Thanks for letting me go on another overnighter ride in the Aussie bush. It’s exactly what I (and my bike) needed. What a perfect 48 hours… oh and happy 4th of July!
For the next 48 hours, I’ll be riding in the outer reaches of civilization deep in the Yarra Ranges with a handful of mates. As per the norm when it comes to these rides, there will be ample documentation upon my return.
This trip will be atypical from previous treks, since it’s winter and the weather can change in the blink of an eye…
See you soon!
In the months leading up to the trip, Deux North’s Hunt 4, we were all focused on miles. Like most of us, I’d done a few big days on the bike before, 8+ hours in the Rapha Gentleman’s Ride or a trip upstate, but never back-to-back-to-back. None of us knew exactly what to expect on the third day, when we would all line up to race the King Ridge Grasshopper Adventure Series.
The 2014 Schwarzwald Giro – Kevin Sparrow
Photos and Words by Kevin Sparrow
Most of us got a good night sleep in our camper. The nights in Freiburg are chilly and it doesn’t start to warm up until the sun peeks over the tree line later in the morning. Everyone met at Biosk at 9:30, for a planned roll out at 10. It would have been nice to get a decent breakfast but Josh and I downed a bowl of cereal and I took a nutrition bar for a reserve. Others stuffed their jerseys full of snacks. We all knew we had a long day ahead of us…
When Erik and I committed to riding the Oregon Outback, we didn’t want to absolutely kill ourselves, but we wanted it to be tough. On paper, 360 miles is totally doable in three days without crushing your spirit. Hell, I think we could have done it in two and we still would have been ok but that’s not the point.
I had a responsibility. One that I take seriously and that’s documenting this trip. Granted, most of the time, I didn’t want to stop to shoot a photo, or hop off my bike, I just wanted to keep going…
The second day of any big ride is usually the toughest. Your body just assumes it’s going to be on the defensive for an unknown amount of time and begins to push back. Usually, that is. For Erik and I, we awoke in the Silver Lake Community Park f-u-c-k-i-n-g freezing. The weather said it would drop to 45 degrees as the low, so he and I brought hammocks and 40 degree bags in the interest of space and weight.
At 4am, my phone said it was 28 degrees. A cold front had moved in.
I was shivering uncontrollably, had I known it was going to be that cold, I would have brought a sleeping pad and a tarp, both of which I’ve used to alleviate the loss of body heat that happens in hammocks at such low temperatures. But alas, you reap what you sew. We would be cold on this trip.
All our field guide said about mile 120-240 was that we’d be crossing altitude desert and would be without water for up to 80 miles. I brought an Arundel Looney Bin to hold a 48oz Nalgene, which, after making breakfast, I filled up. Along with my two large Purist bottles. We had to get moving. Fast… It was 6:30am.
Continue reading in the Gallery captions.
I had no idea Matt from Ornot was taking video with his RX100 the whole time we were riding Up the Devil’s Ass. You’ll see all the party boyz and girlz of cycling in this one.
And if you missed my ride photos from this rad day, check them out at Riding Dirty Up the Devil’s Ass.
With the success and failure of Erik and my last AWOL ride on the Diablo range, we started looking for another mission to continue the story. This couldn’t be just any camping trip, it had to be hard. Like, really, really tough and big and stuff.
Then it dawned on Erik (I was too busy to actually look for anything) – we’d do Velo Dirt’s Oregon Outback. Erik contacted me in his Swedish voice “ok mannn, we’re going to do this really fucking tough ride, called the Oregon Outback, are you in?”. Me: “Of course!” – not wanting to sound like a sissy. At the time, I was probably traveling for something and I didn’t even know what the Outback was. I just assumed it was a chill weekend getaway…
Ian from Icarus is selling a size 51cm ST by 52cm TT commuter / gravel rider cantilever frameset for $1900 including a paint job by Circle A. Head over to Icarus for the details.