent. I was a bit worried that I was going to run out of brake pads on the way down. We had started early (adjusted for daylight saving) and the roads were quiet except for the odd snow plough. 

The end of the south section proved to be quite quick and we reached the Tom Groggin turn point brimming with confidence.

The travelling East. 

The last 15kms proved to be quite an emotional experience. Over 1000m of climbing with grades of 10% plus for much of the way. Tony got a bit messy in this afternoon's stage. We were out of mobile range so we couldn't place our own call to Dr Fuentes.  The last part of the days ride was through snow covered slopes where we managed to secure a little ice for the eski. Makes for cold beer! Tony especially enjoyed the extra 10k's we had to do to find a campsite outside of Thredbo.

The camp site we did find is on a fast flowing snow melt river. My dip in the river was a bit chilly. Tony, the soft Queenslander, remains unwashed.

Tony has found an excuse not to cook tea, so Kath is preparing her special tomatoes bacon and chilli pasta. 

All that remains is for us to have a quick walk up to Mt K tomorrow morning. 

Snowy Hydro Power Station on the way up

The highest point on the road, just short of Thredbo Village

Ice from the side of the road

Stream next to camp site - bloody cold as you'd expect

Hmmm....maybe not quite that steep, but it felt like it.

First snow on way up to Mt K

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Day 21 - Granny Gear - Tallangatta to Khancoban

 Distance - 110 kms
Climbing - 1237 metres
Descending - 1133 metres
View the ride here:

In a weird kind of way, that was fun.

We started at 200 metres elevation, rode 3 categorised climbs for 1237 metres but finished at only 300 metres at Khancoban.

The day started cold and windy but ended up pretty hot.  On the road at 6.30am. We took the High Country Rail Trail for about 10 kms, but it turned into a bit of a goat track so we returned to the Murray Valley Highway.  There was very little traffic and it was all very civilised for the first 20 kms - lovely rolling hills following streams fed by snow melt. 

And then the hills started.  The first was about 8kms at 6% average with the odd sharp bit. Out with the granny gear. At the top it was a magnificent 7km freewheel down to the Murray Valley floor.  Wonderful scenery, mountains either side and snow covered Alps could be seen in the distance.  

Arrived in Corryong in pretty good nick - we shared a hamburger and chips for lunch.  

The Murray Valley Highway gives way to the Alpine Way and the hills start again.  Arrived in Khancoban at about 2.30pm after a couple of sharp climbs, just in time to listen to the footy. We've scored again with a campsite overlooking Khancoban Resorvoir.

Today is the penultimate day for the Salt to Summit and just the entree for the main course tomorrow, Khancoban to Thredbo Village.  It's about 2/3rds the distance and double the climbing. Could be messy, maybe not the last day, see how we go. Wish us luck!!

Murray River

Local industry

Picture doesn't quite capture it but magnificent view to Mt K

Snow caps in the distance

Murray River

Camp overlooking Khancoban Resorvoir

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Day 20 - Trailers do make a difference - Rutherglen to Tallangatta

Distance - 90
Climbing - 455 metres
View the ride here:

Spent a great day in Rutherglen yesterday. Fantastic, friendly town. Reminds me of home. Kath also arrived last night to help out with the last few days of our adventure.

Tony and I felt a little guilty about leaving the "Kracka LFL's" in the team vehicle today, but "emphasis word starting with F", it was good. Nearly wore out the brakes  trying to slow down. I now feel confident about tackling the next few days. 

Stopped at a bike shop in Albury to buy some thin (and light) tyres. What a shop! Acres of bikes and even some spare parts. These tyres gave us a few extra kph on the ride out to Tallangatta. We followed a converted rail line. Can recommend this route. It follows the edge of the Hume reservoir. Bit rough on parts, but we enjoyed the absence of trucks and caravans.

We are now camped at a choice spot overlooking the lake and boat ramp. The bloke next door seems to be having some issues with the outboard on his fishing boat. Fair bit of swearing happening. All we need now is the hum of a power line over the the water. Ah, the serenity.

We must be at the height of the magpie breeding season. They have been going for Tony mostly. Tony says they go for the  fastest moving object. One hit me repeatedly in the back today. Tony thought it was funny. We did manage to tame one here at our camp (may have been tame already).

The rail trail notionally finishes here in Tallangatta, but we will follow it as closely as possible tomorrow on the way to Corryong.

Trailers where they belong

Must be one of the best Rail Trails around

Warning to others

On the Rail Trail

Rail Trail

Camping on Hume Dam

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Day 19 - Booze - Rutherglen Wine Tasting

Links between cycling and wine go back for centuries. In fact, alcohol was the original performance enhancing drug. In early editions of the Tour de France, domestiques would stop at hotels and commandeer whatever alcohol they could for consumption by the team, while they raced. Even now, who hasn't raced their bike home from the pub after a few beers. It works!!

We will we be testing out this theory today.

First stop was Stanton & Killeen.  What a fabulous lineup of wine and fortifieds,  very ably promoted by cellar door guru,  Joe Duncan. Joe is a wonderful ambassador for his organisation.

While all the grog was of a high standard, the highlight was some of the age ports together with a side-by-side tasting of the muscats through regional, classic, grand and then rare. The Grand and the Rare muscats in particular had an intensity and complexity that is difficult to describe.

Then it was across the road to Campbells. They have a larger selection of white and red wines, and varieties that you don't see everywhere, which made for some additional interest.  I thought their Cabernets were great, but the highlight was the Rare Muscat, which retails for $120 for 375 mls. The best Muscat I can remember in some time.

Back to reality tomorrow, with three, maybe four, days to go. A little bit anxious about the amount of climbing to be done. 500 m over 100 kms tomorrow, then 1500 m over 90kms on Saturday and 2500 metres of climbing over only 75 kms on Sunday. That will be an intense day, I'm tired just thinking about it.  

Different vintages to compare

Regional, Classic, Grand and Rare

Joe is a great host

Doing my best work

Everybody should have one

A muscat convert