That's right folks, it took me over eight years to climb that mountain - mainly because I didn't even know it existed until about two weeks ago when I chanced a look at that map. Nestled between the bigger climbs of Binna Burra and O'Reilly's, it's managed to escape my attention... until today.
This afternoon I set off on my quest. The ride through the Coomera Valley, as done before. However I actually took that left turn 2km short of Canungra, headed for the Mariam Valley. This is a very nice valley for a ride, there are hilly and less hilly options down here, following the Coomera River toward Lamington National Park.
A couple of km into this ride, I found a right turn on "Toe Lock" road. I took this and started onto a mind-buggeringly steep climb on a dirt road. This was one hell of a battle, having to stay in the saddle to maintain some basic rudimentary traction on the road.
I knew it couldn't last for long, and I looked ahead and saw the grade ease off and, incredibly, a paved road ahead. I let out a short laugh... "now I've got you!" A little too soon as I rounded a corner and saw a gate with a sign - "trespassers will be prosecuted". I've done all that work for a wrong turn? Well, at least the view was nice.
I descended back into the valley and continued gradually climbing toward Lamington, until I saw the right turn on a dirt road - Tabletop Road. This was it. I decided to follow the valley to the end (a very nice ride) and get Tabletop Road on the way back.
Another steep climb on a dirt road - not as steep as Toe Lock road but looser gravel this time. A quick glance down into the valley revealed the speed at which I was gaining height, the grade eased soon. Here was where I made my mistake, I started thinking about the report I was going to post on BF and not on what I was doing - Crash!
Fortunately the crash took a long time to happen (nearly pulled off a brilliant save!), and at low speed little damage was done (just some skin off my fingers, it hurts to type) and some gravel rash on my left hip. I washed out my broken skin with some water from my bottle. Now this was personal. I was going to finish this if it killed me.
The grade picked up again toward the end - and gave rise to some spectacular scenery from not only the valley below, but also the cliffs on the mountain. I continued climbing, rounded a right-hand corner, and I was there! Finally! After eight years and a particulary galling set back during the week (I won't mention it again, it's been discussed enough). I only hope the camera and film survived the crash so I can save the pics I took and post them here - eventually.
I was tired and sore on the ride home (it was my second ride today, after all), but satisfied. I realised that things like this are the reason we put up with all the other crap that goes on in life. It's setting ourselves challenges and how we meet them that defines our character and who we are. It's that special combination of elation and exhaustion that makes what we do worthwile.
Is anyone still reading this?