Day 3 - Monday 21-Mar-2011 - Karridale to Margaret River - 73 km (45 mi)
Click here for Rider Route details.
Day 3 started at 5:30am, which is a few hours too early in my opinion. On the plus side the Sunrise was amazing.
Looking the other way the Moon was still up as well.
We packed up the tents which entails packing our bags and rolling up the sleeping bags and self inflating pillow and mattress. Why do they always make the bags just a tiny bit too small?
Once we had packed up and loaded the bags on the truck, we went down to where breakfast was being served. They have some of the coolest custom made trailers which have come over from Victoria with Bicycle Victoria (the organisation behind the ride). The first one is a hot beverage maker which provides hot water and facilities for making Coffee, Tea and Milo (very yummy chocolate malt mix which can be used to make hot or cold drinks ... Or eaten straight from the container ... Oops did I say that aloud.
However, the coolest gizmo is the trailer for cleaning your dishes after eating. This machine will provide heated water under pressure to multiple troughs, each with multiple nozzles. It can then be folded up and moved to the next campsite each day.
The ride itself was supposed to be 74km, however it ended up being 10km longer. We ended up doing 80.64km, as we missed going to the second rest stop (it was 2km down to Hamelin Bay and 2km back on the same road, while 4km does not sound like much, look at the attached ride profile.
At the 40km mark you can see the hill down and back up. We decided not to torture ourselves.
So we missed out on some beautiful coast line and hand feeding Stingrays. Oh well, next time we are in the area with a car, we can go there.
The ride was extremely hilly while being breathtakingly beautiful in some spots. Maximum speed 51kmh, average 16.6kmh.
The best part of the ride (other than the finish) was the ride down a section of Caves Road through the huge Marri and Marri trees. The Marri tree is the 3rd tallest tree in the world and only grows in a small part of the South West corner of Western Australia. Check out the size of the trees, can you see the cyclist?
Caves Road is named due to the large number of natural limestone caves in the area. Here is another picture of a large Marri tree grove.
We eventually arrived at our lunch spot, Xanadu Winery, at 3:30pm. While we are not the fastest, 80km is a long way to ride before eating, especially when the campsite was only 4km further.
So we are now in Margaret River, one of the best surf, wine and craft regions in the state. The campsite is the local sports ground and it is great to have soft level grass to camp on.
Tomorrow is a rest day, with no riding, but I am sure I can find some interesting things for you.