IP Day 39 – Ensay to Omeo

Monday 2nd May, 2022

45.3 km +734m
Moving 2:46 Elapsed 3:44
Max 52.5 kph Avg 16.3 kph

A very short day (as I elaborated on a couple of posts back). But 734m climbing in 45km isn’t a walk in the park either.

We had breakfast with Mic, and then as we packed up, he mucked around taking silly photos.

We finally got going at about 20 to 9, with our very own farewell party of one waving us off.

It was only 17km to Swifts Creek – the only place with food between Ensay and Omeo, so we sat in the cafe and had coffee/tea and some food – bacon and egg roll or something. We were taking it easy today.

We still had a 400m climb ahead of us today though.

It wasn’t bad, just a 9km slog. We stopped for a break a couple of times.

Then it was a pretty easy 10km to Omeo. Except for the last bit. We had been forewarned by Scotty’s post from a fortnight ago as they rode this section:

Can confirm it is a pretty accurate moniker for that hill.

His post had also alerted me to a glitch in the gpx sections that I had. I think I’ve already mentioned it, but, before the ride, in RideWithGPS I had broken down the ‘official’ IPWR gpx file into multiple sections so that each day I could just quickly load up a likely day’s course (for us) onto the Garmin 1000.

What was Scotty on about? My gpx wasn’t showing any circuitous route. I referred back to the full IPWR route. Oh. I hadn’t realised it till now, but RideWithGPS had automatically done a re-route so as to take the shortest route into Omeo. (After this I cross-checked the rest of my gpx route sections for the rest of the ride!)

In the scheme of our approach to the whole ride (eg. having chosen to take a different (safer) route out of Adelaide), it probably wasn’t a big deal. We weren’t exactly being purists here. However, we didn’t want to look like we were taking any easier shortcuts, so we’d take the proper ‘Wherefore art thou Omeo?!’ extra one kilometre-for-no-good-reason route!

I was able to use my backup navigation strategy, using a google MyMaps layer -of the full IPWR route – on Google Maps on my phone.

You wouldn’t think it would be that hard, but in these back streets, our position on my google maps app was lagging behind our actual position. I didn’t call out the turn quickly enough, so we overshot the street. Cue a mutual dummy spit, standing on a street corner up on the backblocks of Omeo ‘Heights’.

We had had other… ‘moments’… of course, throughout the trip so far. I just remember this one quite well. Haha.

We calmed down and rolled downhill into town. It wasn’t quite 12.30. We found a cafe, and spent over two hours there, before finding a takeaway that would make us our staple peanut butter and jam sandwiches (for tomorrow.)

The only accommodation we could find in Omeo had been at Hilltop Hotel. No idea why everything else was so booked out – even the locals didn’t know. (In my pre-ride accommodation options research I’d had Hilltop Hotel at the very bottom of the list for Omeo, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. It was still a bed.)

We had stayed in Omeo many years ago, at the other pub in town. Our first kid, Cait, was only 1 year old, and Marc and some friends were doing, as a relay, a multiport race called the Winter Classic (with XC ski, running, cycling and whitewater canoeing legs) in the area around Omeo.

We killed time at a Recreation Reserve opposite the pub until we could check in at about 3pm. At least the hotel – in accordance with its name – was at the top of a hill on the way out of town, so we wouldn’t have to ride up that first thing very very early tomorrow morning.

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