Snowy River Loop (21/11/2014)

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I was physically & emotionally wrecked from riding over 300 km’s around Mount Kosziosko two days earlier.  Chris & Sam had family commitments and with a full day to myself how could I not go out for a big one?  Temperature wise the day would be perfect.  There were heavy winds forecast, and I knew that I would be likely to cop them on the way back.

Snowy River Loop

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The scenery was breathtaking, but right from the outset my legs had little punch, and I was forced to pace myself.  On our epic loop, I had to pull the plug in Jindabyne, and was let down that I couldn’t finish the epic.  To get the chance to return and finish off this leg was part of the motivation of getting out there today.  I flew through Jindabyne and was incredible to see Lake Jindabyne to the left side of town.

Lake Jindabyne is one of the largest fresh water reservoirs in New South Whales.  Having a reputation as being one of the best places to catch Trout in Australia.

Snowy River Loop
Lake Jindabyne
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In between Jindabyne and Berridale, there were a number of categorised climbs which gave me so much grief the other night.

With a tail wind behind me, I was able to give them some gas and really hammered it through this section.  My legs woke up and I started to feel alive.
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I stopped in at Berridale where I had a quick bite to eat.  Eyeing off a segment just south of the town which was only 400 metres @ 4%.  I only needed 33 km/h and certainly wasn’t going for it as a challenge.  Yesterday wasn’t the best of days.  I wanted something to make up for it, and hey I thought it would be nice to bag my first interstate KOM.

At the start I lined it up and got out of the seat.  Sprinting all the way up to the top of the climb.  I honestly wasn’t expecting to average 44 km/h, but I’ll take it.  From Berridale to the next town Dalgety I was expecting some form of tail wind, but alas it wasn’t to be.  I copped a strong cross/head wind through this long section and my average speed dropped dramatically.

Snowy River Loop
Left or right to get back to Jindabyne?

This was one of the most breathtaking areas I had ridden through as I was heading towards the Snowy River.

Fighting the winds through here was more than worth it.  I breathed a sigh of relief when I reached Dalgety.  Stopping for a Cake & Coke.  From here I then crossed the Snowy River and headed straight into a wall of wind.  Battling headwinds of over 60 km/h.  At times I was punching out 15 km/h on flat sections of road and was suffering.  There were a number of rolling hills along the way which are normally my bread and butter, but had to fight every inch of the way.

Snowy River Loop
The Snowy River
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I had driven through here on the way up and knew that there was one truly nasty climb.  I knew that I was going to hit it tired, but didn’t factor in that I’d be doing it into a head wind.  Overall the climb is 3 km’s @ 9%, but the first part is similar to Terry’s Avenue.  Ramping upwards of 18%.  The first 1.4 km’s averages 11% until the road flattens out to a nice 3 – 4% before ramping up again towards the end.  I gave it everything, and given the conditions was lucky to average 11.4 km/h.  It took me almost 16 minutes to climb, and was a total nightmare.  Under nicer circumstances I would have loved this climb.

Ultimately it broke me.

This was not the end of my misery.  There were still several Categorised climbs between here & Jindabyne with strong cross winds making me work the whole damn way.  I collapsed in Jindabyne and consoled myself at Gloria Jeans.  It wasn’t even lunchtime and I still had the whole afternoon to ride.  Frustrating as I was completely spent.  I didn’t know how I would muster the energy just to get back to Crackenback.  I still had 20 km’s to ride squarely into that head wind which was relentless.  It wasn’t going to be fun.  But I knew that I didn’t finish the ride on Wednesday, and this was my 2nd chance to make up for it in tougher conditions.
Snowy River Loop

That last bit hurt!

I ran out of water, and had to stop several km’s short of our accommodation at a Winery.  I passed Sam & Chris on the way back who were headed out to Charlotte’s Pass.  They asked me along but I was completely spent and in shell shock.  It really sucks when you go out for a loop like this.  Copping cross/head winds for the majority of the ride, but the scenery certainly made up for it.
Snowy River Loop
In three days of riding I was fast approaching 10,000 vertical and well over 400 km’s.  I hurt, but it had been an amazing week.  I was heading back tomorrow.  Heading to Anendale to compete in the Orica GreenEdge River & Winery Ride for the third straight year.  I was spent, and had serious doubts about having the energy to make it through this one.
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Here is a link to my Strava Activity here:
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