Day 1 – Canberra to Goulburn (Sunday 14th June)

Our first day started at 6:30am with wake and pack time before a 7am breakfast. Brent and I were up at 6am to get our showers in before the rush and it was a brisk .5 degree celsius on the walk over to the showers. After a team meeting we congregated in the school car park for the start of the ride.

The temperature had risen a few degrees as we began the first leg ride, a 26km stretch from Waniassa through the heart of Canberra to the north side of Canberra where we met up with the road crew for morning tea. My fingers and toes were all numb within a few minutes of starting even though I was wearing multiple pairs of socks and winter riding gloves! To add to the fun we began a few kilometers of hill climb within a few hundred meters of the start and on the following downhill I managed to fall off my bike onto the grass at low speed on a gentle down hill after slowing right down and looking back to see where Brent was. No injury except to me ego 🙂

By the time we stopped for morning tea the sun was out and things were starting to warm up a bit more. Brent even commented he could finally begin to feel his fingers again!

 

After morning tea we took to the road again and peddle our way along the Federal Highway through to Lake George where we stopped for a drinks break and to allow the slower bunch to catch up. By now we had completed 56kms of the days journey.

 

After the drinks break Brent and I led out the medium pace group and managed an average of around 25km/hr along the largely level road beside Lake George on our way to Collector about 20kms up the road. Collector was our lunch stop and on the way there cloud cover came in and the wind picked up as a westerly tending to the north west so we rode into a cold head wind a fair bit of the way.

Lunch at collector was enjoyed by all and many of the riders were seen enjoying a hot chocolate to warm up as well. With roughly another 30kms to go we headed off to bleak skies that threatened rain. Not far down the road though the sun came out again and many of us were peeling layers to keep from overheating.

The lead group slowly pulled away which left our group at 3 riders, Brent and I and a lady called Kate. We were moving along nicely until we crossed from the Federal Highway onto the Hume. While look down the Hume before crossing I rode through some debris on the side of the road and slashed my rear type which was followed about 30 seconds later by a loud bang as my tube blew out. I decided the tyre was ok to get me to Goulburn which was only another 10 Kms. With the cloud rolling back in and the light fading I pulled out my spare tube and changed over only to find my spare wouldn’t hold any pressure. Off came the tyre again and on went a puncture repair patch where it looked like I might have pinched the tyre getting it on the first time!. After leaving it to dry for a short while on went the tyre again only to find it still wouldn’t hold pressure and you could hear the whistle of air escaping. Kate thankfully had a spare tube that would fit so we whipped the tyre off again and used hers. Thankfully this time it all went smoothly and we were ready to roll. By this stage though the final group had been and gone picking up Brent on the way through so Kate and I were free to put a bit of pace on and managed to average upwards of 35kms/hr over the final 13kms into Goulburn. Finishing off 113kms as the rain just started to fall and the light was almost gone for the day.

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