A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby find_bruce » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:19 pm

We had better stop it there 10speedsemiracer or I will need to take up Tim's suggestion & give myself a ban.

ldrcycles wrote:I really am a man behind my time aren't I? :lol:

I'll have more on this tonight, but I can advise that it will not be called the ARRA (my first preference), as I've found to my great surprise and even greater amusement that acronym is already taken by.... the Australian Romance Readers Association :lol:

Nah, you're not behind the times, just trying to recreate the romance of cycling in the 30s, in all its facets - which would make us romance readers wouldn't it ? :D

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:15 pm

find_bruce wrote:We had better stop it there 10speedsemiracer or I will need to take up Tim's suggestion & give myself a ban....


postus interruptus ?
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:07 pm

Well I did say last night, but I forgot my desktop isn't usable at the moment.

So, 83 years after it was first suggested, the Road Record Association of Australia!

At the moment it consists entirely of just that very rushed logo (boy drawing in vector is complicated!) and cover photo of Oppy, but you know, from little things and all that.

There's already been word from a rocky cyclist keen to have a go at the rocky-gladstone record (the opposite direction to my ride on sunday), as that was last broken in July 1900 the bar is not particularly lofty at just over 7 hours for 110km :lol: . There should be an attempt on my gladstone-rocky record soon too, which I'm looking forward to seeing.

I also just had word from the Toogoolawah Museum that they will arrange for someone to be there this sunday so I can get a photo of my modern bike alongside the bike that Les Cecil rode from Cairns to Canberra for the Commonwealth Jubilee in 1951! :D
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:49 am

8)

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:38 am

No luck on the drone front, my mate's drone is out of action until he gets new props, and a commercial operator came back with a quote of $600! :shock: Fair enough there's the travel to Wivenhoe from wherever they're based and some setup time, but I sure as hell can't justify that amount of money for an absolute max of 2 minutes flying time. On the plus side, my mate is able to get some shots with his fancy pants DSLR.

I did some more digging yesterday and found there was a Brisbane-Esk record made in February 1948 of 3h56 (my schedule is 3:22 so should have no trouble) and I'll swing past the Ipswich PO on the way to put up times for Ipswich to Esk and Toogoolawah, and a short one from Esk to Toogoolawah. 5 records in one ride (assuming all goes well), is that multi tasking? :)
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:46 pm

Post to come tomorrow as I'm very broken at the moment.

TL;DR, I got 3 records and missed out on a 4th.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:05 pm

Before I get started, to put things into context, here's a photo of Les Cecil from 1928, 2 years after he broke his own Brisbane-Toogoolawah record.

Image





The drive down to Brisbane on Saturday was a LOT better than the previous week's ordeal, no classical music, no doing 91 in a 100 zone, and with the aid of a massage roll behind my back I was able to make the car seat tolerable.

We popped into the CBD to check out the first little section of the course, and it turned out a street that Google Maps had overlooked was suitable, and would cut several intersections and a small hill. The GPO looked beautiful, and I was looking forward to having that as my starting point.


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Again I had an interrupted sleep, but woke up at 3:30 feeling pretty good. After getting everything ready I was off at 5:08, and in less than 100m hit my first red light. In it's own good time it changed, I went around the corner and rode 100m to the next red light... This got old very quickly!

In due course I made it out to Annerley Road, and after a short climb I was able to enjoy the first downhill of the day, swooping down Fairfield Road (my dad in the support car claimed I was doing 66kmh but his speedo reads over :) ). While the air was a fair bit cooler than I had expected, the arm warmers and gloves were doing the job nicely, and I could feel everything starting to work smoothly, like an engine and gearbox warming up. On my recce in the car, Sherwood Road past the Rocklea Markets looked diabolical, with manhole covers sticking above the surrounding rough surface just waiting to send me rocketing into the ground. On the bike however, it was actually quite OK, and the first light on growing fog made it a nice stretch.

Unfortunately, at the Sherwood school, I went straight instead of turning left, and after I realised my mistake and went back to the intersection, my dad told me it was a left turn, so we turned left (of course, it was left from the OTHER side of the intersection :roll: ). When I saw a sign saying we were heading for Indooroopilly I realised, and we eventually got back on track, but not until we had lost a full 16 minutes :( .

