What a unique bed head, made by the pub owner from wood acquired from the Portland wind farm. Appropriate as that is where we were planning to ride, and that is Tony checking out the wind forecasts.
Not looking great. Better get moving!
Leaving Gladstone we descended to the Ringarooma River. Looks like a great place for a dip on a hot day.
What goes down must go up when cycling, and I laughed as I noticed Tony being chased up the hill by this dog. The dog was barking, and when it stopped, started howling. Not sure if it was seeing Tony off, or wanted to join us.
Looking ahead towards her coastline.
We had a pretty good ride up until the last 5 km before the wind farm. Then we had a northerly headwind, confirmed by the turbine blade positions. The picture below shows a good aerial shot providing perspective.
We rode to the very end of the gravel road, and found this walkway and great little beach.
Heading back along the road we turned off to Little Musselroe Bay. The shots below are from the boat ramp (fairly rugged construction) with some delightfully located ‘rustic’ shacks.
Further along the same road, we rode into the campground, and that was really nice.
There are two shacks off the campground and position, position, position. Tony went past the ‘do not enter’ sign and took these two photos.
The Tebrakunna Visitor Centre was to be the next stop a few km past the campground, up a hill with extraordinary wind exposure! The centre was excellent and well worth visiting. It was a welcome respite from the winds (inside the centre).
Mannalargenna was born c1780. His clan was the pairebenna and his homeland tebrakunna ( Cape Portland). Mannalargenna was a revered bungunna, formidable warrior, and in his older age, considered a seer.
Before the arrival of the white colonists, he and his people had lived an uninterrupted cultural life world. Throughout the 1820’s mannalargenna led his warriors in a war of resistance. Ultimately the story is shocking, with the decimation of his people too sad to write about. They were hunted and killed and their clan of over 10,000 reduced to 300 and then they were shipped off to Flinders Island.
Some wonderful examples of aboriginal arts see on display.
The wind farm has 56 turbines, 80 metres in height. Each turbine blade is 44 metres long and each turbine has 3 blades weighing 7 tonne each. Each turbine can generate 3 megawatts.
The average wind speed at the wind farm is 9.1 metres per second, or approximately 33 km/h, so hardly surprising the farm is very windy and is regarded as a world class wind resource. The turbine blades feather and stop turning at 90 km/h ( 50 knots) but are designed to withstand wind gusts of more than 250 km/h.
We later checked to see how strong the winds were that we were experiencing on our ride out and found out that it was 48 km/h gusting to 67 km/h. Close to non rideable, and questionable safety wise.
We continued to battle staying upright and the gusts continued throwing us around. We rode in the middle of the road, as we had good visibility both ways and it provided us with a few extra metres from the left gutter margins.
A welcome reprieve was a necessary stoppage to allow this herd through.
No more pictures were taking heading back to Gladstone as we really struggled, and put our head down and counted the km down . We had intended to visit Little Blue Lake, but keen to get the bikes, and us, off the roads. It was scary riding in this wind and I did my best to control the bike and stay on it. Progress was slow.
We are the only guests at the pub, and the pub is closed on Mondays. The owners were at a private appointment in Bridport, and would not return for another two hours. Once we arrived back we killed time sheltering from the wind out the front, with a direct view of this renovators delight across the road.
This old church is for sale a few doors down. Not well maintained externally but internally quite nice and only $130,000.
Tomorrow we head to the East coast. We are hoping the forecast winds are a bit less…and intend to set off early. Most of the ride will be gravel, so it will be a slower ride, regardless of the wind possibilities. We have chosen it as the main road is quite narrow and windy.
Thanks for reading, Ooroo!
One thought on “Gnarly”
Can well imagine the challenge of riding in those winds, I’m fairly terrified of being blown over!! Such an interesting day though, thank you for sharing it with us. Hope the weather is perfect tomorrow!