Today is the first day that I haven't been able to ride the course in 7 years of CQ adventures. I woke up early this morning with the dreaded gastro bug and while it is only quite mild at the moment, the camp medic has advised against riding today as the risk of further dehydration is too great and could lead to other complications out on course.
While I'm disappointed to be bussing it to Murwullimbah, it has been an interesting experience watching the logistics of moving so many sick cyclists from A to B, as well as having a chance to see the camp packdown, which is all part of the magic that happens when most of us are well and truly on the road.
The volunteer army that makes such an event not only possible but also affordable gets in and starts to dismantle the site piece by piece - the Easy Campese tents come down and are flat packed in the backs of budget trucks, piled high to fit them in. Fleets of trucks are picking up luggage, marquees, tables, chairs, tents, catering equipment. Until you start to see the skeletons of the campsite, you don't realise the logistics of transporting 500 camping cyclists day by day around the countryside.
Our bus today is an additional piece of the plan - 20 sick cyclists, whose bikes and luggage are safely stowed in the luggage trucks and who need to be transported to the next campsite. The cycle route takes the riders 76km today up and over the hills to camp. Our drive, the vehicle route, takes us 160km around as we avoid putting heavy traffic on the same route as the cyclists.
Kylie, our wonderful Ride Reception vollies has taken our names, checked the list twice and gottten us corralled onto the bus to begin the journey. She is a great ambassador for Bicycle Qld and I look forward to seeing her smiling face at the event each year.
So for now I will sign off and try to catch some sleep on the drive. I'm hoping all will be well enough to ride the final day tomorrow.