It's amazing where a bike can take you. Look at any map of NSW that shades out a block for the ACT. A good chunk of that outline is basically the Centenary Trail. Our circumnavigation was aided by prior knowledge acquired from 2 and a half previous attempts - the last having been washed out at half distance. Experience meant that we didn't get lost, knew what was coming, when the punch it and when to chill, and all without hours of head scratching and red herrings. Perfect weather to boot.
The trimmed-down version ran at approx 142 km, including an extra few clicks from our hotel to and from the War Memorial start. Total time 8:55, concluding at the Ainslie shops for milkshakes and chips, with about an hour off the bike, although Strava reckons riding time was 7:30, which presumably factored in pauses for gates and other paraphernalia. Obstacle tally; approx. 25 gates requiring dismounts - less than usual, with many of the gates along the Murrumbidgee blissfully open.
Birding highlights included flocks of Gang Gangs at Majura, flushes of Yellow Rump Thornbills in morning light, a Hobby at Stromlo, spectacular Scarlet Robbins on the southern section, and Weebills calling pretty much everywhere.
The next day we checked out Kowens Forest, and the 17 km circuit to be used in the Mont next weekend. Similar circuit to last year but with more climbing and more roots and rocks. Even more reason to make my next fatty a dually. Birding highlights; more Scalet Robbins, and for the second time Grey Currawongs, which must surely make Kowens a GC hotspot.
Finished the day with the Tom Roberts exhibit at the National Gallery, and some lazing about by the lake whilst watching Scrub Wrens and Fantails go about their business, and walkers and cyclists enjoying the afternoon light. The ACT really is a top shelf destination these days (that’s old age talking). Somehow it wouldn't surprise me if I end up there on a more permanent basis in the future...but for the time being it will have to be one intermittent weekend at a time.