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Over the hills and far away…

Over the last month or so I’ve been planning a ride over the D’Aguilar Range with a few friends. We had arranged for about 15 people to do the ride today, but it started raining a few days ago, which meant most people didn’t want to do it due to the weather.

Despite the rain, five of us decided we’d give it a go today anyway. After all, fortune favours the brave, and as Woody Allen once said, 99% of success is simply turning up.

So we set off on our bikes from Ferny Grove Railway Station shortly after 7am, hoping to arrive back their later in the day by train.

Dundas RoadDundas Road
This time I think our determination paid off. The rain didn’t really hassle us too much until we got to the misty high-point of the trip at the top of Dundas Road near Mt Nebo.

From there the track became steep and muddy. The rangers have taken a grader along the fire trail recently to smooth it out. This is normally a good thing, but in the current wet weather it made the trail loose and muddy with a consistency in some parts similar to peanut butter. Some of the descents are steep, and I think we did well to keep the bikes under control and not fall off.

By the time we got to Fernvale, the bikes were caked with mud, and the chains were clogged with grit.
Hosing off the Mud
Darb had a brilliant idea to hijack the firehose at the local petrol station (after asking them first) and blast the mud off the bikes. I think each bike lost a couple of kilograms of weight in the process.

From there we followed a few of the quieter gravel roads south to Walloon. The rain got heavier, the roads got muddier, and we eventually rolled into Walloon dirty, drenched, cold and thirsty.
Cheers!Cheers!
I read somewhere that beer is one of the fastest drinks to re-hydrate and replace minerals lost due to hard work. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but we decided it would be worthwhile trying it out. I think we agreed.

The ride was trickier due to the rain, but easier because we avoided the “Wall of Dirt” due to the wet weather. Almost 70km, about 1,350m ascent / descent and 3,900 kcal. On the tough-o-metre I’d still give it 9 out of 10.

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