We're staying up in the Myall Lakes NP as we do every October and this morning we went on my traditional family bike ride.
The weather was a little cooler, a little cloudy, perfect. Rain predicted for the afternoon. OK.
It all started well. A few kms down the dirt road and over the Bomba Point ferry and down the Mungo Road for a walk through the Mungo Brush rain forest.

Lovely. We made it to the rain forest just in time for a light shower. No big deal. It was nice stopping under the cabbage palms every now and again.

It's a great walk. The shower passed. Had to fix a flat on the 11yos front tyre before we left Mungos. It went flat while we were walking. On the way back to Bomba Point it was looking good. 11 year old going great. 9 year old going great. Wife going great.

Until all of a sudden we noticed a darkness growing in the South.

Yikes. We hurried up to get to the ferry, but we had to wait. And wait.
Then it started.
The wind grew stronger and stronger.
The rain started pouring.
It was freezing.
Some nice people in a waiting car offered to let the girls sit inside. Shaz and I stuck it outside.
Then it started hailing.

We were shivering like crazy and laughing like kids. It was ridiculous. Another kind motorist ran over with an umbrella and we at least got some protection.

Finally the ferry came over and took us across. We huddled in front of the engine fan exhaust to keep warm as the 150m journey seemed to take an hour.....

Then finally we got across and bolted for the Eco Resort cafe just next to the ferry. The staff there saved the day with towels and got chocolate.

The 9yo was not quite convinced we were going to make it home OK even though she was the only one smart enough to bring a jacket. The weather outside was still filthy and we had another 7 or 8km to go on dirt. But the hot chocolate was good.

After a bit it was safe to leave. Rain stopped. Wind stopped. Wallabies everywhere.

Back to the Shack in one piece. We even warmed up a little on the way. Wet, cold, muddy, triumphant - another memorable day out on the bikes.

My kids are never going to forget this one.
Until we see what happens on the next one ;-)

Views: 244

Comment by Dabba on October 4, 2013 at 7:24am

You cruel man!  ;-)  Making your wife and kids ride bikes in such dreadful weather.  It did change quickly and get cold.  I had to go out somewhere and I took an umbrella with me which seemed totally unnecessary all of the time I was out.  Not long after, the temp spiraled downwards and we had heavy rain, but no hail.  Your kids will remind you of this ride for years to come!  Mine do of a trip up to Lavers Hill on the Great Ocean Road 20 years ago, and they've both got their own kids now.

Moral of the story = check the forecast on your pedal pooter before going for a ride - always.  This and this are probably the best sites that I've seen so far.  For the latter, just key in the postcode/area that you are interested in and it will narrow down the view.

Close encounters with animals are always a bit of an excitement, especially when they hop out in front of you and cross the road in front of you as you're heading downhill at a rate of knots.  I've had that happen before.  My most memorable encounter occurred as I was blissfully riding along the East Gippsland Rail Trail in Victoria.  I heard a crashing come through the bush on my left.  I looked over and there were 7 emus running alongside me about 15-20m away.  They did that for a few hundred metres.  It was a wonderful experience.

It looks like you're all enjoying your holiday anyway.

Comment by Neil Alexander on October 4, 2013 at 7:54am

Not sure about emus, but you can practically guarantee that if (seven) kangaroos are "running" alongside you, they will veer across right in front of you at any moment. Best to slow down quickly, and let them do it sooner rather than later. I'd be willing to wager that wallabies are at least as bloody-minded. Prettier, though.

Comment by John Knight on October 4, 2013 at 8:25am

Dabba, probably should have looked at the weather a little harder - we were just looking at our crumby phone weather apps - but it wouldn't have been as much fun if we canned the ride and stayed at home. Meteye is good. I will check the other one out.

Regarding animals, I would not like any close encounters at speed - Those TDF crash videos on labradors and spaniels really don't make me feel very good.

My closest so far is a near miss on Epping Road at 55-60kmh when a brush turkey casually strolled out in front of me.

Early morning cats popping out from under parked cars creep me out the most. Luckily stray/roaming pets seem to be far less common now than in the old days.

I've seen emus going whacko on roads doing figures of 8 around cars flapping their wings and waving their heads around,  seemingly trying their darndest to get run over.  Sounds like they like bikes though!

Comment by baa baa on October 4, 2013 at 8:39am

as the lab one is taken maybe a wallaby tshirt like this?


oh and beware of the roaming echidna(s)

Well if it helps it was cold in Sydney yesterday as well, on the way home post hail  I had to layer on another t shirt as was cold

Comment by Dabba on October 4, 2013 at 9:15am

Yep, had the echidnas roll up into balls in front of our tandems when they heard us coming, while we were touring between Coles Bay and Bicheno in Tassie too!

Comment by John Knight on October 4, 2013 at 9:34am
Nice T shirt baa baa. much better than the real life version.
Comment by Robflyte on October 4, 2013 at 6:38pm

sounds like a great adventure

Comment by John Knight on October 7, 2013 at 9:44pm
Thanks all for the comments. We're back home now and I've done a postmortem with the family. All fine and they agree that without the rain, hail and wind and jumping in strangers cars it would have been just another lovely bike ride ;-)


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