Coming out of Oxley showed the other failure of the car recce, I had grossly underestimated the hills. I've got short gearing (by TT standards) on the Shiv, but a dozen short steep hills adds up very quickly. Looking to the south there was a wall of thick fog, with a crisp line separating the top of the fog from clear air above. Turning onto Wacol Station Road a few kms later dropped me down into it, coming past a "caution wild life" sign at 55kmh I said out loud "bugger the wild life they better run!" only to encounter Roozilla hopping across the road 100m further on :lol: . There were a heap more roos around the prison, including some adorable little ones that kept me smiling.

On the outskirts of Ipswich I made a quick stop to put some lube on the infuriatingly squeaky chain (should have done that the night before), then there was a loop around a block in the CBD to go past the Ipswich post office. More hills followed, and as I headed out towards Wulkuraka the forecast Northwesterly kicked up with enthusiasm. A herd of goats beside the road distracted me from a mongrel of a climb at the start of Wulkuraka Station Road. There was another big climb to kick off the Brisbane Valley Highway, although that one was followed by a glorious downhill that had me yelling expletives with joy.

Coming into Fernvale we were confronted by cars EVERYWHERE, even if I had known Fernvale had markets, I would never have guessed it would draw so many people! We eventually reached Wivenhoe dam where my mate Randy was waiting. He was planning to take photos near the spillway, but within a few minutes of pulling up an SEQ Water security guard was there to move him on, so he would have to do his best from each end of the wall.

The surface to the left of the fog line was atrocious, but it was still an awesome experience. Unfortunately immediately after the dam wall there was a 3.5km climb to bring me back down to earth. I was still hoping to break the Brisbane-Esk record, but with the infernal headwind only getting stronger it was slipping away, and with Glen Esk Mountain looming in the distance I admitted it was out of reach, and stopped for a moment to rest before carrying on. As it turned out, I reached the Esk Post Office 13m59s behind the record, so if not for the navigation trouble back in Brisbane I'd have made it with a couple of minutes to spare. I did manage to go quick enough to claim a new record for Ipswich-Esk though. On reaching the service station, I took to the ground to try and relieve the pain in my back, caused by hunching over the bars trying to hide from the wind. One more gel and some more coke and water finally convinced me to get back on the bike and I set off again.

Including the time stopped at the servo, it took nearly an hour for me to make the 18kms from Esk to Toogoolawah. On the last downhill towards I nudged 60kmh, and kept pushing the mid 30s along Cressbrook Street. The instant I turned into Fulham Street to go up the slight rise towards the Post Office though my back locked up completely, and after an incredibly slow finish I slumped to the footpath and writhed around in agony for some time.

Les Cecil's time in 1926, on dirt roads, on a heavy fixed gear, into a headwind all the way just as I had, was 5hr25m. 92 years, 1 month, and 23 days later, on sealed roads, on an aluminium 18 speed bike, I took 5h8m28s. That says a hell of a lot to how strong he was.


I'd been in touch with the Toogoolawah Museum and two of the volunteers had come down to open the museum so I could see a bike that Les himself rode from Cairns to Canberra at the age of 50 (that story here ).



Image


We spent a good hour or more there talking away, before we made our way over to the Toogoolawah Hotel for the perfect lunch, chicken schnitzel with chips, salad, and a little jug of warm gravy for just $12!


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After that there were two more stops, at the very unusual Anglican Church-


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And at the lookout on the rail trail just north of Harlin-


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My back has since settled down very well, and I'll continue the work the physio has given me to make things less susceptible to trouble like this.

The weekend wasn't over though, as on Monday afternoon I got a message from one of the museum volunteers to advise that she had contacted her friend Steve Austin at the ABC, and they wanted to get me on live that night :shock: (she has also sent a press release to half a dozen different newspapers, hells bells!) Given it was going state wide, I was bloody terrified, but somehow sounded cool as a cucumber (even if I forgot several points I had wanted to mention).

https://www.facebook.com/stefanie.alder ... 3377869888

Turn the volume up as the recording is very quiet


As with Gladstone-Rockhampton, I gave it everything I had on the day and I'm actually happy with how I dealt with the conditions, but I don't want to leave it there. Missing the Brisbane-Esk record because of that wrong turn is a real sore point, and I know with more favourable conditions I can take a good half hour off the Brisbane-Toogoolawah time. I'm going over the calendar to see when another attempt might be possible, and if the weather cooperates I'll be back out there to battle the road again.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:54 am

Great effort mate. Would be cool to give it a whirl on the fixed gear..
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:01 am

Love your work LDR, and really enjoy reading these, provides a nice distraction from working. Also, seems like it may be worth the trip to Toogooloo Toogoolla up north just for that Schnitzel
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:25 am

singlespeedscott wrote:Great effort mate. Would be cool to give it a whirl on the fixed gear..


