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



R

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! **** 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
****, 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.
 
P

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
 

SuzieB

New Member
Oct 15, 2005
282
0
0
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.
 
R

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.
 

PiledHigher

New Member
Jul 30, 2003
620
0
0
50
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?
 
R

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.
 
R

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.
 
R

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.
 
T

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
 
R

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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