Saturday, 31 August 2013

Day 63 31st August Goulburn to Picton

Quite a few of the riders who have done a portion of the ride joined us again last night.  Dave, Stew, John G, Paul C, Annette, Dianna, and George.  Also three others who started at Goulburn came along as well.  Hence the groups were larger than usual.  My group of four grew to seven.  The extra legs helped in keeping the speed up.  Managed 33.5km/hr average which is pretty good for such a hilly ride.  Slight tail wind helped.
Morning tea on the edge of the Hume Highway

Peter being Peter  (the naughty boy).

Hume Highway roadside litter.
Popped in to Mel's parents home to say hello at lunch time (their house next door to the park).  Mel was there as well.  Good to see her.  Her Doctor said she wasn't allowed to ride with us.  O well.
Sitting in Picton town hall at the moment having a chat as a group about the ride.  This is our last night together.  Sad really.  Will miss it.
Sometimes each day reminds me of the movie 'Ground Hog Day' with Andy McDowell and Bill Murray.   Here is a reminder of the movie.

Like the movie each days starts out the same.  But as the day unfolds the experiences are always different and seam to get better each day.

Tomorrow is our last day of riding. Then it's back to 'normal' life again.  I wonder if I will still fit in.

Day 62 30th August Yass to Goulburn

Another glorious day of riding.   Large hill soon after leaving Yass but after that it was just fun.  Took the back roads through Dalton and Gunning  (Jim's plan so that we ride further than necessary to get from Yass to Goulburn).  The detour was worth every extra cm.    Quiet country roads that wind up and around the hills.  Felt like we could ride with freedom all over the road for a time.  Good tailwinds added to the enjoyment and some brisk riding was achieved.

I was feeling pretty good today but my riding mate Ned was feeling a bit rusty at Dalton
Lunch at Gunning then a fast print into Goulburn reaching speeds near 50km/hr as we rode the last stretch along the Hume.
Australia is the land of the "BIG" something or another and Goulburn has arguably the biggest of all the bigs.  The 'BIG MERINO'.  That's the 'D' team at the base of the ram.

Staying tonight in Goulburn UC and being fed by the North Goulburn Anglican Church.  Another fantastic meal and evening.  It just seems to keep getting better and especially so as I had Robyn with me again tonight.

Found a new bike  (electric and all).  Seemed like a good option for the last two days but the lady from the community garden next to the church didn't seem too keen to loan it for two days.  Shame... Will have to peddle the last couple of days after all.
Picton tomorrow.

Day 61 29th August Gundagai to Yass

Felt like staying with the dog and just sitting there but another day lay ahead of us and we had to press on.  All day on the edge of the Hume Highway.  Fortunately the shoulder is wide and reasonably free of rubbish and other things that could cause a cyclist grief.  It was a relief to be out of the traffic lane and the trucks were very kind and gave us lots of room (most of them).

 ''D" team at the Dog on the Tuckerbox (the dog is the one in the middle)

Some big hills along the way to test our legs on, but after eight and a half weeks of riding they don't seem so big as they were two years ago when I last rode along this road.

Morning tea was at Jugiong, and lunch at Bowning.  Dinner provided by hosts in Yass.  Staying the night in Yass Anglican Church.

Young Nick has his Aunty Helen along on the trip so he gets special treatment.  We didn't all get chocolate eclairs.  Sob  Sob !!! 

Sergeant Edmund Parry Memorial (looked like he could do with a feed as well).

Off to Goulburn tomorrow.  More hills but Robyn is driving from Sydney to meet us.  (Everyone is looking forward to seeing Robyn again, especially me).

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Day 60 28th August Lockhart to Gundagai

Hard day of riding today because we rode as fast as we could.  Also 143km into a slight head wing and a lot of hills.  The most hills in one day since Broome.  Didn't really need to ride so fast but it was our last chance to let loose before a couple of days travelling on the Hume H/W.   Bit tired now as a result.  Good fun though and beautiful scenery.

Staying tonight at Gundagai Baptist Church, which is in an old school building.  The folk here provided a lovely dinner.  Thank you to the folk of Gundagai.

 Only photo I took today.  Not even a good one.  Three of the 'A' group coming in to morning tea
Thankfully Peter (accident yesterday) was able to complete the entire ride again today.
Off to Yass tomorrow.  Hoping for a good sleep.  Must be careful where I place my bed.  Last night the snorers were in fine form and I had to move rooms at 2am for some peace and quiet.  How's that for the 'pot calling the kettle black'.

Day 59 27th August Yarrawonga to Lockhart

Crossed into NSW first thing this morning and the road immediately deteriorated.  Typical NSW road.  The rear end bump indicator went straight into the red zone.

Only two groups today as one of our riders had to go to the hospital in the morning due to a fall yesterday.  There are no broken bones but he is very sore and can not ride (barely walk).  He will be going back to Sydney tomorrow.  Unfortunate but that is part of riding and it makes us all that little more careful the next day.

The ride was mostly flat again.  Slower than the day before due to larger groups, but an enjoyable day.  

Another fall today following a major mechanical failure on Richards bike.  Peter (75yrs) run into the back of Richards crippled bike and ended on the road.  Scun knees and a few bruise but he was able to continue riding.  Would have been a terrible shame if he was injured enough to put him of the road as he has ridden all the way from Broome without missing any.  Pleased that he can complete the trip.

Stayed in Lockhart UC and dinner in the RSL club (Chinese).

Jesus Ute and a few of the riders at a 'bum 'break

Main St of Lockhart after dinner.
Gundagai tomorrow with the promise of hills along the way.
 Praying for safer riding also.

Day 58 26th August Echuca to Yarrawonga

Last day in Vic.  Sad about that as they have the best roads to ride on (with a few exceptions).   The first day after a rest day is always a bit harder.  Need to get the legs going again.

Flat road as we travelled eastward toward Yarrawonga and done at a brisk pace.  It is fun to ride fast when everything is going well.  Today was a day to ensure my riding companions were earning their keep.

Staying in UC church in Yarrawonga and dinner in a club down the street.  Pork belly for me washed down with apple strudel.  Yum  Yum.

Took a couple of dozen photos of the sun set over Lake Mulwala.  Still trying out the new camera.
You will have to come and see me to look at the other 23 photos.  Very peaceful as I waited for dinner.  (After the usual coffee and cream slice at the bakery.. Did I tell you we often spend some of the afternoon in a bakery.   Hence I get so far behind in typing the blog).

Only a few days to go now.  Looking forward to riding into Sydney.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Day 57 25th August Rest Day in Echuca

Quiet day today.   Sleep in a bit longer than usual.    Church at Echuca Community Church this morning.  Good number of young families.

Short trip in a steam powered paddle steamer this afternoon with few of the team.

 Dis-embarking the Canberra after our cruise.

  The Emylou.

Steam engine in the Canberra

Then a relaxing walk back to the ECC and a chat with Peter.  Enjoyable meeting with the team where we were given an opportunity to share our 'high lights' of the trip so far.   At the risk of never getting to bed we had to keep it short.  So many high-lights.

Looking forward to the next few days of riding and being re-united with Robyn and seeing Joanne, Ruth and Henry again. (Henry expecting to arrive from Bangladesh by Wednesday or Thursday).  It will be a sad time as it means the end of the ride, but also a very happy time to have my family with me again.