Twelve intrepid riders turned up at Launching Place on Saturday 21st May. Their aim was to ride the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail through to the redwood forest. Normally this would not be such a difficult task, however after 3 weeks of gale force winds in the district, we had been warned that the “trail was absolutely impassable” due to the large number of huge fallen trees across the path.
In spite of this dire warning we set off in high spirits, not knowing what would lie ahead. We managed the climb up Don Rd without too much trouble and then set off along the trail.
“This is not so bad”, I exclaimed after riding about 2 km. “I have seen it much worse”, added Dan. Unfortunately it was another example of premature exhilaration, as within a few more kilometres we encountered the first fallen tree. This number steadily grew to around 25 as we battled our way along. When we finally reached the end of the trail at Cement Creek Rd, Carlo celebrated by crashing his bike about 3 m from the finish.
“Well, we made it”, I proudly announced, sounding a little like Captain Mainwaring from Dad’s Army. “It will be easy from now on”. It wasn’t. The biggest challenge by far actually waited for us around the corner – a tangled mass of huge trees, branches and other debris completely blocked the road ahead. For a while it looked like we would have to turn back and retreat all the way back along the trail, but that would have been unthinkable. What followed next was an extended series of crawls and climbs through the mess, all the while dragging our bikes with us.
It took quite a long time but eventually we emerged on the other side of the catastrophe and we able to continue our way to the redwood forest and on to Warburton. We arrived at the coffee shop at about 3 pm to enjoy a very late lunch. It certainly had been a challenge, but all agreed that it had been a sensational ride. That’s the way it is sometimes. I am sure we will look back on this day with happy memories for many years in the future.