Monday, 17 September 2012

The final ride - happy and sad times

30km from Noosa to Cooroy was all that was between us and the end of our September Adventure.  We packed early and were on the road with the first 100 riders or so.

Only a few hills to challenge us today, but the legs were a bit tired, so even those few hills were a good warm up and challenge.

Our ride route took us down the Noosa longboard track.  A great downhill section that saw me riding my brakes heavily as it was quite twisty and would have been easy to fly right over the side.

And before you knew it, we were cruising along the Noosa River Esplanade and across the finish line to end our 9 day ride.

There are so many great things about cycle touring.  I've driven on many of the roads that we rode on this week.  I've seen more from my bike seat than I ever have from my car window.  I've smelled the cold, crisp outdoor air, felt the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.  This week's ride allowed me to share memories with Hayden that I may not have shared otherwise.

One morning (before I got my cold!), as we crested a rise, I smelled molasses grass.  Taking a deep breath, I told Hayden how that smell always makes me think of my grandmother - Nana Skerman - who lived in Maleny.  When we went to visit, we knew when we smelled that grass that we were close to seeing her.  To this day, I still can't help thinking we are nearly there whenever I catch the familiar scent.  He loved hearing that story, and would let me know when he could smell it once my head cold had cloaked my sense of smell.

Crossing the line was a momentous moment - and once we had passed the finish line, photographers and friends and had dismounted, we had the chance to realise what we had done.  542km in 9 days, visiting 8 towns and passing through many others.  Milestones in terms of distance and back to back days.  New friendships formed and promises to catch up at next year's event.  And now we are done.

Thanks to everyone for their support, well wishes and encouragement throughout the event.  I love writing, and it gives me great pleasure to know that people are reading my blogs and enjoying them.  I know this year was different from the last and that there was more focus on Hayden, but that's just the way that it panned out.  I'm currently writing my summary of the event that includes cute and funny things that happened, so I'm hoping that one will be a little more like the previous year!

So now there is only 12 months until CQ13 - Cairns and beyond.  But who's counting?