That’s right, I wanted to ride 1000 kilometers in a day, and include as many twists and bends as I could find. I knew it would take time, over twelve hours, in fact. It would also take a smidgen of planning, and lunacy tempered with an ounce of realism. But why? Honestly, I dunno. To test myself? Maybe, though probably not. I think I was just sick of the day-to-day grind. The idea had been at the back of my mind for a few years now, ever since blackadder, who is probably the reason I’m on two wheels suggested something similar. I wanted to ride somewhere I’d never been before, so it was time to see the newly paved and much talked about route to Mitta Mitta via the Omeo Highway. The route was simple; Ride east 280km to Bairnsdale, fuel up, jump on the Great Alpine Road to Omeo, briefly departing at Swifts Creek for some bonus twisties. Then, enjoy the infinite corners along the Omeo Highway to Mitta Mitta with a little detour into NSW at Albury via Mt. Granya. The Home stretch would be via Whitfield and Mansfield and then wherever I decided on the way back. So, with little more than a packed lunch and a mobile phone, it was time to fuel up and play. I roused too early to be hungry at 4.45am, but the significant other insisted I eat a plum to go with my extra strong coffee, making it to the local pit-stop by 5.30 am. It was strange to be up at this hour, packs of cyclists everywhere and a bike cop issuing somebody a ticket. Cyclists are crazy people - who’d get up at this hour just to ride a bike? Lunatics! The road to Bairnsdale was unremarkable, taking a couple sips from a camel bladder being followed by mild stomach cramps made me realize that I was drinking from something that had been sitting around for over a year, having only been rinsed this morning. Should’ve really thought about that before putting that in the jacket. After I stopped drinking, the cramps went away, so I thought nothing more of it and stopped using it. I’d miscalculated how many layers to wear, and was uncomfortably cold. Daybreak did little to ease the chill as I pulled into Bairnsdale. It was 9am. Daylight but overcast, the first set of twisty road beckoned en route to Swifts creek. The bends were a welcome change of pace and the cold was forgotten. A brief departure from the Great Alpine Road for some extra bends and I was in Omeo by 11am. Feeling good, fuel and a few sips of water and an obligatory, ’I'm alive’ SMS back home, I ask about the newly all-sealed patch of road to Mitta Mitta. Good grip, and loads of visibility was the answer. Good, goood.... The Omeo Highway was just as I had remembered it, rounding through Anglers Rest, the only surprise being the debris washed onto the road from concealed entrances. Though It did seem a lot shorter since I last passed through here on my Learners licence.... I guess I was more enthusiastic this time around. At the intersection between Omeo Highway and Bogong High planes road, I figured it best to eat something, even though I was still not hungry. Very odd given my title as a food disposal unit. Was something wrong? It was roughly midday after a 5am start. So I opt for something light - Another piece of fruit and some chocolate. Everybody likes chocolate right? Sitting still made me wonder if the slight uneasiness in my stomach was real or imagined. No way of knowing, so lets just go. Heading North, I feel like I've been mislead. For some time, the new road is peppered with gravel thats come loose, and experience a few small slips in the hairpins. My stomach definitely wasn't right either. I wanted to puke, and acid was creeping up my throat like a pot of water boiling over. Overwhelmed, I stop for a break. Slowly sipping water to no avail for fifteen minutes before I force myself back on the bike feeling no better - no point in sitting here all day, I've got another 500km to get home! The road clears up. My stomach does not. the surface is perfect. 35kph advisory signs litter the landscape like ornaments on a Christmas tree. I feel like a Jewish kid at Christmas, crawling through corners I’d worked so hard to reach. Soon after, I change tact. May as well have fun, stomach be damned and the pace heats up again. Tight bends transition into gentle sweepers as the road opens up once more and my body is having its revenge. If I stop, I'm not sure I’ll start again so I push on, and deviate from the plan as I take a left turn toward Wodonga, eliminating the stretch I had planned through Mount Granya. By Tangambalanga, and yes that is a town name I was done. I saw a bench with my name written all over it under a tree next to a general store. Replenishing water reserves I notice that they have some antacids that might abate the plume of rising chocolate acid causing me such distress. Twenty minutes later and maximum recommended dosage of antacids later, I'm munching on my first substantial in 9 hours. Some painkillers and another twenty minutes and I'm feeling better than I had all day, and I'm plotting a course Yackandandah and on to Beechworth; the only town within 50 kilometers I can pronounce. Fuel at Yackandandah and I notice my bike looks a bit odd. My exhaust has fallen off! Okay, not all of it, just the tip. Now the bike has what looks like a little piece of genitalia hanging where once there was nothing but smooth lines. I'm off again, and Beechworth looks like a lovely town to visit, but I don’t stop and soon again I'm on familiar roads in the King Valley, hitting more twisty roads. Seven hundred kilometers down, I pass a sign to a lookout I always seem to notice passing through here. Well, today is the day I decide to have a look, and I take the gravel road for a couple happy snaps. Back on track, and a few corners later, its more crazy cyclists! Riding two abreast around a blind corner doesn't strike me as sane, but its easy enough to push on by. moments later I'm in Mansfield and I think its break time! A while later its fuel at Alexandrea and onward. Passing through the Black Spur in the twilight hours I spot a couple BMW sportbikes on an after hours blatt through the hills. Its cold as I march onward to Melbourne, wondering how high the odometer will read when I step off the bike for the final time today. an hour goes by and I’m on my regular commute, trip meter in the high 900’s. Had I done it? Would it be one whole thousand kilometers? Struggling to remember the length of my commute I try crunch some numbers. I'm just guessing really and soon I'm close enough to home that it doesn't matter. Pulling into home, the trip meter reads a respectable 990.0 km. Honey, I’m home! Need anything from the shops? You sure? Oh, ok. Its been a wonderful adventure, though I didn't achieve the 1000 km I had in mind. I’ll have to try again some other time. - David. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *While this is no literary masterpiece, I hope it was entertaining. Total Distance: 990.0 km on Tuesday March 3rd, 2015. Total Time Taken: 15.75 Hours, breaks included Average Speed: 62.9 kph, breaks included Some pictures to come today / tomorrow, including accidental exhaust modification.