Recognition is a strange thing that can come at anytime. Yesterday I paused to snap the above picture at Urliup, when someone who was out jogging on the dirt road that I hadn't met before recognised me from this blog. It's not entirely incomprehensible, given that this page would probably appear in the top 10 results if one typed "Urliup" into any search engine, but it was still quite a surprise. They also invited me to drop in for a chat anytime I feel like it, and I may take up that offer one day. I should just be glad it happened at Urliup rather than a place like Ipswich or Caboolture that's received less flattering treatment from these pages.
As to the ride itself, I continued through moist air, climbing Tomewin to head for the Garden of Eden. Inspired by last week's effort, I rode The Black Magic again. It's interesting to note some aspects about riding long distances on an MTB. While the acceleration isn't the same as other bikes, they are remarkably smooth when you're just holding a consistent rhythm. That would be telling later on.
I crossed the old Glengarrie Road across the top of the range, taking in the spectacular views, negotiating mud patches and climbing on the rocks. Here The Black Magic was in it's element, but the bursts of acceleration that I normally associate with this stretch just didn't seem necessary, and it was negotiated with ease. At the summit I opted to descend on the Zig-Zag road - a shorter option, but with more dirt these days as the rich boys are moving in below. It also has more interesting views, and I'd made up the distance I needed on the Garden of Eden road at the other side. The consistent descent and the roaring tailwind that pushed me home made for an embarrassingly easy finish to the adventure.
Somewhat less clear-cut has been the pursuit of accommodation for my Alpine Classic adventure next month. After thinking I had it all taken care off on Friday, I received an e-mail from the place I was staying in Bright advising me that the room I'd booked wasn't available after all, but someone had forgotten to update their page on roamfree.com. That's poor, but fortunately I've been able to make other arrangements.
Meanwhile, my two nights in Melbourne on either side will be spent at the same backpacker hostel that I stayed at in 2002 on my first visit, just before my tour in Western Victoria. I've actually thought quite a bit about riding the Great Ocean Road a second time, and there's a small feeling of nostalgia about this coincidence. The Great Southern Randonee is on this year, covering that particular piece of territory. I probably won't be ready for the 1200, but the 600 is a distinct possibility.