Just got back from the tour from Yass to Gundagai via Wee Jasper and
Tumut. There were three LBUG Tourers on the trip, me, Mike and Rob. Some steep climbs and long
fast descents, plenty of scenery and friendly country towns.

Things started well with the Greyhound bus to Yass from Eddy Av on Friday. No hassle with the bikes, just loaded them straight on in the freight section under the bus. Tied them to supports with some bungees and they travelled standing up- no need to box them.

We stayed in the Yass caravan park and set off on Saturday morning for Wee Jasper, about 55 km. There had been rain and the country was a weird green colour, not the usual dried yellow-brown. A couple of climbs and a whizzing descent to the mighty Murrumbidgee, which had some strange blue stuff flowing along it. Could that be water filling up Burrinjuck Dam? Nice spot for a coffee break, although Mike left the matches
behind. On we went, up another hill and then an even better descent into Wee Jasper.

We had a beer at the Tavern (http://thestablestavern.com.au/),
which is the only thing open in Wee Jasper since the General Store
closed. Accommodation was nearby at Wee Jasper Station ( http://www.weejasperstation.com.au/),
in a cottage recently renovated by the young son of the owner and his
girlfriend, Hannibal and Hrissy. Unusual names for unusual people, he
being amongst other things at one time a horse trainer for Packer and
she being from Bulgaria, recently emigrated, and keen to make a new life
here. They offered to drive us into the pub for dinner, but warned us
that they would be drinking so a lift back was possibly a little
dangerous. We rode the few kms into Wee Jasper, and back, slightly
wobbly, later that evening, after a few red wines with the charming
publican, Janet.

Next morning was the moment of truth, 10 km climb up Yass Rd through the
Wee Jasper State Forest, a 500 m climb, and then some more after that.
It was cool to start with, and shady, which made it easier. We pedalled
steadily up, around many bends, on a narrow gravel road. The gradient
was pretty constant at about 5%, not too steep, winding its way up the
mountain. It levelled off at about 850 m in a big pine plantation and
went along for a few more kilometres, then losing some height before
another fairly stiff climb to the highest point at about 890m. Here
there was a big new sealed logging road (Billapaloola Rd) heading off
to the left to Tumut, or we could have taken unsealed Wee Jasper Rd to
the right.

The decision was to take the sealed road, thinking it would be mostly
downhill, but instead it went frustratingly up and down for several
kilometres before finally taking a big drop down on Bombowlee Creek Rd,
where we would have hit very high speeds but for a strong southerly
wind, which slowed us down to about 30 or 40 km/h. The road kept going
down and down, and towards the bottom the wind dropped and it was easy
to hit 60. Luckily the loggers weren’t about and we had the road to
ourselves. We ran out into flat country on the way into Tumut, riding
the last 7 km into the wind, trying a bit of single file wind cheating
stuff.

The Oriental is strategically placed on the right as you enter Tumut,
and we had a cold beer on their verandah, opposite the Police Station.
Then off to the caravan park by the Tumut River. This is a really pretty
spot, with big trees and birds and trout jumping, and a beach for a
swim. Dinner in town at the Woolpack, eaten outdoors in the wide main
street, on the opposite corner to the Oriental. This country living can
be good.

Next morning it was a pity to leave, could have stayed for a few days.
We took a short tour of the cyclepath along the river, and back past the
racecourse and the Police Station and Court House, where there was a
big crowd of worried looking youth mainly, who no doubt were all facing
drink and driving charges from the weekend… Met a local who had seen
us on the road coming in the day before and also saw us in the pub, so
no doubt half of Tumut knew about us.

We took the Brungle Road to Gundagai. It was only 37 km but there were a
few steep hills, particularly the one just before Gundagai. This one
had sections of 10 % or more. Nothing for it but to grind up in low low
gear. Great views back over the Brungle valley.

Got into Gundagai at 230 pm, with time to have a quick change into a
fresh shirt and get on the Greyhound bus back to Sydney- an uneventful 6
hour trip.

All up, about 156 km over some big hills and some great scenery and
greenery after the recent rain, and friendly country towns. See map and
profile at http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/401016.

Photos On Google.

Wee Jasper Gasper
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