After a fitful night's sleep (thanks to a dodgy air mattress that didn't stay up all night), the sun rose on a beautiful coastal morning. Although a little chilly, it was just the right start to the day as Stef (my riding buddy) and I sat in the sun eating our makeshift breakfasts. Catering starts at lunch time and I can't wait!
The best part about these rides are the people you may only see on the event each year, who none-the-less greet you warmly like it was only yesterday you shared the ride together. I managed to bump into two of my favourite friends today - Jenny and Russell, who are always up for a chat and a catch up. You will not meet two nicer people on these rides and I love that we are also now FB friends so I can catch up with their adventures in between CQ rides.
I also bumped into Belinda and Anna who I met on the ride last year. Belinda is the rider who told me to count pedal strokes on those long climbs to distract me from sore legs, some of the best advice I've used many times since. She was a little surprised to see me (well more surprised that there was less of me) and remembered Hayden from last year. A number of others have asked about him and he is certainly remembered fondly by many of our fellow riders.
Today was a nice easy day for two reasons, one, there was no packing of the tent, and two, it was a short 38km loop of Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770. While the kilometres were low, there was certainly a challenge with a steady head wind for the better part of the ride as well as a couple of nice hills that our cycle pal Jason would love to have a crack at.
The idea of CQ is to explore parts of Queensland that you may not have experienced before. I have always wanted to come up this way to have a break and after this weekends visit, these are two towns that I intend to revisit for a not so short stay sometime in the not too distant future. 1770 offers pristine views and the opportunity to watch the sun set over the water. The ride stop at lunch offered markets and some local music talent to entertain us and the short ride to the point resulted in breath taking views that were well worth the effort to get up the one steady climb of the day.
After a short run off the bike, it was a quick shower (if you've read my blog from 2011's CQ you'll get why this is always entertaining) and off we set for a couple of quiet drinks at the 1770 beach hotel. Great laid back atmosphere, a local band playing, a schooner or two of cider and a couple of hundred cyclists whiling away the afternoon.
First camp dinner tonight was spaghetti bolognaise, veges and salad, followed by sticky date pudding and custard. Let's hope that I can at least maintain the weight this holiday and not pack on 4kg like the last 3 tours!
Tomorrow we head back into Agnes Waters and move south to Rosedale. A small town that is about to be over run by 800+ cyclists - I hope they are ready for us! Until then, I'm sitting in my tent listening to tonight's band playing some covers and waiting for lights out so I can sleep. I'd forgotten how noisy camp can get, and how early some of these campers get up!
The biggest challenge tomorrow is packing our tents up and distributing the weight in our bags so we have no more than 14kg in one bag and no more than 22kg in total. This could get interesting...