Ok that may be a slight exaggeration, but sometimes riding can really suck, and it's only one small (or in some of our cases, not so small) reason - riding can hurt.
I hadn't slept as well last night, largely because it was extremely windy and the tent were being beaten up by wind gusts, as well as suffering through a pretty severe sunburn on my shoulders and discovering that our new neighbour should probably be in the snorer's zone! Trudging off to breakfast (baked beans) I had a feeling it might be a less than ideal day on the road.
Today's trek back along Rainbow Beach Road was actually a surprisingly nice ride - the hills were more undulating on the way back (meaning you could coast down one and get enough momentum to make it over the next rise) and while the road was hard and bumpy still, it was manageable early in the ride. Morning tea at the Cooloola Cemetery Reserve was hosted by the Kia Ora P&C and they turned on a hell of a spread.
The new cranks on the bike were spinning well and I was happy with my pace after the break as we hit a little more flat road to get the speed up. Most horrible moment I've ever had on a ride - an insect smashed into my cheek, which did its best impersonation of a windscreen and smeared the dead bug across my face. There is nothing quite like knowing that you have a bug's innards on your face to stop you from licking your lips until you know it's well and truly cleaned off.
Passed Guy the Comms guy at the turnoff and today he is wearing a mortar board (grad hat). I'd love to know where he finds all these things!
Misfortune two followed shortly after, with a flat tyre just 800m from the lunch stop. Removed tyre, think I located the puncture culprit (with more than a little help from the very helpful James who pulled over to assist me (PS Mary was no help as she stood back and took photos!) and commenced inflating my tyre with a CO2 canister and it explodes in my hand and blows the insides out of my adaptor. (At this point I should probably advise you all that although the first two misfortunes involve exploding innards, I promise that the final misfortune involving my butt does NOT involve anything exploding!)
So after more help from James, who thankfully had a pump and who also patched my old tube for me, I limped into lunch (roast beef sandwich, cheese and crackers, shortbread and apple juice). Quick chat with Dave from Epic Cycles who once again told me how lucky I was to have been able to get my crankset replaced (they don't normally carry that stock and had swapped out a crank from a spare bike in the truck that just happened to have the right sized everything to fit my ride).
So with roughly 30km to go to Maryborough I jumped on the bike and began the last leg of the day. After about 5km I realised I could no longer get comfortable in my seat. I say in, as I have a minimalist frame seat that I sit in, rather than on. I have never had a problem being comfortable on the seat but now I was really struggling with finding the sweet spot that I normally settled into. So for the next 25k I wriggled and fidgeted and shifted position and came off the saddle and stretched, trying to right this very wrong situation, all to no avail.
It's funny that the whole time we are riding hills we are wishing for flat roads, but once on a flat road, we are dreaming of hills - after all, hills provide a challenge that can break the monotony and that force us to think about our riding - what gear do I need, how do I need to prepare for the next one - hills always have you thinking one step ahead.
As I limped into Maryborough nursing my sore ass like it was in a sling, I pretty much sprang off the bike and determined that I would walk into town rather than ride as the thought of putting my butt back on that bike was pretty remote.
So parked the bike, set up the tent, had a shower and a massage to ease my shoulders and neck and took myself off on foot to the high school to suss out all the vehicles and schools participating in the RACQ Technology competition (human powered vehicles entries in particular). There are 148 schools participating, in a number of categories (HPV, tandem, solar etc) - it's awesome to think Maryborough probably has 2000 cycling enthusiasts sleeping at the school and Showgrounds tonight.
My son and his school are competing tomorrow - racing custom built and designed recumbent bikes in a 24 hour challenge commencing at midday. Sad that we will be rolling out of town before they start but can't wait to hear Hayden's stories on his return.
Was hoping they'd announce next year's route at dinner (chicken cacciatore) tonight, but they have stuck to tradition this year and will be announcing it at the party tomorrow night.
So with only two days of riding remaining, I'm hoping my busted ass will make it across the finish line. I've applied my magic cream discovered in Bargara two years ago, and if that doesn't work, I'll just pull up my big girls Knicks and suck it up for the 90ish k left for us to ride.
After all it's better on a bike, whether your butt is broken or not!