Thursday, 16 October 2014

Iditarod prep - a mixed gravel century (imperial)

Iditarod is coming...and I wanted to go push my bike up some stuff. Iditarod is not just about riding, it can be about pushing, for very long stretches, and sometimes carrying...depending on the weather.
I knew of some great pushes, separated by asphalt and gravel and other fun stuff. I really didn't have a route plan, just a loose idea of some places I wanted to ride - how I got to them was the adventure part of the day.

ADVENTURE BY BIKE is the Salsa catchphrase, and today I was on my modded Salsa Fargo titanium (more build info HERE).

You can find some great shortcuts by scanning maps, going on hunches, bending a few rules. Go West.

This aint 35c material, you gotta pack some width.

I popped out near a hwy, onto some urban singletrack.

...and out onto 'that other form of road' that continued West.

That sweet, sweet transition between today, and yesterday.

Compass to the south.

Growing up in a rural area you accepted gravel roads as a part of life. I had these awesome Continental 27x1 3/8 clinchers as a kid, those big bags took me places.

Like so many things in our cycling lives, gravel has that timeless, residual pull to the simplistic riding adventures of our youth.

I like lightweight gear, but I draw the line at my deep fryer. A hearty meal of battered fish and chips, calamari rings, battered pineapple rings and a banana fritter always goes down well.

The reverse of push.

I recall in '79, we walked some of the roads in this area, to celebrate the release of the Slim Dusty song - 'Walk a Country Mile'. Irrelevant fact - yes - but amazing what memories can surface on rides.

They don't make gravel like they used to.

Stopping for the real lunch by a brook. There was once a bridge here, but like many bridges in the region, either damaged from floods or age taking its toll, leaving dead end country roads with no connection...unless you're wearing your adventurous hat and socks.

Simple energy. I measured out the last of the rations, just a few jellybeans to cover the last 60 or so km to home.

The intel from a farmer indicated the bridge on this road was closed... but I had to find out for myself.

Rules bend, move forward and East.

Between the two pics were: back country roads; busted bridges; water refills; brown snakes; a short, sharp push followed by a long reverse push; eucalyptus leaves; asphalt; onto my last push of the day.

Views of ocean and fatbiking island gems.

Juxtaposed surfaces for the last stretch home.


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