RR - From the 17th of September, 2005 - The Snow

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Rhubarb, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb Guest

    This is a ride report written by my riding partner for the day, Anthony.
    I've been meaning to post this for a while but have just finally got around
    to it. I hope you enjoy the read, it was quite an unexpected day to say the
    least.

    ----------------------------
    The story,

    We took off at 8am in decent weather for a ride to Healesville on our MTB's.
    We were to climb Don Rd to the dirt section, then continue on past the road
    closed barriers and make our way to Mt Donna Buang. We would then descend
    16km down to Warburton, eat and ride the 45kms of warby trail home.

    WHAT HAPPENED

    We rode to Healesville in really windy conditions, it started to rain around
    Healesville and as we started to climb Don Rd.

    On the climb we pedalled really low gears and just spun our way up the
    mountain, it was really cold, maybe 3-4 degrees but as we were climbing it
    just felt nice and fresh. We stumbled upon a road closed barrier and ducked
    under it and kept riding, figuring that this was a good sign because on the
    twisty, narrow roads, their would be no traffic to avoid! When we hit the
    dirt section it said 16kms to Mt Donna Buang.

    I was expected some undulating roads to Mt Donna B, but instead it was lots
    of steady climbing. We were now getting rained upon quite heavily but I
    couldn't feel it as we were climbing at decent speeds and working quite
    hard. I was quite astonished at just how high we had climbed as the top of
    the bitumen at Don Rd is over 700hundred metres above sea level and we had
    been steadily climbing ever since (another 40 minutes approx).

    As we neared the end of the climbing section Rhubarb motioned to me that we
    were both covered in ice from the sleet that had been falling on us. I
    thought that this was really cool and just enjoyed the sensation of the cool
    stuff landing on me!

    We continued to ride for another 20 odd minutes when we noticed big patches
    of snow and ice on the side of the road, before too long, and we were now
    climbing again, the whole road surface was completely covered in snow. I
    then noticed that we were back on bitumen again as I could just see the
    white line of the road under the snow. I asked Rhubarb how much further and
    he replied maybe another 2-3 kms, we rode another 2-3 kms in the snow,
    getting thicker too i might add, and i asked him again how much further to
    the summit of Mt DB but by this stage we were freezing cold, concerned about
    our energy levels, fluid levels (i didn't want to drink cold water when i
    was so cold and wet) and because it was a closed road, we knew that we would
    have to get ourselves out of there.

    Our dilemma was we had now been climbing for approximately 2 hours and we
    knew that shortest way to safety was to keep going, we also knew that the
    weather was getting far worse the further we went, but at the same time we
    are both the sort of guys that hate quitting things.

    Rhubarb stopped to get a powerbar and tried to open the wrapper and
    couldn't, I couldn't either as my fingers (cut off gloves) were frozen
    pretty much solid. He ripped it open with his mouth to find the bar inside
    was frozen pretty much solid. We continued on for another ten or so minutes
    when the snow became too thick to ride in, I was starting to doubt what kind
    of 16km descent would be ahead of us down to Warby (all snow etc.) and
    whether it was now better to turn back. We turned around, and that's when we
    really found ourselves in the sh*t!

    After only a few minutes i saw a H (Healesville sign) 30kms! Shit that's
    like a 25km mountain descent, with snow ice and below freezing temps.

    Snow and ice was all over our bikes, our brakes were basically useless, you
    had to clamp them on 3 or 4 times further back than you would usually do so,
    we couldn't detect puddles, pot holes that had ice over them, rocks under
    the surface of snow etc, and now I was F**KIING FREEZING.

    Rhubarb looked pretty good at this point but he was clearly concerned about
    our safety. I had a constant slight panic going as we were heavily in the
    shit, my fingers were useless, my face mostly numb, my ankles numb, feet wet
    and numb and my bike was starting to play up.

    Trying to keep up with Rhubarb going downhill was not easy as we both had
    our moments on corners and riding over sticks and small branches, to make
    matters worse all of a sudden i could not pedal. My cranks would rotate but
    no drive would go through to the back wheel, as we were coasting I wasn't
    immediately concerned but it wasn't all down hill, and i needed to pedal to
    keep warm!

