RTA Big Ride 2003 diary

Day 6: Goulburn -> Bungendore (95KM)
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Summary: knee problems and wind.

The start of the stage today was quite flat and the mist didn't rise until about 9:30. There was a strong wind blowing which was a tail-wind for the first 30 kilometers until morning tea. I covered that distance in about 1:30.

Mist and wind
Mist and wind

For the next 30km until lunch at Tarago, the westerly turned into a head-wind and then into a cross-wind after lunch, gusting quite severely. It took me about 2:30 to get to lunch. This stretch also included about 1.5 kilometers of gravel road which wasn't in good condition.

Flats
Flats

My knee was aching all the way from morning tea. I got ice and Difflam on it again at lunch and I'm getting to know all the St. John's volunteers. After resting a while I pushed on through Tarago, past the pub where about 10 bikes were parked, and up over the Great Dividing Range with that murderous cross wind and big trucks buffeting me one way and the other.

Crosswind heaven
Crosswind heaven

I struggled almost to morning tea at the 80 kilometer mark - having to walk up the last couple of rises to save my knee. More ice and Difflam. I was seated next to a guy who had taken both feet off the pedals to re-seat himself and had the chain come off, right in front of the St John's people at afternoon tea. They gave him 9/10 for execution. He scraped his right arm (gravel in the wound), his hand and leg. He could walk, but they took him to camp in an ambulance.

After treatment I was told to take it easy the rest of the way and that it all downhill from here (it's always downhill from here <groan> ). I managed to coast to the flat section outside of town with about 10 km to go and walk to the last water stop and waited for the sweep bus.

It's all downhill from here
It's all downhill from here

At this stage it had already gone by once and police escorts were pulling up next to cyclists and asking how they were going. After being swept up, we watched as a police car slowly escorted a lady who obstinately refused to give up over the last 6 kilometers and this exemplifies the care and commitment the police has shown over the last 6 days.

At camp I went to where the medical facilities were set up and spoke to the doctor, who gave me some stronger anti-inflammatory tablets and told me to stop riding tomorrow if I felt over-stressed. I also got more ice and Difflam. He also suggest I see the Pegasus Crew about my bike setup in case there were any issues affecting my knee there. The main guy there gave my setup the all clear which was nice to know.

Ride Statistics

DST  92.29 km 
TM  6:22:13 
Max. speed  66 km/h 
Avg. speed  14.4 km/h 
Avg. RPM  62 
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