Posts tagged ‘bike ride’

Great Escapade Report

567 kilometres on a mountain bike over 9 days.  Here is my day by day account.  I will post some photos later.

Day 1 Saturday 28 March: Margaret River to Bussleton – 66km We set off from Margaret River at about 9.30 am and cycled along Caves Road under a winding tree covered canopy. Lots of wineries in this area. The last few kilometres into Busselton was along the bike path by the beach – spectacular ocean views and fresh salty air. The camp site was by the beach and we had a bit of trouble getting our tent up as it was so windy. It was OK once we had tied it down. The thing we will remember Busselton for is that we enjoyed the most fantastic iced coffee we have ever tasted!

Day 2 Sunday 29 March: Bussleton to Donnybrook – 67km The ride began along the beach front again, before going through the Ludlow Tuart Forest. Then it got a bit hilly as we navigated the apple growing country down into Donnybrook. After we set up the tent it was off to the shop to buy a few necessities we had not thought to pack – like clothes washing detergent and pegs! Very important to wash the cycling “nicks” out every night so they remain clean and fresh. All sorts of nasty problems can arise otherwise!

Day 3 Monday 30 March: Donnybrook to Bridgetown – 94km This was the most difficult ride day – both because of the length of the ride (94 ks) and because there were some really steep hills! The rise was 300 metres with a couple of immense hills and some lovely down hills to compensate. I lay down on my bike to cut wind resistance and freewheeled down the steep descents. Wish my bike had a speedo so I know how fast I went – it was a great feeling. The afternoon rest area was at a winery, so I had a little sample to fortify me before riding on. Bridgetown is nestled amongst the hills on the banks of the Blackwood River. It is a very pretty little town with many historic buildings.

Day 4 Tuesday 31 March: Bridgetown to Manjimup -51km Since Bridgetown is in a valley, it doesn’t matter which way you exit town, you will have to go up a hill, and we had to go up a very big hill at the start of this leg. After that the route was described as “undulating” and took us past huge Karri trees and into Manjimup. As we got more experienced we became wary of that word “undulating” when it was used to describe the route. I am convinced it is just another word for difficult! It rained quite solidly at Manjimup, which made the camp site soggy. Everything felt damp, and in the morning we had to pack up a wet tent. Not much fun.

Day 5 Wednesday 1 April: Manjimup to Pemberton – 51km There were native forests with giant Karri trees, also some plantations, wineries and farmland along this route. After 5 days of riding we felt well and truly ready for our rest day. It was sunny when we arrived at Pemberton, so we unpacked the tent and it dried out in no time. We relaxed at a wood gallery/cafe before tea.

Day 6 Thursday 2 April: Pemberton – REST DAY There was lots to see – a few people climbed the Gloucester Karri Tree, but we were looking to enjoy a restful day, so we took a bus to the Lavender and Berry Farm and enjoyed absolutely divine berry pancakes and coffee. We got back to camp around noon, just in time to grab our washing in before it started to rain. We went into town for an “all you can eat” curry, then waited for the bus to take us to some wineries for wine tasting. Although we waited in the rain for 45 minutes, the hoped for bus didn’t turn up. We discovered there was wine tasting at the hotel, so we went there and sampled wines from about 6 different vineyards, then had beer and wedges with chilli sauce and sour cream before heading back to camp for tea.

Day 7 Friday 3 April: Pemberton to Nannup – 87km Refreshed and ready to go again, but when we got back on the bike seat it didn’t feel like we had been off at all! This was another one of those “undulating” rides, but there was a fantastic downhill section leading to the lunch spot.

Day 8 Saturday 4 April: Nannup to Augusta – 86km Two big days in a row! The good thing about this day is that the ride was mostly downhill as we headed for Augusta, so it was a much easier ride than yesterday. It was warm and sunny when we arrived in Augusta. There was a festive air at tea, as this was the last night. Lots of wine to celebrate.

Day 9 Sunday 5 April: Augusta to Margaret River – 52km I set off early today – 7.30 am. This was a relatively short ride, but by no means an easy one. They threw a couple of giant hills at us and by the time I arrived at Margaret River I was not sad that the ride was over. A couple more kilometres to ride to pick up the car, then back to collect the luggage. We chilled out in the town with a hot lunch and iced coffee at a cafe before setting off for the drive to Perth.

Overall it was a huge achievement and I’m glad I did it. 567 kilometres! I am sad that I did it on a mountain bike – that made it really hard work and I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more on the road bike.

April 5, 2009 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

What next?

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Now that my triathlon is a thing of the past, a few people have been asking me – what next???

Well, I already have it planned. The Great Escapade is next. It is a 537 km, 9 day fully supported bike riding holiday! All meals and entertainment are laid on – you pitch your own tent at night. They are expecting around 2,000 riders to take part. Should be fantastic fun! My husband Peter and our friends Megan and David are coming with me.

The ride sets off from stunning Margaret River on Saturday 28 March and traverses the varied landscapes of this beautiful corner of Western Australia. The route goes through national parks, farming areas, winery country and Karri Country before returning to the ocean where it all began, back at Margaret River, on Sunday 5 April.

Here is a map of the route.ride-map1

These are the towns we will visit along the way.

March 4, 2009 at 11:08 am Leave a comment


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