Running on empty

I remember a few years ago a friend telling me after a trans Australian run where he ran out of fuel that the big kawa’s only have 100m left to run after their first splutter.  I hoped I wasn’t going to put that to the test.

But I’ll get to that later.

One of my past times is marshalling cyclists in road racing.  Essentially I pillion a commassaire (French word for referee or judge) on the back of my motorcycle.   This weekend we were in Bright helping with the Tour of Bright.

On the way over on Friday night I realised two things.  Firstly, how low my reserves were as I had to stop a number of times for a break.  And secondly the last minute repairs I did to my rear tyre was still leaking. So before I even started I was running on empty.  So with draining energy and draining tyre pressure I made my way to Bright.

After Saturday’s racing a few of us headed up to Mt Buffalo to have a look around.  We were greated with this spectacular scenery.


The old deserted chalet.


Then we headed up a narrow, bumpy, corrugated dirt road to ‘the horn’.




Here we sat out on the rocks for over an hour just chatting, sharing our stories and contemplating the world.



The second days racing saw us climb from Bright to Mt Hotham which is about a 1500 meter climb.  I think if I was cycling up there I’d have to be followed by an ambulance.

Finish line high in the mountains



From Mt Hotham I made my way home via interesting and scenic roads.


At Omeo I stopped at a nice little bakery across the road from an old pub, which seemed to be the regular stopping place.

From Omeo I headed north on the Omeo Highway through a little place called Anglers Rest.   A beautiful place on the river.

If you don’t like narrow twisting roads  this isn’t your road.! But on the bike it was great.

Most of the road looked like this.  Twisting up and down and around the mountains.

With some new road with a nice thick coating of blue metal just to make it really slippery!

And only 9km of dirt remaining.

I did feel a bit sorry for the bloke I spoke to in Mitta Mitta who just drove over this road by mistake as he missed his turn in Omeo over 100km back!!!

All was going well until I’d realised that the fuel station I was counting on would probably close early on Sunday so I made my way with hast only to find it closed.

So I sat with the map open. 40km to the closest town – but no garrentee of a fuel station being open.  60km to a bigger town in my current general direction – I would not make that one.  50km to a town out of my way, but would have fuel, but questionable whether I’d make it.  In the end I went the 50km option.

Up until now I was having fun and was not thinking about fuel consumption.  Now however I was in full conservation mode.  Then over 30km out of town…

The bike’s instruments constantly reminded me of the imminent threat of pushing.  I’m sure it just does that to mock you.  You’re an idiot you should have filled up.  You’re an idiot you should have filled up.  And on and on it goes!

500ml left in the tank doesn’t sound like much.  But it was enough.

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