    We stopped and i got off my bike, the rear gear cluster was full of ice and
    frozen solid, the chain could not sit amongst the teeth of the gears, it
    happened instantaneously I was pedalling and all of a sudden it was frozen,
    i only had my granny rear gear left and decided that we didn't have to time
    to spare so we took off again.

    We were shivering, grunting, not talking, seriously in the sh*t, I was
    thinking of riding home still at this point, thinking that all i needed was
    some serious effort and i would warm myself up...Rhubarb on the other hand
    kept saying we needed to stop at the nearest house, 10km out of Healesville.

    To cut a long story short, well shorter, a woman opened her front door, we
    both kind of walked forward towards the heat, grunting, shivering, in real
    trouble, and walked into her family room where she had a fire going, we got
    clothes from her, soup and stood there defrosting. My hands were bloody
    killing me, i couldn't put them in front of the fire to start with, aching,
    throbbing etc.

    When i took my helmet off, a layer of ice that was lying directly against my
    scalp fell onto her floor. SH*T, we were in the sh*t!

    As I type this (Monday morning) I still cant feel my pinky's, ring finger,
    middle finger tips! (makes typing hard) NO SH*T, WE WERE WORRIED ABOUT OUR
    LIVES UP THERE!!!

    My face was burnt by the snow, ice etc. All red and stuff, my fingers are
    stuffed, and i was cold all weekend, but it was a good experience to walk
    away from.

    Thanks for reading...learn from my mistakes...I make them often :)

    -------------

    Thanks for reading.
     
    Tags:


  2. Parbs

    Parbs Guest

    "Rhubarb's friend Anthony wrote...
    <snip>
    > to cut a long story short, well shorter, a woman opened her front door, we
    > both kind of walked forward towards the heat, grunting, shivering, in real
    > trouble, and walked into her family room where she had a fire going, we got
    > clothes from her, soup and stood there defrosting. My hands were bloody
    > killing me, i couldn't put them in front of the fire to start with, aching,
    > throbbing etc.
    >

    A cautionary tale indeed. Good to see there are still some good people in the world

    Parbs
     
  3. SuzieB

    SuzieB New Member

    Joined:
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    Good to read you made it safely to warmth and comfort and I hope you don't have any lingering effects.

    Thanks for posting this, it was a good read, even if it was scary.
     
  4. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb Guest

    "Parbs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "Rhubarb's friend Anthony wrote...
    > <snip>
    > > to cut a long story short, well shorter, a woman opened her front door,

    we
    > > both kind of walked forward towards the heat, grunting, shivering, in

    real
    > > trouble, and walked into her family room where she had a fire going, we

    got
    > > clothes from her, soup and stood there defrosting. My hands were bloody
    > > killing me, i couldn't put them in front of the fire to start with,

    aching,
    > > throbbing etc.
    > >

    > A cautionary tale indeed. Good to see there are still some good people in

    the world
    >
    > Parbs


    Yes very much so. We couldn't of knocked on a better front door. They were
    lovely! It took us a good 2 hours of being in front of their fire in warm
    clothes and hot soup and tea to stop shivering. We were very close to
    hypothermia - we were shivering so badly that we couldn't talk.

    To shower them at a later date with flowers, chocolates and bottles of wine
    was the least we could do to repay our thanks.
     
  5. PiledHigher

    PiledHigher New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    620
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    0
    I've seen that road (I believe it enters the climb about 1/2 way up).

    Wouyld it be doable on a road bike, what kind of quality surface was the non paved stuff?
     
  6. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb Guest

    "PiledHigher" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:p[email protected]
    >
    > I've seen that road (I believe it enters the climb about 1/2 way up).
    >
    > Wouyld it be doable on a road bike, what kind of quality surface was
    > the non paved stuff?
    >


    Yes that's right it turns to gravel a bit before halfway.

    The surface is quite good for a fair bit of it. It's kind of like packed
    stone I guess. I rode up there on Monday and since they have reopened the
    road after the snow season they must of done a bit of road maintenance
    because it really is in quite good nick for an unsealed road. That said
    there are still a few areas that are a little rougher with a few pot holes,
    bigger stones/rocks in the road and the like. And you can get a bit of
    debris on the road from the surrounding trees.

    You 'could' do it on a road bike (I ride it on a hybrid) and I don't think
    you would have to many problems if you don't mind taking your road bike over
    an uneven unsealed surface. I wouldn't personally as I like to keep my road
    bike on sealed surfaces.

