Friday, 16 September 2011

Feats, fun and friendships

Day seven finds us in Boonah - not long to go now and the fun will be over for Cycle Qld 2011.

Today was an 88km run, with an early start at 7.15 am - with an expected maximum of 29 degrees today, we wanted to be sure that most of our riding was out of the way before it got too hot.

What a great start to the day - we cycled over Mt Lindesay - who would have thought I'd be able to say that when I took up cycling three years ago! Lots of gentle (and not so gentle climbs) to get up and over, but the beauty was once again in the descents. The headwinds made them not so spectacular today as they slow you down a bit, but still managed to top 70.23 km/HR on one of the drops.

When I travelled in the UK we used to joke about the ABC of traveling - another bloody castle, another bloody cathedral. I've adapted my own ABC for cycle touring - another bloody climb!

The landscapes were once again spectacular, and the sound of the bell birds calling in the rainforest sections was pretty special too.

The beauty of a ride this size is the many and varied personalities that you meet along the way. Each campsite brings new neighbors, each day's ride new people to chat to along the way to camp. I've met so many interesting people, with amazing stories and a common thread of a love of riding that draws us all together. I'm already looking forward to catching up with these people at next year's ride, and this one hasn't even finished yet!

The camaraderie is so encouraging - the majority of riders are friendly, helpful and more than happy to share their experiences. And for many, these bike rides are a big part of their lives each year.

The pubs in each town are always choc-o-block with riders sharing a cold beer at the end of a hot day, and it is a great injection to each local community we have visited. One school even moved its fete to coincide with our visit, and I imagine they made record sales!

So here's your challenge. Think seriously about doing something like this just once in your life - give it a go, and see if it's something you would only do once or something you find yourself coming back to year after year.

Farewell from Boonah - tomorrow sees a short ride to Rosewood. Two sleeps to go and the countdown will start for next year!