Ok, it's not so long, I'm exaggerating just a smidge.
We left our beautiful seaside campsite at 7.15 and started the 81km trek to the lovely town of Tiaro, population 444. Which means when we roll into town we triple the population!
A relatively uneventful ride, but a good part of it on highway roads. Two near misses for Team Boyd today - one from an impatient truck driver who thought we all deserved to die for being on his road. He got very close and blasted his horn which was quite frightening.
Second close call was of our own making. My pack came loose on the back so we pulled off on the side of the highway to right it. Mental note, do not pull over and unclip your right foot when there's a one metre drop on the left. You WILL overbalance and you will fall. Or your son will act as a stopper and twist his ankle.
He was a real trooper though and fought back the tears to press on. Once off the highway we wound through some hilly country and over a gorgeous old planked bridge into Tiaro.
I'm not ashamed to admit that the second half of the ride for me was a struggle today. I have a head cold that is slowly manifesting into my chest cavity. It makes breathing painful and difficult and hills are the enemy! By the time we made it into town I was wrecked and it was a real effort to put up my tent and get settled.
A massage for us both was a great help, easing off our sore muscles. Hayden is hooked and is quite a favourite with the massage team. I couldn't get him in for tomorrow's sessions, but will make sure he has one in Cooroy, because he sure has earned it!
Tomorrow is our greatest challenge. 102km of hills all day, with no flat sections for recovery. Hayden is a bit concerned we will be riding the SAG wagon, and I've been trying to convince him that it won't be a bad thing if we give it our best shot and have to catch the bus to camp. At tonight's briefing they mentioned that the section to afternoon tea was easier than last year's Texas to Stanthorpe leg, but that after afternoon tea was the hardest section. That was the hardest ride I had ever done, so I look forward to the comparisons at the end of the day.
I've never been one to quit before I start. We will give it a good crack tomorrow. But if you don't hear from me tomorrow night by about 8pm, send out the search parties and look for the carrion eaters circling in the air. That's where you'll find us!