From Dusk till Dawn II – Produced by Robert “Staples” Bleeker

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Mal Leslie as Chet Pussy

James Hall as Jacob Fuller

Seb Dunne as Richard Gecko

Adam Hunter as Frost

Marty Worth as Sex Machine

Joel MacFarlane-Roberts as Pete Bottoms

Aaron Coles as Seth Gecko

On a balmy November evening 7 brave souls set out on another Dawn till Dusk Epic, 3 of which rode the original epic, Aaron, Seb and James. The plan was to ride from 6pm till 6am covering all of the single track riding venues in the area whilst riding through the night.

The proposed route was Black Mountain, a loop around Bruce Ridge then across to Majura Pines, over Ainslie and then out to Kowen Forest, East Kowen, Sparrow Hill into Queanbeyan and onto Jerrabomberra, then Red Hill and finally Mount Stromlo.

7 began this epic but only 5 made the complete route – somebody has to take a shot for the crew. First incident was when crossing Ellenborough St – somehow a policeman in a divvie van was able to get onto his mega phone and say something? to us as we crossed the road – impressive!

All was going well until I took them up the Mt Majura walking track into Majura Pines when Joel’s back gave out on him and he decided wisely to bail before the point of no return. Being on my single speed along with Aaron I tried to look after us by not going to the highest points and we were able to commute along quite nicely.

First food stop was at the airport and to his credit Coach was keen to carry on past the point of no return – copious amounts of coke was consumed something poor Adam was later to regret with an upset stomach. I was still eating solid food which helped lighten the load of my 10kilo pack (brought way too much) and spirits were high still.

We hit the climb into Kowen Forest with Seb and Adam trying to hurt Aaron with their gears, whilst I rode up along in the dark on my “Moonie Run”, well actually a half moon run, but the road was easy to follow in the moonlight. Marty kept Coach encouraged up the 200m ascent and we regathered at the top and made our way across to ascend the highest point of the ride.

We hit the 20° slopes and then into “Escalator”-(with 19 switchbacks) before reaching our highest point just below 900m. At this stage of the night around 11pm it was probably the hardest mentally as we were approaching our usual sleep time. Coach, at this stage, being the furthest point away from home decided that he needed to recuperate and that after our loop in East Kowen he was to head back to Queanbeyan before deciding whether to rest or push on back home. We were all feeling his tiredness but having been at this point last time knew that we could push through again with the fun single track helping our cause.

So we were down to 5 as we entered Sparrow Hill and our spirits immediately picked up riding the smooth trails particularly down “Lickety Splits” – my favourite track since “Bobsled”. Out onto the road and with a tailwind hooned back into Queanbeyan despite the geared riders trying to drop Aaron and me.

We stopped at the servo there for another fuel up and to our downfall were talked into those bloody 2 for one deal whereby we got ourselves two 750ml Expresso milks – about 150ml too much. Adam gorged himself on coke again and then we rather quickly rode through town after being abused by every person we rode past though the best comment was “hey, have you guys got insurance!” – Not a bad jibe from someone from struggle town.

Suddenly we all were complaining about stomach cramps from drinking too much milk or coke and as we turned into the hardest piece of single track at Jerrabomberra tiredness was starting to set in. Adam was feeling the effects of an upset stomach but when Aaron washed out and injured the ‘smaller’ of his two balls we didn’t feel so bad in comparison. We finished off our ride through the magic “creek run”, came across the obligatory wombat and allowed Aaron to have one more check to make sure everything was in order.

We were making good time heading into Manuka to where I had pre-arranged with the store manager to do a stop at MacDonald’s – though the night manager wasn’t so convinced and tried to send us off into Civic. Marty ordered his happy meal, I a coke but without ice which I was craving for (machine turned off) though poor old Adam was still suffering the effects of bad food choice and looked quite ill – rule #5.

We did a quick loop around Red Hill trying to nurse Adam back to health and then onto Stromlo with an approaching thunderstorm seeding doubt into our minds for how long we could stay. We were well ahead of schedule and knowing the likelihood of somewhere being open at 6am in Civic was remote. We still managed a decent loop though Adam and the storm convinced us to head back into town after seeing the Dawn rise at 5.15am.

We managed to crack a good pace back into town and Marty and Seb still had enough to drag each other up slot car hill whilst Adam cheekily used his commuter bell to pass them on the decent. Back into town and sure enough nothing open and with fatigue starting to hit we decided to head home.

So thanks to all the lads for a great night out – we managed around 170kms+ and 2500m in elevation. Well done to Coach for hanging on for so long and making the very lonely journey home.

Next year when Bleeksie is back I’m thinking of a similar trip but maybe this time we’ll aim to hit the high points as well – we’ll see