RTA Big Ride 2003 diary

Day One: Warragamba -> Camden (33KM)
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The 33 kilometers took me just 1:39:32. It was an easy ride with some sharp short climbs and nice descents - a "rolling" course. I hit 59 km/h down a couple of hills and probably could have done faster but for the bunching of riders from the start. The following image is one of the start photos taken by the offical photographers. I was browsing later in the week and just happened to see this one which has me in it and shows the crowd at the start.

Starting crowd
Starting crowd

My average speed was 19.9 km/h with an average RPM of 71 which is a bit low. I'll have to keep that higher to save my knees.

Rolling hills
Rolling hills

Lunch was a bit iffy - barely unfrozen quiche, an apple and a juice tetrapack. I hope that the meals improve.

There was a lot of general rush and confusion at the start as rider kits were handed out, bikes unpacked from the trucks and re-assembled,luggage was double-checked and loaded onto the trucks and last minute preparations were made. We left Warragamba at about 11:15. My pack was about 22kg - just over the limit - but it was passed with a comment to make a gold coin donation to MS. It's now 2:11 and I've got up the tent and moved the heavyish kitchen stuff onto the bike which should take care of the weight issue.

Luggage checking
Luggage checking

The send-off at Warragamba was nice with a rock band at 9am!

Garage band
Garage band

All sorts of local craft stalls were set up and I got some nice pancakes for breakfast. The weather was good but a bit muggy and storm clouds are now gathering over the campsite.

Storm clouds
Storm clouds

It's amazing how quickly an oval can be transformed from an empty space to a collection of tents. The official count it about 1040 cyclists and about 200 volunteers, I think, as the highest rider number is in the 1200s

The luggage queue
The luggage queue

Almost empty...
Almost empty...

Filling up...
Filling up...

After setting up I wandered over to the main street of Camden and had a browse. I found a nice cafe with decent coffee and apple pie. It's a nice looking place - picturesque. About 4'ish it started to rain. It rained on and off all night. A nice start to a camping holiday. Dinner was nice - baked potato and corn. Breakfast was a hard boiled egg, toast and porridge (or cereal) orange juice and tea. There's a big basket of assorted spreads in equal amount - honey, peanut butter, vegemite, marmalade. It seems that honey is popular choice as a sweetener for porridge.

Ride Statistics

DST  33 km 
TM  1:39:32 
Max. speed  59 km/h 
Avg. speed  19.9 km/h 
Avg. RPM  71 

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