RTA Big Ride 2004 diary

Day 8: Bateau Bay -> Gosford (71KM)
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Today is titled as finishing in Gosford, but is actually going to the Mt. Penang Parklands above the town. We followed The Entrance road back a way to Toukley - the new tyre feels good. However, I had a cramp in my right foot until after morning tea and I had to take my shoes off and walk around a while. The queue for food and drink was too big so I just had some water and headed off again. It was election day and there were a few idiot drivers through Wyong.

Tuggarah Lake
Tuggarah Lake

We had lunch at the cross-roads at Braithwaite Park just outside of Wyong, then turned left and navigated a dirt section to get to Tuggarah and then onto Ourimbah. They then sent us up Dog Trap Road and a killer hill. The bottom half was a windy dirt track and the top 100m was bitumen pointing to the sky. I had to get off and walk the last half of that. I blame the fact that I hadn't had enough riding to acclimatise me. By the end of the week, our schedule will have been 1 day off, 1 and a half days on, 1 and a half day off, 1 day on, 1 day off, 3 days on.

Dog Trap hill
Dog Trap hill

The view from the top of Dog Trap hill
The view from the top of Dog Trap hill

At the top of the hill we crossed right over the freeway for about 10km or dirt to the Wiseman's Ferry road at North Somersby. Then it was an easy ride to the Somersby industrial estate and up to the top of Mt. Penang. It's quite nice up there, with an old hall and a nice garden. I went in a had a look and, while it's a bit sparse in parts, other sections are reasonably well established.

The camp at Mt. Penang
The camp at Mt. Penang

The Mt. Penang hall
The Mt. Penang hall

Waterfall at the gardens
Waterfall at the gardens

Part of the gardens
Part of the gardens

Bamboo garden
Bamboo garden

Rock garden
Rock garden

Cactus garden
Cactus garden

There was a great final night party which had a beach/Hawaiian theme. The hall was decked out with plastic coconut trees and beach balls. There was a bit of angst among the MS volunteers in the afternoon since the bar at the hall had organised (insisted) that it would provide drinks during the night and that the Brasserie would do business during the afternoon. Unfortunately, the bar opened at about midday and drew half the custom away from the official drinks venue for a few hours. Still, it was nice to get Old on tap. The party also features some Polynesian dancers that were very good, and managed to get some of the riders up to be humiliated.

Ride Statistics

DST  76.48 km 
TM  4:11:03 
Avg. speed  18.2 km/h 
Max. speed  29 km/h 
Max. RPM  114 
Avg. RPM  69 
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