Yea I'll leave that to you :lol:


10speedsemiracer wrote:Love your work LDR, and really enjoy reading these, provides a nice distraction from working. Also, seems like it may be worth the trip to Toogooloo Toogoolla up north just for that Schnitzel


One of my greatest loves besides cycling is a good schnitzel/parmi and this was up there with the best I've ever had. I think Esk is to Brisbane what Gisborne or Kyneton is to Melbourne, a pretty place in the country that people escape to on the weekend. Toogoolawah used to be a much bigger town thanks to a large condensed milk factory, but that was shut down in 1929 and even today the population is less than half what it was in the 20s. Esk is a beautiful place, but it can get a bit busy for my liking, Toogoolawah is a lot quieter.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:16 pm

Am also a schnitzel fiend....
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:20 am

Apologies for the big gap between posts, but things have been even busier than usual.

Last Sunday I headed out to the SBRT, as a Kingaroy rider had taken the Wondai-Kingaroy KOM from me by a substantial margin, and it would make good training trying to beat it (and hey, any excuse to get out there). Well it went south straight away, as I couldn't warm up due to the 2 most aggressive magpies I've ever encountered. Usually coming to a complete stop and looking directly at them will stop magpies, but these ones would keep attacking for a while, then land on the ground a few metres away with their wings held out, waiting for me to move before going nuts again.

Fine, no warmup, I'll just do what I can. Well there ended up being another half a dozen magpies spread along the trail, most were just a normal swoop and call, but one north of Crawford went the extra mile. I was coming down the hill at about 40, and the bird LANDED ON MY BACK and held on to keep trying to rip my ear off. I've never seen anything like it, just the most vicious blood thirsty mongrel of a thing you can imagine. Eventually I got to Kingaroy, only to come across another particularly aggressive pair near the old station.

Of course, I then had to go back to Wondai, and after running the gauntlet once more I was fuming. My mood didn't improve when I got home and found I had been only 3 seconds short of getting the KOM back. Now I'm generally pretty easy going, Mrs LDR and I regularly fight about whether or not to kill spiders in the house (so long as they're not red backs I'm content to leave them be) but there is a point at which doing nothing is not an option. The South Burnett Council have told me it's the Department of Environment's problem, so I'll get on to them on Tuesday. With the number of people using the trail, especially kids, those birds can't stay, someone will get seriously hurt.


Off to Rockhampton this afternoon, tomorrow morning it's the Rocky-Yeppoon and back record, 83.9k in 2:30:06. I'm hoping to average 35kmh or better, which would get me about 10 mins off the record. The current forecast is for mild temperatures and an Easterly, which would be a cross-headwind out and cross-tailwind back. Fingers crossed!
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby singlespeedscott » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:39 am

Got to give it to the little pied bastards, they certainly have no fear :lol: . When I was a kid riding around Canberra there was one I’m Flynn that use to do the same trick of landing on your back. Worst thing is you couldn’t reach around and grab him because you where leaning over trying to pedal as fast as you can :lol:
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:41 am

Proper post at some later stage, but got the Rocky-Yeppoon-Rocky record by a mere 59 seconds. :D
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:11 am

Well done mate
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:52 am

8) :D

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:04 pm

After enduring the long drive up to Rockhampton, I was up early on Sunday morning and got down to the Old Post Office without having to rush. I was pleasantly surprised with how light it was for the start at 5:30, and we set off over the Fitzroy River in much cooler air than I was expecting. I took it nice and easy waiting for the legs to warm up, still sitting around 34-35kmh average. A slight downhill delivered me to the Yeppoon Rd, and then the pain started. While the surface wasn't hotmix, it was pretty good by regional standards, but somehow every single little hill instantly sucked away any momentum I carried into them, and the first 8.5k had an average of only 28.5. The forecast cross-headwind was making itself felt, so there wasn't much opportunity to make up lost time.


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The average to the outskirts of Yeppoon was only 32.9kmh, and the record was looking decidedly shaky. A lovely 60kmh downhill perked me up a lot, and after a quick U turn at the old post office building (now used as a gallery) I downed a gel, threw my gloves through the window of the support car, and prepared for a much faster return. Naturally, the wind had swung a little further to the south, so it was providing stuff all help. The "lovely downhill" into Yeppoon was now a 14kmh climb, and I slogged on towards the "amazing" stretch my brother had promised.

Well he was right, the surface was smooth as glass, the grade a steady -1%, and I flew along at nearly 50kmh for miles. Suddenly there was a real chance I could make it, and I carved through the corner onto Norman Road in an almost jubilant mood, only to be immediately clobbered by a severe headwind and knocked down to just 28kmh. The support car driver came alongside and helpfully told me the locals refer to it as the "Norman Rd wind tunnel" :?

As Oppy once wrote, records are won and lost when the going is tough, not when you're fresh, or when you're full of adrenalin in the last few kilometres. Uphill into a headwind is when you need to just slog your guts out and contain the losses. With 10kms to go, I had about 20 minutes, at 5km 10 minutes. Turning onto Moores Creek Road and out of the wind, the average went back up over 38kmh, and then I got a red light. 3 minutes to go.

I took off as best I could from the lights, and as I came onto the Fitzroy bridge, there was 2 minutes remaining.

I hurtled round the corner into East Street, and gave it everything I had for the last 100 metres and screeched to a halt in the gutter in front of the Old Post Office. Final time, 2:29:07, only 59 seconds ahead of the record, 80 years and 6 months after it was set!

Frustratingly, my Garmin didn't recognise any of the stoppages for the red lights (time stopped for food/rest/mechanicals counts, stopping for red lights/trains/police doesn't) but it wouldn't have been much more than 30 seconds, so I'm content to leave it as is.


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Being all done and dusted by 8am meant there was time for me to have a nap before we headed to the (free!) zoo, and then up to Mount Archer. A howling gale had come up which made it incredibly cold, but it was well worth it for the stunning view.


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Monday morning I was determined to ride Mt Archer (my back up bike has triple cranks and climbs well in spite of weighing 10.2kg) and it was absolutely fantastic. Nearly 5kms at 10% is one tough workout, especially when there is little in the way of kicks or pinches, just one solid slog. Any wonder there are so many strong riders in Rocky, doing Mt Archer once or twice a week would turn you into a monster in no time :D .

After that we headed down to Kershaw Gardens to the awesome playground which exhausted the kids nicely, then an interview for the local paper before finally heading back south.

Unsurprisingly, I woke up this morning absolutely shattered, but managed to get through the day and improve enough to dig a drainage trench this evening :lol: .
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:31 pm

well done ldr
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:49 pm

Been quiet on here, as it's been a challenging week and a bit. After getting back from Rockhampton, work and the plumbing at my parent's house conspired to keep me away from the bike all through the week. I planned to make up for it by doing 200kms from Goomeri to Gayndah and back, but then everything possible seemed to crop up to get in the way of that as well, and I ended up settling for a 65k loop from Kilkivan to Tansey and Goomeri.

It was exactly what I needed. The road started off a bit rough, but soon improved to a surprisingly good standard, and it undulated nicely through very pleasant scenery. About 10k from Kilkivan (enough time to be nicely warmed up) I had the next surprise-


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I wasn't expecting much in the way of hills, and certainly wasn't expecting a 1.2k climb on perfect hotmix!



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I beat the snot out of the KOM (clearly because no one has been through there in a vigorous manner before :lol: ) and after another few kms of gentle ups and downs the scenery stepped up another notch-


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I had a grin from ear to ear, it was the kind of ride that made me fall in love with cycling to begin with. Everything was just right and the Vivente hummed along. Even turning into the wind at Tansey didn't bother me, and I kept a nice speed ticking along without excessive strain.


Image


The downhill from Kinbombi was just as much fun as I expected, and the last few hills into Kilkivan were just right to leave me a bit tired, but not worn out. If not for the vicious magpies on the rail trail, I wouldn't have found this awesome loop. There were 3 magpies out there, 2 let me know they were there but didn't get aggressive, and the 3rd in the middle of Goomeri actually flew right alongside me at eye level for a while, just escorting me through his patch.


I loved the experience so much I decided to go out there again on Monday morning, and that's where this week had a bit of a hiccup.



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I was at a T intersection behind a 4wd which started moving, I started moving as well and looked to the right for oncoming traffic (one car way up the road) then looked back to see the 4wd had stopped for no apparent reason. I wouldn't have been doing 10kmh, but the tow ball on the 4wd was perfectly positioned for maximum destruction :cry: On the plus side, there was no damage whatsoever to the 4wd, and my radiator somehow escaped unscathed and I was able to drive back home.


