Today was a relatively short ride of only 48km, but with a bit of climbing to be done. As it was the last day, it was an earlier pack up and the route opened at 6.30. I was raring to go by 6.20 so was on the ride a little earlier than normal.
All was going well until a sweeping downhill, when the familiar sound of a spoke popping out forced me to pull over only 8km out of Goombungee. After a quick repair we were on our way again, with the better part of our climbing in the first 30km. Funny moment was the Marshall pointing us in the direction of travel at the 21k mark (6k out from the first rest stop). The rest stop is just over the hill he said. Perplexed because I was tracking the distance to the break, after about 2k I realised the "hill" he was referring to was a 5k climb that sped down at the end to the rest stop!
The rest of the ride was relatively uneventful, other than the double strike from a magpie as I passed the airport - little bugger got me twice on the helmet before I could get out of the strike zone. Then, 8k from the finish chute, I threw a second spoke. So I limped home for the final 8k at 15kph because anything faster resulted in the buckle in the back wheel wobbling and sending me all over the road.
Glad to cross the line in one piece, I was photographed showing 5 on one hand - the number of CQs I have now completed.
Now I'm here at home crunching some numbers from the ride:
Time in the saddle: 27:49:43
Distance travelled: 567.96k
Elevation gained: 3083m
Average speed: 20.75kph
Calories burned: 20600
This was also my first week long ride with my new saddle. While a number of people were intrigued by the minimalist design, they didn't quite believe me when I said how comfortable it was and were very sceptical. Fast forward to the end of the ride and it is still the most comfortable seat. I had no saddle discomfort over the ride and rarely got out of the saddle to change position. Others were complaining about sore sit bones, tail bones and butts in general. Me, not so much.
Some other interesting numbers:
Total riders - 560 (323 male/237 female)
Oldest rider - 85 years old
Youngest rider - 15 months old
Feeding the riders, vollies and support crew each day:
50 loaves of bread
136 litres of milk
30 litres of custard and cream
80kgs meat (lunch and dinner)
16 full time catering staff inc 5 chefs
5 vehicles to transport food and equipment
It really is a fantastic week. How often do you find yourself sharing the road with almost 600 like-minded riders who love cycling as much as you do? I love that this is an opportunity to meet new people, hear their stories, smile and be smiled at all because we share this common interest.
I'm already looking forward to next year's ride - Woodford to Hervey Bay via Maleny, Montville, Kenilworth, Gympie, Rainbow Beach and Maryborough. It's sure to be a tough ask, as that is a very hilly course. Plenty of time for training though, and I may just have some company along the way (husband and son).
Next event though is another rail trail adventure on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.