RTA Big Ride 2003 diary

Day 2: Camden -> Bowral (82KM)
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We started out this morning to a slightly overcast sky and the look of rain all day. As we left there were balloons above us.

Balloons
Balloons

All the way through to Oakdale there were gullies filled with lush vegetation and bellbirds tinking away - also the occasional whipbird. A really nice send off, despite the big hill at The Oaks.

Wollondilly shire
Wollondilly shire

A view to The Oaks
A view to The Oaks

The following is another scanned photo from Top Shot. It was taken just outside Tahmoor. The guy on the unicycle lasted until lunch at Bargo, so I heard. Later in the week, he was riding a regular racing bike, but it was a gutsy effort to get as far as he did. I also saw him on the 'Gong ride last year where he made it about half way - he quit before the steep downhill at Waterfall.

Small climb
Small climb

Past Thirlmere, the countryside changed drastically until after Yerinbool - scrubby, hot, fire damaged and bland. That was also the area where we came close to the freeway. It was nice to get past that and back into the open country again.

At about 20km to go it rained again for about 5 minutes - heavy and enough to cause one motorcycle policeman to comment that he was lucky and could ride back out of it until it stopped.

There was a killer climb 9 kilometers from the end - 2 kilometers long like the worst of Bobbin Head or the Gap. It was two 1 kilometer stretches with a false flat in between. I had to walk up most of the last stretch. Coming down the other side of the ridge, I hit 70km/h with light rain stinging my face - a wonderful feeling. The ride took over 5 hours with about an hour for the last 9 kilometers. I haven't seen as much of Bowral as I have of Camden, since I arrived about 3pm and we're in the 'burbs.

Killer climb
Killer climb

A random observation - I noticed that lots of people were carrying around tripods and realised that it was dinner time. Rather than there being lots of camera buffs as was my first thought, these are camp stools. A good thing to have. I'm lucky tonight in that I have found a nice bench overlooking the oval and towards the ridge we climbed over. I can eat my dinner (kebabs and rice) there.

A view across camp
A view across camp

This afternoon there was a juggling workshop. Some acquaintances of the unicyclist had a variety of circus paraphernalia and some of us went and had a play. I've almost got the hang of juggling three balls. They did a show for the camp and had six-handed juggling, knife throwing and some good unicycle stunts - bouncing around an audience member who was spread-eagled, then bouncing totally over his body.

It rained again overnight. Damp tent, damp dish-cloth, damp towel and cycling gear :(

Ride Statistics

DST  83.67 km 
TM  5:32:26 
Avg. speed  15.1 km/h 
Avg. RPM  66 

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