Day 12 – Casino to Huonbrook

Final day!

Today was another start just after 7am. I had a good run into Lismore (the usual crawl past Parrots Nest), and got there by 8:30. After a meusli bar, I continued though to Bexhill and then onto Clunes, where I stopped for lunch just after 10. The climb up from the railway line to the ridge-top after Bexhill is always such a leg-sapper, being 2 kilometers long at about 8%. Lunch was a smashed avocado with roasted almonds and goats cheese on toast with an iced coffee – very tasty!

I wasn’t aware of anti-CSG signage at Casino, but they were present from Lismore onwards. Basically they stated some high percentage of the local land was CSG-free or that a certain percentage of the local residents were anti-CSG. Apparently 87% of Lismore residents were against CSG mining, 97% of Clunes were, and it was 99% further north. Roads around Eureka and Federal were labeled as CSG-free, but I understand that mining exploration licenses were never covering much land off the plains, anyway. Maybe I’m wrong about that… At any rate the anti-mining sentiment was very strong. No wonder there was a more than 20% swing against the National Party in this area towards the Greens and it’s just a pity that the Greens only won Ballina and not Lismore as well.

At Federal I stopped for a drink and muesli bar before attempting to ride up the hill and into Goonengerry. As previously, however, I found that the 13% gradient was too much, and I had to get off and walk to the top. It was a nice downhill run from there until just before the public school where I stopped and rested for a while in the shade of a camphor laurel tree. After a few minutes I then got back on the bike and flew down the hill to the river and then crawled up to Montecollum. Only 13km to go!

I called Kath to let her know I was about an hour away and then raced down the hill and across the start of Wilsons Creek Road until I hit Laverties Gap. About 100 metres up (and almost 80 kilometers traveled), I was getting too tired  and stopped to walk up the hill. 100 metres from the top, I tried again but found it all a bit too hard going. Finally, past Cedar Road, I got back on and rode the last 3 kilometers. I’d forgotten how much effort the Gap involves, and it took me an extra half an hour on top of my Montecollum estimation, but I had made it!

Luckily Kath had a couple of beers in the fridge, one of which I immediately downed. I then unpacked the bike and set up the tent. After I had a shower, we set off to Brunswick Heads for a late lunch of fish and chips. Tomorrow, I’ll have to clean the bike and do some basic maintenance. The front tyre is worn – had been since Gloucester – and I might need new rear brake pads.

Total distance: 83.2km
Total time: 5:23:45
Avg speed: 15.4 km/h

My ride data is here

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