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Pirates of the Burley Griffin
A schedule bears the same relationship to reality as Astrology.
Day 4 - Beach to Beech - Westport to St Arnaud 
13th-Mar-2009 09:45 pm
Open Road!
A great morning, a phobia moment, and an afternoon grind. Oh and gorgeous scenery.

I was bouncing this morning and eager to ride so I elected to ride the first 6Ks out of Westport before continuing into the Buller Gorge (see, I told you it was a pun :) ).

The ride to Berlins Cafe (and, yes, I think I did that ride in the reverse direction last time although it was raining) was quite simply glorious. The weather was just about perfect for a start. I wasn't pushing it, I was just pootling along having a ball and I've no idea how many photos I took beyond "lots". Once again it was nice to spend some time riding with people (Paula and Milton this time) whilst enjoying the scenery and discussing how like Paula's home in Montana it was and how different the Buller Gorge is from the gorges in the Kimberleys around Wittenoom.

After morning tea it was on to the Iron Bridge at the base of a monster hill before being picked up to drive to Murchison for lunch. Phillip, naturally, kept going and I think had passed the bridge before the bus got there. With the delay needed to collect everyone at the bridge and another stop, he actually beat us to Murchison!

We stopped at the Buller River Swingbridge which is pretty much what it sounds like: A wire bridge over a raging river. I tried to get across it, and even got a couple of photos about a third of the way across when my fear of heights kicked in to the point where I turned around and went back. There isn't an alternative return crossing (at least not that I'm aware of) and the swing bridge is kind of transparent in addition to, well, swinging. Really not a place for me to be. Oh well I tried knowing it could be a problem so I think I get points for that at least.

Then we drove to Murchison for lunch in a cafe that clearly used to be a service station. Another drive took us towards St Arnaud for the evening's accommodation and I elected to ride the last 15 Ks or so in. Long straights with a gentle climb and a mild tailwind, not a particularly interesting ride, but the approaching mountains with the vastly different (and reduced) vegetation were something of a distraction.

A good day with much fun had. Stats:

Day Max Average Distance Time BJ Rank  Against
450.4 17.1 72.35 4:13:42 10614444 
  Totals 235.4213:13:55 

Hey! I managed 13 hours and 13 Minutes ride time total on Friday the 13th! How cool is that?

And no, I'm not sorry for it. :)
14th-Mar-2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
Huh, I got vertigo just reading your description. Kudos for you for trying it!
15th-Mar-2009 06:13 am (UTC)

I was thinking today how odd it was that standing over heights scares me...but a screamingly fast descent through a tight curve doesn't.
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