Pack up days are always hard as you rush to get wet tents packed away, and all those bits and pieces that you just had to pack stored away in two bags. And the grass - so much grass that sticks to everything and threatens to infiltrate every nook and cranny within your bags.
But this year I've decided to chill a bit and not be in such a big hurry to be on the road. After all, we have all day to complete our ride, and rushing just means you miss appreciating the small things.
So after a brekkie of scrambled eggs, we finished our leisurely pack up and were on the road by 7.30am. Today's destination - Allora, with a rest stop at Cambooya and lunch at Clifton.
Today's ride was through some truly spectacular country. Still some lovely little hills to challenge those of us with not enough training under our belts, but on the whole a great day pedalling through some of the best farming country in this corner of the world on some quaint country roads.
Highlights from today included the very business savvy Boy Scouts who sold me two tickets for the chance to win a fully kitted up camper trailer. They were great little blokes who approached all of the riders and asked if they'd like to support the local scout troop. Their eyes lit up every time someone agreed - and there were a lot of us!
The lunch stop at Clifton was held in the grounds of the local historical museum. The committee organised a discounted entry for us and I took an hour to explore the museum, but could easily have spent twice as long reading all of the stories. If you are ever in the area, I can highly recommend taking the time. I took plenty of pics to share later when I'm at my pc.
The hay bails built and painted to look like minions was another great find today - just randomly found in a local front yard. Took a happy snap of it too, but the sun wasn't in the right place so it's a little dull!
The marshals, volunteers and support crew are fabulous once again. The marshal of the day went to our ukulele playing friend who breaks into a tune for riders passing him. He was just out of the rest stop today and he always brings a smile to my face for the joy that his music brings.
I missed our communications leader today. Each day he wears a funny hat on course. Day 1 was a leprechaun's hat, but sadly I didn't see a day 2 appearance. Will keep my eyes peeled for him on day 3.
Another highlight was the stretch class that we had this afternoon in the CQ cafe. Run by a lovely rider/vollie - Val, it was a great way to ease tired muscles after a day of riding and to prepare them for the next day's hit out. Of course I had to follow that with a massage as well, with a new-to-CQ masseuse, Anna, who was absolutely fabulous and has my tick of approval for future bookings.
Dinner was satay chicken kebabs on cous-cous, with apple pie and custard for dessert. It's no wonder I don't lose weight while I'm on this ride - they feed us far too well!
And finally, I have a confession to make. I threw another cyclist under a bus today - not literally of course, but I must clear my conscience. Riding out of the rest stop, I noticed a rider about 300m down the road from me being swooped by a very angry magpie. So I crept right up on the rider who was about 50 metres in front and just as we got into the swoop zone I rode quickly ahead, leaving him to be swooped by the maggie. Not my proudest moment - ok, maybe I was a little bit proud!
So hear I am once again nestled in my warm tent preparing for sleep and catching up on my writing. A longer day tomorrow - 98k to Warwick. Now if you're checking your maps, you'll see that Warwick is only 30ish km from Allora. But to keep us safe and off the highways, we will be riding a big loop around the Goomburra region and perhaps sneaking in the back door.
So until tomorrow, have a great Monday at work, cos I'll be enjoying a day on the road.