Overnighter - Pandemic Inspired Cycle Touring - CycleBlaze

September 5, 2020 to September 6, 2020

Overnighter

Cycle and camp

Spring has sprung. The days are becoming warmer and the nights are still cold. Fortunately Covid-19 cases have been zero in Canberra for many weeks. Many state borders are still closed, and Victoria has had a very difficult time over the past couple of months. Thankfully the stringent quarantine measures there are bringing the outbreak under control.

International borders are closed for the foreseeable future. It has become clear that local tours are going to be the best option, possibly the only option for a year or two at least.

With my son and few friends we've decided to do a very easy, short, simple overnight cycle camping to introduce some of the group to the experience of cycle camping. Most have have camped before. All have cycled before. But only a few of us have combined both camping and cycling.

The plan was to start mid-morning and ride about 30 km to the nearest serviced campground which is the Cotter River campsite. It turned out to be a very enjoyable two days. The only slight impediment was the night temperature was several degrees colder than expected and a couple of the group did not bring sub-zero rated sleeping bags so they had a chilly night's sleep.

The casuarina lined Cotter River near the Paddy River junction.
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The Cotter Dam Wall. There is an excellent interpretation walk around the base of the wall with information about the history of the area.
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The Thorn Sherpa and Mont Moondance 1 tent at the Cotter Campground.
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The group. Braving the very cold Sunday morning.
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My cooking set up for this short trip included a twig stove and the trusty Trangia. So I was slightly over equipped but the ride was a chance to try out gear for longer tours. The Trangia didn't work well in the sub-zero morning temperature. The twig stove worked well.
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Sunday morning was cold. At least -3 degrees C.
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Frosty Sunday sunrise at Cotter Campground
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Looking toward the Cotter River from our campsite across the frosty flat. This area can flood at short notice, so no camping close to the river.
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A closer up view of the frost. Toe numbing until the sun rose.
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The beautiful Cotter River. It is looking the best it has for many years. Drought has kept many of our rivers low or dry.
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My Thorn Sherpa with a few new bags. Over equipped for this ride but it was a test of gear for longer rides.
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The new Carradice Saddlebag.
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Graham FinchNice red saddlebag, Graham!... I'll have to treat myself as mine are looking a bit worn now.
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1 year ago
Graham SmithTo Graham FinchThanks Graham. I’ve bought quite a few pieces of Carradice gear recently. So far they are proving to be very functional and good quality. I’ve fitted the largest model of Carradice saddle bags to my folding bike, and to my MTB.

This Covid series of rides has provided the opportunity to try out my different bikes in various contexts of short tours.

I’m preparing the Thorn Sherpa for a trans Australia ride starting mid April.

The KHS folding bike I rode around Taiwan is still stored in New Zealand at my relatives’ house. It’s been stranded there by Covid border closures for 12 months.
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1 year ago
Graham FinchCarradice certainly makes good quality stuff that will last for years.

My bike stored in the UK has a saddlebag that I think dates from the 1950s.

A friend here has bought some bags with Harris Tweed on - very nice, but perhaps not ideal for very long tours.

Hopefully the virus will be under control soon so we can all resume tours overseas. Stay safe.
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1 year ago
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The Cotter Road is narrow is narrow in parts but relatively quiet, especially on Sunday mornings.
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Looking northwest along the pipeline carrying water from Cotter Dam to Canberra City. The hills in the distance are the Namadgi National Park. The Brindabella Range.
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Road side jaw bones. A long deceased kangaroo.
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Today's ride: 60 km (37 miles)
Total: 415 km (258 miles)

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