The Great Escape MTB Overnighter
I've said before, Axl Rose was wrong about a lot of things, but it's true that everyone does need a little time on their own.
I try and do something at least once a year that involves getting out away from the daily battles, problems, stresses, monotony, and traffic. I find being a bit isolated, vulnerable, and doing something that scares me a bit is a real reminder about what matters, who matters and it's a wake up call to put things in priority and perspective.
I chose to ride my mountainbike out to Yerranderie and back on fire roads and bushwalking corridors. Yerranderie sits just south of the Blue Mountains near Kanangra-Boyd National Park in the Wollondilly Shire. It was formerly a silver mining town of 2000 people, but the mining industry collapsed in 1927, and the town was cut off from direct access from Sydney by the establishment of the Warragamba Dam and Lake Burragorang in 1959. The Yerranderie Post Office opened on 1 November 1899 and closed in 1958.
I stayed in the old "Post Office" which was an absolute luxury after a 110km ride in (6h20m/2200 vertical metres of climbing). There was gas, hot water, a kitchen and three other people staying here (two painters and a carpenter contracted to restore a heritage building). On the second day, the route was only 50kms (3h45m) back to my car, but still contained 1000 vertical meters of climbing, and on tired legs, it hurt more than the first day.
The trip went well, and I was happy that nothing went wrong. No punctures or mechanicals, the bike was awesome (1 x 11 with no front derailleur rocks - I used the 42T quite a few times). I had no water or food issues. I carried heaps of carb/electrolyte powder which meant I didn't have to carry too much food.
I had heaps of fun, and would do it again in a flash.
I'm physically drained now, but mentally recharged, and ready to go back to the jungle!