2023 Indi-Pac Day 24 Report

Monday April 10, 2023: Another late start, 7:40am. The competitive part of the event was gone, which for me is a massive fuel source for the will – that invisible, persistent hand on the back that pushes you forward through the constant fatigue and aching body. All that was left to motivate me was to see my wife and boys for the first time in 6 weeks, not to mention my broader family and friends for the first time in 4 years! And of course the Emerald City, my home town of Sydney. Not unmotivating at all, far from it but all of the above were still a long way away by bike, and as such were still rooted in the abstract.

Enough of the dribble. I slept in because I was scared of the climb today, ok. There you have it.

Perhaps rightly so though. Over the last couple of days since Mount Hotham I had been in denial about the toughness of the climb over the Snowy Mountains. I wanted it, oh so wanted it to be as “easy” as the Hotham climb but I had read enough of the WhatsApp messages from the Indi-Pac rider group to know that that was not the case.

….so armed with a recently consumed breakfast of a packet of Smiths chips and a brownie, both of which I had acquired from the Pub last night, and my only remaining supplies – 2 x Crunchie Bars and a 500ml bottle of Coke, off I went.

Monday April 10, 2023: My digs from last night, a cabin at the Clearwater Caravan Park, Tintaldra.

Monday April 10, 2023: Back into it on Murray River Road just out of Tintaldra.

I was only 2 days off this time in the vid:

Monday April 10, 2023: View of the Snowy Mountains from Jim Newman’s Lookout.

From the lookout there is a slight decline. I went to change into a harder gear – nothing!

Shit, that’s not good.

I kept trying in vein to hit a harder gear and then tried an easier one for shit’s and giggles – nothing.

Shit, that’s worse! (Still an understatement in the context of today’s up diddly up).

Long story short it wasn’t a flat battery in my electronic derailleur (which actually would of surprised me given that I had been very diligent with that particular task), it was a flat battery in the actual shifter.

Which for a few minutes before I calmed down and thought it through was a major problem:

  • I had never changed a shifter battery before. I didn’t even know where the battery slot was – under the rubber hood somewhere……
  • I knew that the required battery was one of those CR disc ones but I didn’t know what size.
  • Regardless, I didn’t have a spare………………………….FAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRCK!
  • Enter stage left – a couple of deep breaths and clear thinking:
    • ok, YouTube will tell me how to find the battery slot and how to change the battery.
    • The power metre uses a CR battery doesn’t it? Maybe I can use that?
  • Enter stage left a bit of luck:
    • I got decent enough phone coverage to get on YouTube.
    • The CR battery in the power metre was the same as that required in the shifter.


All the above took only 45 minutes. Not bad really if I do so say myself.

Monday April 10, 2023: All business now. The picturesque Towong Racecourse off to my right.

Monday April 10, 2023: Murray River Road, just past Towong.

Monday April 10, 2023: Alright here we go.

Monday April 10, 2023: Maybe not yet, but there are the mountains.

Monday April 10, 2023: Maybe not yet, but there are the mountains. Take 2.

Monday April 10, 2023: After you sir….


Monday April 10, 2023: At last……….Civilisation!

Monday April 10, 2023: “Ian, you’re on!”

Monday April 10, 2023: Following in the great man’s footsteps.

Monday April 10, 2023: OK, here we go!!

Monday April 10, 2023: Up…..

Monday April 10, 2023: …..and up!

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: excuse for a breather….

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and a bit of down……and then up.

Monday April 10, 2023: Tooma Dam, of the 16 major dams that comprise the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectricity Scheme.

Monday April 10, 2023: Heading across the Tooma Dam.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: Across, then up.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and up.

Monday April 10, 2023: The desolation wrought by the January, 2020 Bushfires.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and a bit of down thank goodness.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and a bit of down thank goodness. Take 2.

Monday April 10, 2023: ….and a bit more down thank goodness.

Monday April 10, 2023: Rolling across the Tumut Dam.

Monday April 10, 2023: Excuse for a break.

By the time I finally rolled around the security gate of Cabramurra, the ‘company town’ of the Snowy River Hydro Scheme, I was in two words “rather fucked”:

  • I hadn’t bonked but was damn (pun intended) close. Two crunchies and a Coke not quite nourishing enough for the climb……….duh!
  • The 3 rounds of Cortizone injections into my left knee (don’t tell WADA) that had got me to the starting line in Fremantle had well and truly worn off. There were times on the steeper parts where I thought my knee was literally going to blow apart.

Oh well, there’s a sign that says Tavern…….that’s a bit of me!

Into the toasty warm, massive cafeteria and the mouth watering aroma of frying food.

“Sorry sir, you’re obviously not an employee, we can’t serve you.”

“You fuckin’ what?” (I may well have used different words).

I actually thought the jobs-worth, a lad in his early 30’s was joking. It was Easter Monday, there was no-one in the bloody cafeteria. As if his slapped fish of a face wasn’t enough of an indication that he wasn’t, an older lady in a hair net came over to re-affirm the company line.

I couldn’t believe it!

Under normal circumstances I would just read the room and mutter some smart arse comment under my breath while walking away, and go somewhere else. But I bloody well couldn’t! There was nowhere else. The nearest place were I could get food and drink was Adaminaby 60k’s away and based on my last 60k’s that could take over 6 hours!

Anyway, I managed to eventually talk them into selling me 2 salad sandwiches and a can of Coke. They wouldn’t sell me any hot food or let me sit and eat in the cafeteria.

Rules are rules but for fuck sake!!

Outside in the increasingly chilly late afternoon I rammed all the above, with the exception of half a sandwich that I’d save for later, into my eager cake hole. Before making a decision on next moves I called Justine, the Adaminaby Trail Angel to get an idea of terrain from here to there.

Turns out I was over the hardest part of the climbing but the next 60k’s were far from a walk in the park.

Awrighty then, looks like I’ll be camping up in Australia’s 3rd highest town. I packed up and pedalled back out from whence I had come to an outbuilding that was hopefully beyond the evil purview of High Country Jobs-worth Food Preppers.

Monday April 10, 2023: Didn’t even touch the sides!

Monday April 10, 2023: Nighty night.

The Day According to Strava:



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