So instead of a therapeutic ride around the South Burnett, my Monday had me removing the front half of my car to assess and repair the damage.



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For now, all she needs is the passenger side headlight ($55 from a wreckers) and I've been able to coax the bent bits back into a usable shape. Down the line when I can afford it pretty much everything in front of the engine will be replaced, I love this little car and with Getzes (Getzii?) being so plentiful it's very cheap to do.

Continuing to look on the bright side, Little Red being laid up in Noosa meant I had the opportunity to commute on the bike yesterday and today, and it was more enjoyable than I expected. With semi favourable winds and my steel capped boots left at work rather than bashing me through my backpack, this morning I did the 35kms in 1hr4m.

In other news, the record association website (https://roadrecordaus.weebly.com/) is coming along very nicely, with over 200 records listed now and lots more still to go. After a relative asked how many records I had ("like 5 or 6 I think?") I had a look and I've actually got a dozen :D . That should bump up a bit further over the next month. Next sunday was supposed to be the Brisbane-Gympie attempt, but the forecast is for rain and headwinds, and over 193kms how about no. The following sunday (21st) doesn't look particularly good either on the extended GFS, but I'll see how that goes.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:55 pm

A bit rough about the car. Hope you get it all sorted quick
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:48 pm

The new headlight arrived yesterday, still some more bashing away to get the bonnet usable but I should be back behind the wheel this evening. Not a moment too soon, I miss my noisy little car :D


Just out of interest, I was doing some research on Les Cecil and found this article on my Brisbane-Toogoolawah ride, apparently I did 161km! :lol: (Actual distance was 134 or thereabouts)

https://www.gattonstar.com.au/news/ceci ... s/3532530/
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:58 pm

Little Red is back in business, with just a few scars for now.


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Well the weather on the coast hasn't improved a whole lot-


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So I've been nicking off west again. Yesterday I was planning on 2 loops for 120kms, but the weather started to turn as I was finishing the first loop, and my back was giving me a bit of grief (my fault for slacking off on the exercises from the physio in the last week) so 65k it was. I went flat out on the beautiful Kilkivan-Tansey climb and took 26s off my own KOM, though it's still vulnerable to any reasonable attack.

After finishing I drove back up to Tansey to check some of the side roads for damage, and there's no question it was a tornado, the damage is restricted to an incredibly narrow path. A 1950s/60s era service station building was completely destroyed, but only 200 metres up the road a stand of trees was almost untouched. I headed north on the Burnett Highway, and after a while decided there was no more to see and I should head back. There was nowhere to turn around, so I kept going for a bit, and then decided "ah stuff it I wana go to Gayndah" :)

It was just as pretty as I expected from the photos I've seen, and I'm really keen to explore that area a bit more. I'm also planning to establish a record for Goomeri to Gayndah during next year's Gayndah Orange Festival (which also happens to be my birthday). The road has a LOT of low hills to climb, but the scenery is fantastic, and there really ought to be some records to and from Gayndah. The closest I've found so far was a motor cycle record from Gayndah to Mt Perry, from the days when averaging 40kmh was a big deal.


Anyway, so after driving about 400kms for the morning, I popped down to Noosa to catch up with my sister and her family, and on returning to Kin Kin was presented with the flooded bridge above. Regardless of how shallow the water is, I'm not going to risk it in a Getz, but the catchment above our bridge is small and there was a break in the rain, so Winnie and I sat there and passed the time as the water gradually dropped. 1.5hrs went by quickly and by that point the bridge deck was completely clear and we popped over to home.

This morning was another Kilkivan loop, I started off with a strong northwesterly, which I happily accepted as it would mean a nice quick spin from Tansey to Goomeri. Hahaha no. A few kms before Tansey it had swung around to the south, making for a very tough 20kmh (or even less at times) slog to Goomeri, where, of course, it moved more to the southeast so I couldn't even have neutral conditions for the last leg. I suppose it's good training though, and my back behaved itself pretty well. Number one though, is there were BLUE SKIES :D

The Brisbane-Gympie record attempt is pencilled in for this Sunday, but the forecast is again unfavourable, so I just have to wait and see if it's going to happen. If I do have to call it off again, then the 28th is the last chance for this year, as another Brisbane-Toogoolawah ride is scheduled for the 10th of November, and doing 127 hilly kms only 5 days after 193 incredibly hilly kms is pushing the envelope a touch.
"I must be rather keen on cycling"- Sir Hubert Opperman.

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