The Grampians

Dunkeld is the southern gateway to the Grampians and after my arrival I picked up some leaflets about walking trails and took off. I arrived in town too late to be able to climb any of the peaks, each one is a few hours return trip and being winter time, daylight is at a premium but there were plenty of other options which kept me busy. Once again the temperature dropped below freezing during the night, I awoke sometime around 2am and could see the condensation droplets had frozen on the inside of the tent.
The following morning was the first real challenge since I took to the road again, the road has been kind, generally pretty flat, only some gentle hills and the occasional short sharp rise. Through the Grampians valley there will be a little more work to do, a few hundred metre climbs. I don’t know how other people ride but on tough climbs I work the handle bars a lot and my arm and shoulder being as they are, I can’t even get out of the saddle at the moment.
In the end it didn’t turn out as bad as I’d feared, once again riding conditions were perfect and the gradients were constant so even though it was brutal I could settle into a rhythm (40 RPM!). On the first climb I had to take a break along the way, these are roads that normally I’d think were fun! I think the worst was trying to manage the speed on the descents over the crests, on the fixed gear with the extra weight of the gear it was very difficult. My legs were seriously hurting by the time I made it to Halls Gap but even after only 4 days on the bike I can feel I’m getting a little stronger which is nice because out of Halls Gap I have almost 1000m of climbing to tackle in my next day.

I’m taking a rest day tomorrow…

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