Black Saturday – One Year Later

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Everyone in Australia will know of the Black Saturday bushfires that killed 173 people and destroyed over 2000 homes one year ago.  Unfortunately the people who didn’t lose their homes weren’t much better off.   Whole towns were completely erased.  Only when you go into the areas you’ll gain an appreciation for the magnitude of this disaster.  I’m sure everyone who lives in Melbourne knows someone who was directly affected.

The areas that were hit by the bushfires are some of the best riding grounds in the country  (I realize how selfish that sounds in the context of what happened and don’t mean to downplay it).  I absolutely love it out there.  Since the fires we’ve been conscious to keep our distance and have only visited there a few times.  This weekend we made a point of going there to pay our respects and leave some money behind in some of the community cafes and bakeries.  Here is the route we took.  This is one of my favorite rides.

I’ll be sending Avanti and TFM an advertising invoice this month ;-)

The Kinglake climb is a terrific 7.5km ascent with a 5% gradient.  Will Walker holds the record of 15: 16mins. That’s 29km/hr!  We did it in just under 18mins which still wasn’t easy.

I was busy taking photos and got separated from my group.  Luckily I bumped into a few of my other mates James Broadway (not taking photos for once) and Sharon Laws!

Yes,  Sharon’s Cervelo kit and bike are the real deal. If anyone ever questions the competitiveness of women’s pro cycling, tell them to try holding onto Sharon’s wheel.  Oh, and as Sharon found out – don’t use babywipes to clean your rims. They’ll make a horrible screetching that’ll drive you bananas!

One year later and the community of Kinglake is still living in temporary housing

Lots of rebuilding still going on..

The vegetation is growing back but there are still charred trees as far as the eye can see.

Such a beautiful area but reminders of bad news are everywhere

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