The training continues, and on Saturday I got a chance to head out to Kinglake, a 7km climb which is a solid 110km ride with about 1800 meters of climbing (which is equivalent to one of the easiest days we are doing at the beat cancer tour!)
A stunning day, and I feel that things are starting to come together, fitness is heading in the right direction, and I raised my first $1000 (only $11,000 to go!!).
Reflecting on the current NSW bushfire emergency made me think of Black Saturday which occurred in February 2009. I took the opportunity to pull over and take a minute to ponder over the 173 lives lost on that fateful day, specifically about 3/4 of the way up the kinglake climb is where I stopped. A spot where I believe some of the fatalities occurred on the Kinglake-Hurstbridge Road. This is evidenced by alloy from a cars wheels that (with the heat of the fires) has melted the wheel and fused with the road surface. Photo below.
I dont mean this post to be somber, but this day should not be forgotten, and I do not think it is necessary to wait for the anniversary of any certain event to take the time to remember.
I dont think many people realise the sheer intensity of the fires, when you read up on it, it is utterly astounding. That day was a combination of the perfect conditions for a catastrophe. 40+ Celsius, 100kph winds, and loads of dry fuel ready to light. If you are interested to learn more about this fateful day I highly recommend watching an ABC doco called ‘inside the firestorm’, see this link.
I cannot fathom flames at twice the height of the trees, entire trees exploding from the intensity of heat, the fires ripping up the valley from St Andrews to Kingkake at 80kph, the heat so intense people were being incinerated when they were still 200 meters away from the physical fire. It is like something from a nightmare.
Lest we forget.
After black saturday many people were concerned that the fire storm had been so intense the native trees would never recover, even two years after the fires in 2011 there was still little signs of growth or life. But slowly small buds of green started to sprout up, and it gladdens my heart to see that finally much of the beautiful surrounds has for the most part recovered.
If there is any silver lining, I believe most Australians awareness of how to act during a fire is greatly improved, confirming that a persons life should always take precedence over possessions. With the NSW fires I took time to remind my parents (who live in Batemans Bay) that at the first hint of fire they are to get the heck outta their home and seek safety and distance from the fire.
I know, a post with no relevance to the beat cancer tour, but something that interests me, and I feel is worth writing about.
Some photos of Kinglake during and after..