Daily Distance 106.84km
Total Distance 3811.31km
Daily Ascent 1360m
I woke earlier than my alarm, I think that there was some anxiety due to the few hills that I will be riding up today. As soon as I get out of bed, my legs feel like the large slugs that have previously plagued me. Nothing I can do but get some food in, get ready and start riding.
Once on the road, there is no relief from the slugs and I just push on. The sun is just starting to rise and I will need to keep an eye on the sun glare. If the sun is shining directly down the road, drivers can’t see me and I take a bit of a rest while waiting for the sun to rise. This morning this was not necessary though and I encourage my slugs to push harder.
The legs complain, fortunately my body is not a democracy and despite the complaints, my brain has told them to shut up and drives them on, propelling me forward at a very pedestrian speed. The hills have started almost immediately from the departure and I plod along with the speed slugs can produce.
I get an early morale boost, only 300km to Sydney and I will reduce that by 105km by the end of the day. I am planning to be in Blayney around lunch time, hills and wind not overly factored in. I am starting to think that I may be a better than even chance of getting to the finish line in 2 days time.
After the issues that I had with the Horrock’s Pass near Port Augusta, I have changed my approach to hills. The new approach is to get up any hill without stopping if possible, slowly if required but get up the thing. If I have to stop, I will but only after running out of gears. And then after recovering, I will continue. This works well for me even though at times it feels like I could be quicker if I walked backwards.
I spotted some beehives yesterday, I could actually hear them from the road. Today I go past more, I am sure that I passed plenty of others but just didn’t see them. Without the bees there are no crops so it is good to see them.
These are not the only insects that I see today. There are countless little flying insects that due to the orientation of the sun I can see coming at me like tracer rounds from a WWII movie, just before they hit me in the face or try to get in my mouth. I start riding with one hand over my mouth. This coincides with magpies, I am having fun.
There is still plenty of photo opportunities from the top of the hills. I keep riding on up the hills, it is a large false flat and I keep pushing.
Thankfully today I could see the wind farm and the turbines were stationary. Hooray for not riding into a cyclonic wind.
After hours of plodding along, I finally approach a decent downhill just before the town of Blayney. I don’t have the photo on the Blayney sign as I was travelling over 60km/h and I was not stopping at this stage, the legs were still heavy and any gains at this stage were hard won. Once in Blayney I get some food and replenish water and sugar. I take close to an hour to rest (actually avoid more hills).
The main road of the town, is quite busy and I found a good range of food options. The roads are busy with people travelling to Bathurst for the upcoming car races.
I can’t put off the departure any longer and I jump on the bike. I notice the difference immediately, it is like I have changed legs while I stopped. The slugs have been replaced with pistons (still slow speed) but happy to just go on and on by the feel of things.
Shortly after leaving Blayney, all my birthdays and New Years Eve celebrations all come at once. Long, steep descent. I read this as “you have a chance to break 70km/h”. I wait for a break in traffic and I am off. I quickly run out of gears for my leg speed and I just tuck in.
A quick glance at my GPS, 72, 73, it tops out at 74.5km/h, The quick descent is over in less than 2 minutes and as a bonus I managed to wear out my brakes at the back to allow me to make a corner without impacting any oncoming traffic. Google to the rescue, I find a bike shop near my accomodation, that will be the first stop.
While riding I like to help the community so here is today’s assistance. The chicken comes first, I still have not seen Egg Lane.
Getting into Bathurst the legs are still feeling good. And I find the bike shop.
I am greeted at the door by the “guard” dog. She is just sitting outside in the sun. Apparently people visit the shop just to see her. I get to pat the dog for 40 minutes while the brakes are being replaced.
Definitely two polar opposites for the day. The first part was just survival mode and the second part was just good fun.
The climbing today was the most that I have ever achieved on any of my bikes in a single day. On a lighter bike I am sure I could have done more. Tomorrow I find out if I can go one better than today.
After doing some calculations I will make it over 4000km in total. The missed Adelaide detour will cut about 150km from the original plan.