I set off from Rathdowney just after 8:30. I knew i had a huge day ahead of me so i made myself a Radix mixed berry breakfast and had a cup of before you speak coffee. l set off and began making my way out of Rathdowney up a valley to the south. It was busier than i had expected so i put my headphones in to drown out the sound of cars zooming past.
The valley floor was lush and green. Being at the base of the mountains meant the was no shortage of water. There was lots of farmland with friendly horses, cows and lots of sheep. The road eventually intersected with a creek and the then slowly followed it up. When i got to the lowest point there was a bridge that crossed over to the south side of the creek. It looked like a beautiful spot for a swim. I leaned my bike up on a road sign, striped off and lay down in the cool clear water. The feeling of it running over my skin gave me goosemps, it was like silk. I lay in the water until i was cold and had started shivering, it felt nice to be cold.
After giving my clothes a quick wash i was ready to go. The climbing began on this side of the creek, the first hill wasn't actually too bad, i even rode it twice so i could film it, but then they got steeper. My shirt dried out so fast and almost just as fast was wet again as the sweat was pouring off me. To counter the loss of fluids i was consuming my water much faster than i had in pervious days, just as i finished my first bottle i spotted a sign that said VERY STEEP CLIMB 18%, i stood at the bottom looking up in disbelief that there was even hills like this here. I started spining my legs as fast as possible and very slowly started climbing up. I couldn't keep straight and was wobbling all over the road, i had become quite the road hazard, half way up the climb i got off and started pushing.
At the top i felt so tired, my body felt used, and somehow I felt unfit. I got back onto the bike and kept moving up the valley. When i got to the next sign and looked beyond it up at the hill, i just dropped my bike and said “what am i doing?” “this is mental” it said VERY LONG STEEP CLIMB 19%. There was a short down before the up so i gathered as much speed as i possibly could and as soon as i stoped rolling up i was off and had started pushing. I checked my map and it was 2.4km to the top of this hill, with an altitude gain of 370m. I pushed my bike for an hour and a half before i reached the top. As i was pushing the cars would toot as if to say well done or keep it up. There was one freindly man who stoped and asked if he could take my gear to the top to make it easier. I thanked him but said i was determined to push on.
At the top i was totally wrecked my legs were shaking, my heart was beating out of my chest but i had done it! The lion road hill had been tamed and will forever be known by me as at the hill of doom. The treeline at the top of the hill marked the border of NSW. As i crossed over i entered into lush rainforest. The road started heading down slowly, and suddenly i was in the middle of the l