(December 22, 2020 – written by Dave)
Some days a single photo encapsulates the entire day. When we visited Machu PIcchu, the famous photo from the Sun Gate was all you really needed to know about the day. When we rode across the Salar de Uyuni, one photo of Nancy riding on the salt flats covered everything. Well today, a single photo of one road sign pretty much did the trick – see below and stop reading if you are short of time, nothing more to know.
Ok, you’re still reading. Here’s the rest of the story…
Overnight in the Scottsdale Lord Hotel turned out just fine. We think that there might have been two other guests – in the 25ish rooms. Late night trips to the shared bathrooms could have been done in “sleeping clothes” but so as not to shock anyone, we rugged up before leaving our room. And yes, I stayed awake while Nancy made a run, just as instructed (Senior editor’s note – ha, I don’t think so. There was a distinct sound of snoring when I got back to the room).
It started raining at some point during the night and continued throughout the morning. We lingered in the room until it was clear that sitting around wasn’t going to stop the rain. Acuweather’s forecast noted that rain would tapper around 9AM and not come back until 2PM. They were wrong – it let up for about 15 minutes in our forth hour of riding. We rode for just on 5 hours and yes, we got 15 minutes of let up. Otherwise we were pretty much “When Wet” all day.
We had one really good climb, about 10k after leaving Scottsdale. The climb was pretty steep and lasted for 9k. We rode the entire day in rain coats, pants and booties. It is never fun climbing in full rain gear but there wasn’t anything else to do really, it rained pretty hard for the entire climb. My bike computer reported that it got down to 11C at the top so getting wet and cold could have been hypothermic. We were wet and mostly warmish.
There is a scenic viewpoint at the top of the climb – Sideling Lookout. They have a fancy information sign that says you can see Scottsdale on a clear day. We’ll have to take their word on that one. We did stop for photos but Scottsdale wasn’t remotely visible.
Off the climb we had 30k of more of less downhill. We couldn’t ride too close to each other because our bikes don’t have mudguards and road spray from the puddles blasted whoever was in back. At one point Nancy went through a bit puddle when I was too close. I commented that she could have tried to miss the puddle – yes, that was a ridiculous statement because both of us were soaked and one little puddle made no difference. Nancy kindly pointed this out to me.
We eventually busted out of the countryside at the small town of St Leonards. Since we live in St Leonards, NSW, it was fun to ride through St Leonards, TAS. On a dry day, we probably would have found a cafe and enjoyed the moment. Instead, we just pushed on. Stopping meant we’d get cold, rolling meant we’d stay warmish and reach Evandale. The last 15k was pretty rough as we had two hard short climbs to get over and we were getting tired. It takes more energy to ride in rain gear and to be wet all day. We could have eaten more on the ride but rain really means that you just put your head down and go.
We were thrilled to reach Evandale and pulled straight into the Evandale Bakery. We soaked their floor but they were kind and fed us a nice lunch and some wonderful coffees. Ok, we like coffee, but today at the end of such a wet slog, it tasted particularly good.
Revived, we headed off to our AirBnB. We’ve booked for 4 nights. We’ll take a few days off but also have a ride planned for Thursday. Evandale makes us feel as though we’ve been transported into an English countryside town. We got a few photos today but will share more tomorrow as it is supposed to be dry. Right now, hanging in front of a nice wood fire and getting our stuff dried off is about all we are thinking about…