Stromlo – the mountain


Continuing in the xmasepic series of training rides in Australia’s bleakest possible places, we gird our loins in the nation’s capital.
Yes, we Canberra. On the right we see Ms Gillard in “the attack of the rangas”.

While in Canberra, we eschew the Australian penchant for xenophobia and endeavour to appreciate “other” cultures. And what is a more troubled and perplexing culture than those who choose to ride fat-tyre mountain bikes?

Onwards to the nation’s epicentre of the fat-tyre lifestyle choice: Mt Stromlo Forest park.


And so the journey starts.
Here James is seen currently “between bikes”, having recently sold his fat-tyre “hell bitch”:

While not going as far as the fat-tyre burka (aka the full-face helmet), we were fortunate to ride our bikes along a recently bituminized bike path allowing us to blend in, adding some kilograms of tar and off-road cred (thank you ACT Dept. Roads).

Bikeway number 1 in the national capital:

It’s really much colder than it looks:

Over one of Euler’s seven bike bridges of the Canberra Lake Ride:

Finally, we catch a glimpse of the holy mountain. A daunting colossus of a peak.

The road up, winds and climbs:


Compare the elevation profile of the horrific 180 metre climb …

… to the relatively flat 3300 easy metre climb of the “Fitz challenge”:


Half way up we are confronted with this. WTF? It’s far too difficult to interpret such a sign in these rarefied oxygen depleted heights.
Do not speak to horses?
A horse is the off-spring from mating a bike and a person?
The three stages of a Stromlo triathlon?

Nearing the top we find the tell-tale signs of fat-tyre culture:

Finally, we summit.

Not too many places are high enough to be able to see the actual curvature of the earth

The plinth of the fire ravaged Stromlo telescope. (“Plinth” being arguably the most sensual word in the English language after “cadence”.)

Since the 2003 fires it has become increasingly difficult to sight mountain bikes and nary a fat-tyre is to be seen. Mt Stromlo is renown for fat-tyre twitching, and by keeping very quiet and patient we are soon rewarded as some fat-tyres tentatively emerge from the backs of utes …

… and start cavorting.

Gratified that we have witnessed one of nature’s wonders we plummet down on the return journey as the temperature does likewise. Our cumulative collective Jens factor creeps up: 0.01

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2 Responses to Stromlo – the mountain

  1. Wendy Riley aka yr mother says:

    Ha ha very funny! Enjoyed the judicious editing. Is James not eating?? It looks cold alright and it is cold (still!) Would those fires be the 2003 fires? What happened in 1985? Hesitate to argue…I suppose that date was on a plaque somewhere!?

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