RTA Big Ride 2004 diary

Day 7: Newcastle -> Bateau Bay (70KM)
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Today would have been a dream run apart from a big patch of glass that slit my rear type. We left Wickham at about 7:30, passing along quietish streets until we got to the Fernleigh Track and the old railway tunnel under the highway at Adamstown. Then we climbed up and over Redhead and down into Belmont. I was travelling so fast I was passing cars and had to slow down to let a truck in when the road narrowed.

The Ferleigh Track tunnel
The Ferleigh Track tunnel

The Ferleigh Track
The Ferleigh Track

Going through Belmont, on the south side, I saw a big patch of glass ahead and couldn't avoid it since I was riding in a small pack. There was an almighty bang and my rear wheel went soft. A piece of glass had sliced all the way across the tyre and into the tube which was totally stuffed. I had to put an unused patch in behind the type wall to stop the new tube punching out through the hole.

After I fixed the flat, it was a short ride to lunch at Blacksmith's Beach near Swansea. Then we rode down the highway to the Munmorah state recreational area where afternoon tea was set up. Then we headed down the coast to the Entrance and onto Bateau Bay. The final stretch from Munmorah was really great - a bit of a tailwind and mainly flat and I flew along it.

Coming into Swansea - (C) Top Shots
Coming into Swansea - (C) Top Shots

Waiting at the Swansea bridge
Waiting at the Swansea bridge

Munmorah state recreational area
Munmorah state recreational area

Most of us got to camp before things had been set up - about 12:30. We were told it would be about 2 hours before showers and toilets were ready. I was walking around camp and found that I had my neck strap, but the (flimsier than last year's) meal pass had blown off somewhere between lunch and the camp. I went to the command center and had to pay $20 for a new one.

Pegasus etc. still hadn't arrived so I couldn't buy a new tyre, so I set up the tent and decided to go for a swim. It was a 15 minute walk down to the nearest beach and I just wore my knicks to wash them out as well. I spent about an hour there and it was great.

Rex was giving people a go on the Segway for a $10 donation to MS, so I had a ride. It's great - you just stand there and lean and it moves back and forward. If you are running into something, the natural inclination is to lean back, which stops you. There is a left-hand grip for turning left or right and it zips around quite quickly. The wheels are controlled by independent motors and it has two panniers with batteries in the bottom which have about a 4 hour life, I think, before needing to be recharged. When you get off in gyroscopic mode, the Segway just stays upright and rocking slightly. It's obvious that people with walking disabilities (such as Rex) are the perfect market for such a device but he says that while the company is sympathetic to his needs, it doesn't really want to know - they seem to only want to market the device to yuppies or government departments (one for every postal worker??)

This evening a fog rolled over camp for an hour or so. We were also next to a blue light disco or something which roared until about midnight.

Fog over camp
Fog over camp

Ride Statistics

DST  73.40 km 
TM  3:35:38 
Max. speed  62 km/h 
Avg. speed  20.3 km/h 
Avg. RPM  76 
Max. RPM  109 
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