Day One... Bulls Head to Pryors Hut
We set off in clear weather, sun shining and not a breath of wind… good riding with some gradual rises and descents along the main track to Mt Franklin, approx. 500 meters from Mount Franklin my rear On One tyre deflated… it had delaminated along the rim … upon inspection the front tyre had signs that it was about to go also, thankfully we were still on the right side of the locked gates and were able to get our drop off crew to return with two new Surly tyres that performed faultlessly for the remainder of the trip...after passing into the locked section on Namadgi Park we continued to climb finding snow about 1600 metres.. fantastic riding in sunny conditions across the snow covered tracks… it was unpredictable when a tyre would dig into a soft patch and either throw you off or bring you to a sudden stop… about 5pm we set up camp around Pryors Hut… a welcome fire was lit in the hut..
Day Two... Pryors Hut to Pockets Hut
We headed off in snow on day two for 5klms… sunny and still conditions.. heading along the ACT/NSW boarder on Bimberi Range toward Leura Gap, weather conditions changed to light rain… all the fun left as we had to push up 250m over 1500m distance to the top of the Gap.... the bikes and panniers weighted in around 40kgs, there were amazing views from the top of Leura gap. After stripping and bikes lifting them over the fence into NSW it was a perfect place for a lunch and rest. The afternoons run was mostly downhill and a couple of creek crossings to Pockets Hut.
Day Three... Pockets Hut to Cooinbil Hut
Day three started with a bang as a piece of timber exploded in the fire… causing a fair degree of excitement in the group…with the flying hot coals.. We left Pockets Hut in pouring rain, protected in Gortex jackets and pants… after 200 meters and the first push up the slippery clay road to the plains we were stripping off the outer layers and going with a cooler option.. the next three hours of rain and sliding tyres interspersed with herds of Brumbies on the high plains saw us arrive at the Harris Hut ruins…our start of a 4klm horse trail to the back of Cooinbil Hut… in pouring rain we struggled for 4 ½ hours to pass this track on some occasions needing two per bike to get them up the steep, wet inclines..
Day Four... Cooinbil Hut to Rules Point
We started the day with sub zero temps and howling winds, thankfully on an easy riding track… seemed too good to be true based upon the past three days of riding. We stopped for a brew at Long Plain Hut.. and finished the last klms to the Highway just in time to meet the pickup team arriving from Canberra…a douse of warm water for a shower, a sandwich and a beer and I was ready to leave the team and head back to Melbourne
We were riding 2 Surly’s and an On One Fat Bike. The total trip was about 100klm with 2.5klm of vertical climbing… other than the delimited tyre on the On One the bikes were completely reliable even though at most stages they were caked deep with mud… fantastic experience.. We are planning the next ride now..
See you next time!