RTA Big Ride 2003 diary

Day 5: Goulburn rest day
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I bought a camp stool and some anti-inflammatory cream for my knee. The rest of the day I wandered around, read the paper, and some books. A guy who is a teacher at UWS and an Israeli came up to me and started talking when he saw that I was reading a book on the Palestinian crisis - a nice guy who seemed interested in finding an equitable peace in the region.

I took a few photos of the camp ground to illustrate the setup - it's all so organised. Every day they set up a dozen or so facilities at the campsite then tear them down first thing in the morning. The most obvious one is "The Big Ride Brasserie" at which they have a local musical act and serve alcohol. Camp social events such as daily briefings are also held there.

Big Ride Brasserie
Big Ride Brasserie

Brasserie at Camden
Brasserie at Camden

Tom and Ben Catering take care of all the food. There's a serving area with about six dispenseries where we get breakfast and dinner. They also send a smaller truck on the road to serve us lunch. There's also a tea/coffee tent as well as a set of portable dish-washing units with brushes and detergent provided, and another similar unit for drinking water with mirrors for shaving and similar activities.

Tom and Ben
Tom and Ben

What's for dinner?
What's for dinner?

We have the "Mouse houses" for toilet and shower facilities. There are a couple of trucks at the campsite for each service, and one at lunch.

The mouse house
The mouse house

There are also the two big luggage trucks, an information tent, a general store, a bicycle repair tent and one for bicycle merchandise, massage facilities and St. John's volunteers. A security guard wanders around the camp site continually and picks up unsecured bikes and stores them - you can get them back for a donation to MS. A coffee van also follows us around so we can get real coffee if we want it. Finally (I think), there is a photograph tent where the professional photos taken during the day can be seen and bought.

Why we're here
Why we're here

This evening they had a screening of Tropfest at the local RSL. I was going to go, but felt like an earlier night and opted to watch Red Faces in camp. A hilarious spoof of The Teddy Bears Picnic won full points by sucking up to the judges and praising volunteers (vollies) and expressing all the shared problems on a ride.

At about 1:30am a ferocious but short duration wind storm kicked in along with slight rain. The main tents and some riders' tents were blown down. Vollies were out and about knocking at all flies and asking if people were alright.

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