Riding to the Nations Capital

We got up reasonably early, had a bite to eat and headed off for the last leg of the ride from Bredbo to Canberra. Within a few minutes of being on the bikes it started to rain – and gentle rain continued pretty much for the entire morning. It was OK, we had a slight tailwind and there were no serious climbs in prospect. Kelpie’s Hill that we were warned about back at the Bredbo Pub was a doddle…not a patch on anything that we had experienced back in the Snowy’s.

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Monaro High Plains – looking a little like Scotland!

There was however a fair bit of traffic on the road and single file riding on the lovely sealed shoulder of the Monaro highway was the order of the day. It was a ‘point and shoot’ ride today – no real stops planned and our aim was pretty much to get from A to B with a minimum of fuss.

We got to the ACT border, stopped for the obligatory photograph and pushed on. There we some lovely downhill sections of the ride including a really long roll right to the outskirts of Canberra.

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Johnno at the ACT border

Jeff was getting excited about being in the ACT. He undertook a major project, setting up an incredibly complex document scanning system a few years back and spent a lot of time driving in and around the southern suburbs of Canberra. It was a rare treat for him (and us) to be riding here. We rode to and stopped off at the building where the project was based which was great!

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Jeff and Johnno outside a place that Jeff was immersed in a few years back delivering a major IT project

From there we rode on a mix of bike lanes and roads into Civic (the center of Canberra). We thought we would head straight out to the Australian Institute of Sport, our digs for the night, which we assumed from looking briefly at a map earlier that day, was out the back of the Australian National University…as it was…WAY out the back – It took us about an hour to find the place! Canberra’s cryptic roads and counter intuitive way finding was well and truly in play. But we made it…we had just ridden from Bairnsdale to Canberra!!!

We got to the AIS booked into our rooms – showered and caught a cab back into town for dinner…at Sammys restaurant which was great. It was Saturday night and Canberra was alive and vibrant.

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Sammys Restaurant Canberra

Our last day together was spent ‘on the hoof’ walking around the lake, the National Museum and out to the Australian National Botanic Gardens where we caught up with Daniel, a mate of Jeff’s. Johnno 2 weeks earlier attended a botanic gardens conference in Wollongong and had arranged for his conference suitcase to be dropped off at the National Botanic Gardens – It was there to be picked up as arranged which was great!

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Australian National Botanic Gardens

Daniel drove us back to the AIS and we all rode to Canberra station together – Jeff and Mark were catching the overnight train back to Melb and Johnno was staying on in Canberra for the Australian Plant Society Conference – We had a great ride on bike paths from the AIS to the station – It was officially the end of our adventures as a trio…a wonderful, challenging and bloody awesome time in the Snowys and beyond! Yeah!!!

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