Monday, 7 September 2015

CQ Day 3 - it's a long way to Warwick when you don't take the direct route

For those of you who don't know how far it is from Allora to Warwick, by car it is 25km.  However when you're on a bike, sometimes it is safer to take a less direct route.  Today's bike ride took us to Warwick via a 98km detour around the Darling Downs.  

This morning I passed on the sausages with onion and tomato for breakfast and settled for the old staples of Vegemite on bread and honey on bread.  Sometimes rich breakfast fare is not the best option on a long ride day with limited toilet facilities!

So off we set at 7.30am for what would be a long day on the road.  Lots of little rises today, but also some great flat sections to get the average back to a respectable number!  Brendon and I love camping in this region and I was pleased to see that we would be riding the Goomburra Rd up to the New England Highway.  It's a beautiful area and we had a fabulous morning tea hosted by the Goomburra Hall committee.  PS - best jam drops ever at the stall!

Now if we had turned right at the highway, we would have made short work of our ride into Warwick. But you must remember this is a bicycle tour, and the less time spent on the road with trucks and cars travelling at 100km/hr, the better.  So we turned left and after only a short ride, turned right into the back roads.  Again, we have been treated today to absolutely picturesque scenery and the best that South East Queensland has to offer.  

The temps were kind to us today too, with tops in the low twenties, and even the overnight temp was about 8 degrees, which felt positively toasty compared to Toowoomba.  It was only the threat of 70% rain that kept the jacket in my pocket in case the sky opened.  But happy to report that while rain threatened, it didn't deliver on the threat, but the cloud cover kept us a little cooler during the ride.

Lunch stop completed by 10.30am (yes you read that right, we were at the lunch stop by 10.30am) and the chicken Caesar wraps were a hit.  Sufficiently refuelled it was on the road again for the next gruelling 40ish kms to complete the day.

Why gruelling? More hills? Yes there were hills, but the beauty of a hill is you get to the top and it's done.  No, today it was something much worse.  Head winds.  Unrelenting, unstoppable, unbelievable, in your face head winds.  

It was like a sad repeat of the same day's riding weather last year.  Stef and I took turns leading the ride that time so the other could rest before taking the front.  But Stef isn't here this year (boo), so it was just me.  The first twenty k were tough, the second 20 didn't feel quite so awful, as I had an "Ironman's Afternoon Tea" of a banana and a Coke to up the energy levels and get me through.  That and I found a cyclist in the distance to pace myself to. So with the thoughts in my head that this was just a short ride to Birkdale and back, I chased down that cyclist and we cruised into the town of Warwick together.  

Managed to snag an early massage cos I was in by 1pm and after a dinner of cottage pie, with cheesecake for dessert, I am sitting in my tent as the rain pounds down above me. I guess this will be when I find out if it's waterproof or not!  But must risk getting wet just once more tonight as there is a Beatles tribute band playing for the rest night party and I want to see all of the costumes that people have put together.  Oh, and perhaps a mug of hot chocolate to top off the night.

So with a rest day tomorrow, I've booked in a tour of the waterfalls of the area, with lunch at the Killarney pub.  While the catering is great, I'm looking forward to a self-selected meal tomorrow!

Until then, it's see you, from me in Warwick.