Today I set myself a real cycling challenge: could I ride 40km to Foster? And could I cycle back?
With hindsight, an 80km round-trip was probably a bit ambitious, but despite the hard slog -- particularly the uphill sections between Foster and Fish Creek, and then Buffalo to Stony Creek -- I did it in six hours. That included extended stops for lunch (I brought along a cheese and vegemite sandwich, a handful of dried apricots and some ginger biscuits) and a coffee (and a pee) in Foster. I also made quick stops for photographs along the way.
It was worth it to see the scenery, particularly the view over the foothills of the Hoddle Range between Fish Creek and Foster.
As I cycled along this section of the trail I counted six giant birds of prey (kites, I think) hovering overhead, cruising on the thermals, probably watching for rabbits on the hills below. Or maybe they were looking for snakes? (Turns out I was fortunate to miss a four-foot long deadly tiger snake which crossed the path in front of the trio of cyclists who were just a few hundred metres ahead of me.)
The best part was cycling along a stretch of the trail lined with green, leafy tree ferns, some of which were 15-foot high.
I suspect I am going to be very stiff and sore tomorrow, but at least I can say I've cycled the entire length of the Great Southern Rail Trail now. Who knows, maybe there's a proper feature article in there somewhere!