    All that said I'm not sure I would feel comfortable recommending anyone to
    do it on their road bike. But that's different from saying it can't be done,
    if you get where I'm coming from.
     
  7. Resound

    Resound Guest

    "Rhubarb" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > This is a ride report written by my riding partner for the day, Anthony.
    > I've been meaning to post this for a while but have just finally got
    > around
    > to it. I hope you enjoy the read, it was quite an unexpected day to say
    > the
    > least.
    >
    > ----------------------------
    > The story,
    >
    > We took off at 8am in decent weather for a ride to Healesville on our
    > MTB's.
    > We were to climb Don Rd to the dirt section, then continue on past the
    > road
    > closed barriers and make our way to Mt Donna Buang. We would then descend
    > 16km down to Warburton, eat and ride the 45kms of warby trail home.

    <snippage>
    > My face was burnt by the snow, ice etc. All red and stuff, my fingers are
    > stuffed, and i was cold all weekend, but it was a good experience to walk
    > away from.
    >
    > Thanks for reading...learn from my mistakes...I make them often :)
    >
    > -------------
    >
    > Thanks for reading.
    >
    >

    If you still can't feel your fingers, see your GP immediately. It's probably
    late now, given that it's Thursday, but lack of sensation is bad. Fingers
    are things you're definitely better off NOT losing.
     
  8. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb Guest

    "Resound" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Rhubarb" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > >

    > If you still can't feel your fingers, see your GP immediately. It's

    probably
    > late now, given that it's Thursday, but lack of sensation is bad. Fingers
    > are things you're definitely better off NOT losing.
    >
    >


    Oh this is actually from a couple of months ago. They weren't my fingers and
    my advice at the time was exactly the same as yours. He didn't seek medical
    attention but full feeling did eventually return.
     
  9. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2005-12-01, Rhubarb (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    > "PiledHigher" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > message news:p[email protected]
    >>
    >> I've seen that road (I believe it enters the climb about 1/2 way up).
    >>
    >> Wouyld it be doable on a road bike, what kind of quality surface was
    >> the non paved stuff?
    >>

    >
    > Yes that's right it turns to gravel a bit before halfway.
    >
    > The surface is quite good for a fair bit of it. It's kind of like packed
    > stone I guess. I rode up there on Monday and since they have reopened the
    > road after the snow season they must of done a bit of road maintenance
    > because it really is in quite good nick for an unsealed road.


    If it's the road I'm thinking about (Peter Sig?), it was in really
    great nick in July, when we went up for a full day's tour. We were
    theorising they had graded it to be paved in the near-future.
    http://adsl-130-26.swiftdsl.com.au/~tconnors/photos/rides/2005-07/Mt_Donna_Buang/imagelist.html
    --
    TimC
    It typically takes 25-30 gallons of petrol/diesel to fully-consume an
    average-sized body under ideal conditions. That I am conversant with
    this level of detail should serve as an indication of why the wise man
    does not ask me questions about MS-Windows. --Tanuki on ASR
     
  10. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb Guest

    "TimC" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > On 2005-12-01, Rhubarb (aka Bruce)
    > was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    > > "PiledHigher" <[email protected]> wrote

    in
    > > message news:p[email protected]
    > >>
    > >> I've seen that road (I believe it enters the climb about 1/2 way up).
    > >>
    > >> Wouyld it be doable on a road bike, what kind of quality surface was
    > >> the non paved stuff?
    > >>

    > >
    > > Yes that's right it turns to gravel a bit before halfway.
    > >
    > > The surface is quite good for a fair bit of it. It's kind of like packed
    > > stone I guess. I rode up there on Monday and since they have reopened

    the
    > > road after the snow season they must of done a bit of road maintenance
    > > because it really is in quite good nick for an unsealed road.

    >
    > If it's the road I'm thinking about (Peter Sig?), it was in really
    > great nick in July, when we went up for a full day's tour. We were
    > theorising they had graded it to be paved in the near-future.
    >

    http://adsl-130-26.swiftdsl.com.au/~tconnors/photos/rides/2005-07/Mt_Donna_B
    uang/imagelist.html

    Yep that definitely looks like the road in question!
     
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