It’s been a long weekend, readjusting to life in Austin after being on the road for over a month: household duties, errands and trying to get back in the swing of things. Hopefully you got to ride more than I did…
Yes, these roads are as beautiful as they look here. Except, I heard one of the teams died at the hands of a hungry pack of drop bears? Check out more at Rapha.
Need some weekeend inspiration? Check out the latest from our brothers overseas:
“Rising up from sea level to 2,054 ft in 6 miles, Bealach Na Bà is the 3rd highest paved road in Scotland. Bealach Na Bà is one of the few roads remaining that was engineered like those in the alps with tight hairpin turns and 20% grades so it was an easy decision when it came to choosing a location for this 5th Floor & The North Race collaboration ride.
Few can narrate like Andy from FYXO. I can only imagine the stories he’ll tell his daughter when she is all grown up. My recount of Shifter Dan’s Birthday Bush Bash Day 02 pales in comparison to that of Fyxomatosis’ efforts.
Head over to Fyxomatosis now to check out more great photos and a pretty great ride recap. I already miss that place…
The wood is a magical place. It turns fat bloggers into slightly less fat raconteurs. It clears your head, makes your chest pound, legs throb and palms sweat. You bond with your mates and let the beauty of nature envelop you. The first day of Shifter Dan’s 40th Birthday Bush Bash set the stage for the second…
After a much-needed 12-hours of sleeping, I awoke in my Courthouse Hotel bunk bed to the call of the Magpie and the ruckus of Cockatoos around 7am. We showered, packed and went over our bikes. Which, after the rutted, bumpy and dusty descent into Jamieson, were in disrepair. A little bit of lube and a quick tightening of the bolts and we were ready to take on the second day of Dan’s 40th Birthday Bush Bash.
The course this year was the reverse of last year. We left climbing over the Great Dividing Range and ended up on the very track that caused so many flats on the previous ride, but this time we were climbing up, rather than flying down. Our spirits were bright, our legs were loose and all we could do was soak in the sights and sounds of the bush.
We finished the day at 76 miles and over 14,500′ of elevation gain. There was only one thing, wait, a few things that I wanted after the ride: a bottle of ginger beer, a coffee and a pair of mushroom and steak pies!
Enclosed is the ride report for the first leg of this 19.33 MP/C* ride.
Check out a bunch of narrated photos in the Gallery!
… to be fair, I was sprinting ahead to shoot a photo. Nice video Andy. It really captures the serenity of that stretch of road.
Photos by Andy White
Many years ago, Andy had his first love affair with the ‘Wood. You can read about it here (seriously, do it). I remember the first time I read that ride report. My mind was blown. “Those Aussies are insane”. This year was the first time a large group went on the ride and it won’t be the last time. Before you read about some brand claiming the roads are their own, go out and do it yourself. These roads are yours for the taking.
If you need any more motivation, head over to FYXO for the full checklist of how to get into the ‘Wood as well as more incredible photos.
Great photos Andy. Let’s do it again in October.
Let’s rewind a week or so ago. I had just “escaped” from China and landed in Melbourne via a hellish flight, filled with turbulence, a pesky, smelly neighbor and suspect food. Andy picked me up and after noting an “off smell” (me), he asked what I felt like doing. What came out of my mouth never felt more right: “a ride”…
You know, like 30k or so. Just a pleasant spin around the ‘hood. With FYXO, there’s no such thing as short and sweet. We went here, then there and ended up on Bald Spur road, one of the many areas that was ravaged by the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009. Trees stripped of their leaves, half-charred houses, melted water towers littered the roadside.
It was around 60 miles and 6,000′ or so. I didn’t have my Garmin, so my legs, the elapsed time and post-ride appetite were the gauge. To think that this was all in Andy’s backyard…
Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery.
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 (the last photo is my Leica M7 with Zeiss 28mm)
“Aged many years in the wood”. How many years? Well, like everything in Straya, there’s a story for that. Daniel John Hale has seen his share of saddle time in the years he’s spent on Earth. An ex-pro mountain biker, owner of the Best Bike Shop in the World and one of the first solo riders to take on this particular area of Australian Bush, Dan’s no stranger to the wood.
Ten years ago, he did a similar ride to what we just completed this past weekend but instead of two days, it took him four. Rather than ride a mountain bike or a geared bike, he took his singlespeed Monster Cross. No GPS, no satellite phone and no idea where he was going, save for a map he bought on the side of the road. Later, he, Dave, Scooter and Andy began to tackle these rides annually. That’s 10 years in the wood of Upper Yarra, familiarizing themselves with the ‘bush, the many off-shooting tracks and trails.
Last year, a very similar ride changed me as a cyclist. It took the 215 pound me and slapped it around before spitting (i.e. shitting) it back out. I learned a lot in two long days, but left Melbourne wanting more. When I mentioned returning this year, Andy proposed me landing in for Dan’s 40th. As Andy put it, “we’ll do another ride”…
I’m now around 185 pounds and have been putting in serious saddle time, so the anxiety wasn’t as bad. Until he showed me the route. Day 01, 100 miles, 16,000′ of climbing. BUGGA!
A total of nine riders started, seven finished. Andy’s brother made it up the first climb before returning home and Scooter, one of the original badass couriers in Australia (and aforementioned Upper Yarra riders) only had time for Woods Point and back. That left Dan, Andy, Joe, Dave, Reuben, Mal and myself for the haul… Enclosed is the ride report for the first leg of this 26.6 MP/C* ride.
Check out a bunch of narrated photos in the Gallery!