Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Old Telegraph Staion Trail

Murray has abandoned me to a life in Alice Springs for the moment. He and the other two have left on a two week job out north-west of Alice and as four blokes was to many last time I have had a long, boring holiday. My cars registration fee was coming up, so that was a big mayor money spending event. Cars just eat money. Counting down the things, I had to register the car again (600$), a new set of tires are needed soon (ca. 400$) and a service check is a couple of hundred kilometres overdo.
Alice isn't the best place for activities once you have done the mayor tourist things, but what I had heard was that there is an assortment of mountain bike trails in the area. Later I found out that the total amount of mountain bike tracks is somewhere along 450km, so rather a lot. A few weeks back two other backpackers and me went to the YHA to ask for some mountain bikes, but the only ones they had present where city bikes. Bikes with one gear, no suspension and block brakes. So a no go and we went for a walk instead. This time I did some research on the internet before deciding what and where to do. Outside Alice is an old telegraph station that has been turned in to a tourist attraction now and they hire out “proper” mountain bikes (nothing like a Frenchie thought). Hiring one there the age old problem of mine came along, my tall status. I got their tallest bike and it is still to small. Tried around a few different ones and settled on one before taking off. Before leaving one of the workers Lihi said he was going out for the evening and if I wanted to join him. Local tour guide, for free, so of course that was a yes. Wanting to test the bike I took off towards somewhere and had to get off as I had no clickis. Really miss them when I don't have them on my foot. But missed not biking at all more. Getting a bit out I started worrying about things like accidents and co. so I turned round after a short stretch. Big fear in Australia is that you get knocked off your bike and lye unconscious on the road getting fried until the next person finds a barbecued human on the track. Not my way to end, wouldn't look good on the gravestone. Turning round I passed the telegraph station again and went back to the hostel to get a time lapse video edited that I had taken the night before from Anzac Hill.
In the evening I then set of to meet Lihi and upon reaching the hire shop had a fun talk with him and Andrew. As I wasn't that happy with a fully they gave me the chance to test a hardtail I had seen before, but thought it was Andrews, so didn't even touch it. Felt better, not much bouncing, but still not as homey as my own bike. Left along a track that Lihi normally takes better riders on and in the end it amounted up to 20km and a lot of ups and down. The general layout of the immediate country isn't one long climb but riddled with lots of ups and downs. Lihi was in front all the way as he knew what areas he wanted to check and were to go. Plus he was relaxing a bit with me behind him (I wager). The last time I was in the saddle of a bike was last Christmas biking up the Alpspitze with dad, so nearly a complete year ago. Stamina takes a steep drop in that time. We passed some kangaroos and probably a bunch of other crawling stuff on our way. No snakes fortunately and Lihi told me of how he nearly got bit a couple of weeks ago. So snakes aren't littered across the tacks as feared, rocks are thought. Twice I came to an abrupt stop but nothing bad resulted, just wounded pride. Lihi took me the more fun way around and not the scenic route, but we did stop a few times for some pictures. Otherwise it was bouncing around from rock to sand dips and tracks. Sand dips proofed interesting. If you hit them to slow you get bogged and you cant get fast with the terrain set up before it. Similar to snow, just not as slippery.
We completed the track and both carried on back to Alice. Said goodbye to Lihi and peddled back to the hostel for some rice and vegetables. Lost my rice so it was only vegetables, but Maryse (Canadian girl) offered to cook some tacos tomorrow. Looking forward to getting on the bike again tomorrow. Have to make the best out of the few days I have it rented.

Tracks at GPSies (TrackOne and Track Two) and pictures at Picasa.  

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