Lost and found (03/06/2013)
I took some Annual Leave to do a ride with Chris Cox on Monday 3rd June 2014. Unfortunately due to a recent knee injury I was still not 100%. Hadn’t ridden for a week, and unsure of how much I’d be able to ride. I pulled the plug on my ride with Chris, as I felt I needed to ride at my own pace to get through the ride ok. Still wanting to do some hills to test the knee. But nothing too challenging and opted on heading north from Pakenham. I decided to go exploring, and really wanted to see the Bunyip State Park. So choose a route through Tynong Road up to Gembrook.
I started the ride slowly, and really built my way up. There wasn’t any soreness in the knee which I was very relieved. I couldn’t give it any gas, but was happily enough just to be able to cruise. I headed up Tynong North Road which turned out to be an awesome road to ride. The road rose slightly, but was more of a false flat than a climb. The road turned to gravel, and guess that’s the joys of exploring. I loved the gravel section alongside the Bunyip State Park. My knee was feeling strong, and I was able to push a little.
And the road started to ramp up.
I eventually came out on a paved section, and I looked up at the climb which was gold. My knee was strong & I actually was able to push quite well through this section. The climb up the Gembrook-Tomnibuk Road is a gem, and had no idea what I was in for. Its 5.3 km’s @ 3%, but the first km is about 1 km@ 10%. The scenery in this section of the Bunyip State Park was amazing, and well sheltered. It started to rain on me, but I was loving every minute of it.
Given my knee, I know I shouldn’t have been pushing myself so hard.
I was loving this ride. I was exploring and finding some awesome roads. After about 10 km’s of riding up Woori Yallock Road I was getting alarm bells. With a lack of reception was hard to look up where I was. Eventually I was able to get reception and found that I was heading towards Woori Yallock. It was now 3:30 pm and I was running out of daylight (sun was due to set before 5:30 pm).
My knee was ok, but I was feeling really drained and couldn’t smash myself too hard.
I looked at my options, and whichever way I went I was going to get back after the sun set. I opted to try Beenak Road, which goes through the Kurth Kiln Regional Park. Of course it turned out to be dirt. What an amazing road to ride up, but the further I went in, the worse the road condition was. It seemed more of a 4WD track at times. It was getting darker, and I was in the middle of no man’s land on my Road bike absolutely lost.
What had I gotten myself in for? There were quite a few junctures in Kurth Kiln, and I was worried that I would go down the wrong road. Sure I was panicking. Not only about getting lost, but with screwing up with the time. I was dreading the return trip as I know I’d be riding in the dark coming down the mountain, on what was a busy arterial road.
|When you’re riding along a dirt road & see something like this you know you’re lost!|
It was a huge relief when I finally turned back onto the main road Gembrook Launching Place Road. I came upon a hill, and gave it as much gas as I could, and cooked myself in the process. It was after 5:00 pm when I reached Gembrook, and I knew that it would be all downhill getting back, but it was starting to get dark, and I had no lights.
I pushed as hard as my dodgy knee would let me, and felt really uncomfortable any time a car got near.
The sun set as I reached Pakenham North and it was pitch black. With 10km’s to ride in the dark with no lights. I had to pull off the road quite a few times whenever a car was coming from behind, as I had no lights. Hoping to get back in one piece, and was not happy. I was exhausted by the time that I rolled back to my car, and was a small consolation that my knee pulled up well after this ride. I couldn’t believe I knocked out a century with how I was feeling today. The thing I leaned from today that if there’s any doubt that you may ride in the dark bring a light. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an amazing ride where I got to explore like that, but who knows I may get lucky again.
Here is a link to my Strava Activity here: