I woke up a bit sore, but not too bad, considering. The saddle-sores had lessened, but the legs were still feeling over-used. It wasn’t raining, but the sky was more threatening than yesterday. Not enough to convince me to put on a raincoat, though.
There was a decent headwind, and it took me an hour to get to Braunstone, crawling up the climb out of town towards the Orara Way turn-off. After Braunstone, the rain came over – just light but consistently. There was an electronic road sign near the start ofÂ Orara Way stating that there was bridge-work and road closure on the 21st of January, which left me wondering how bad the bridge was. When I got there, I found that it had been asphalted over since I came north, removing the pick-a-plank issue; actually better than on the northerly trip.
It was slow going all day. The headwind kept my speed down, and I was getting a bit hungry and tired before Glenreagh, so I ended up walking up the last part of the climb out from Kremnos Creek. It’s only a small climb, only about 6 or 7% over about 1km (40m rise), so I was a bit disappointed about that. At Glenreagh, I had two pies and an ice coffee; one wasn’t enough as I still felt hungry.
The weather cleared for a while until Nana Glen, at which point it started raining on and off again (the wind was consistently strong, though). I stopped at Coramba for a chocolate milk and got into a bit of a conversation with an older couple about what a nice way cycling is to see the country and where I’d come from. It turns out that the woman (no names exchanged) had lived on Left Bank Road, out of Mullum, a few years back and we reminisced about how nice Byron used to be before the tourists hit. When she was back there visiting recently, she couldn’t even cope with waiting in the traffic to get into the town like I did, and did a U-turn and back out into the country :).
There was mist floating around the range west of Coffs, and I found myself getting a bit chilly, but it wasn’t raining buckets like last year as I rode down Mt. Browne. I almost hit the speed limit half way down, and my average speed picked up from 13.2km/h to 13.6 over a few hundred meters 🙂 Not bad when it had been sitting at 13.2 or 13.3 for the best part of 80km.