RTA Big Ride 2006 diary

Day 7: Junee -> Cootamundra (83KM)
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I'm on the St. John's van again. They picked me up after 56 kilometres of an 83 kilometre day. Basically I started out ok except for not eating much breakfast. The porridge was ok, but they were serving hard boiled eggs and pita bread. I find that just a silly choice for a group of people needing sustenance for an 80 kilometre ride. A lot of people were just refusing the eggs and getting a bigger helping of porridge, but I didn't have the appetite for more than the usual serve.

Out on the road the wind had died down and I was feeling fine. The open stretch was mainly flat with a bit of a rise over a dirt section (which was supposed to be sealed but some bush-fires intervened). Apparently the wind was picking up, but the route was treed and I didn't notice until after morning tea.

Morning tea was at Illabo, which has a historic clock museum, not that we saw anything of it. The stop was at the local primary school where the kids were apparently putting on some sort of song and dance routine on the other side of the building from where the food was.

Morning tea at Illabo
Morning tea at Illabo

After Illabo, we crossed the Olympic Highway and the railroad and kept east for a while, again through slightly rolling country. Then we turned north and away from the tree-lined roads into a headwind. It must have been about 10 km/h and really started taking my energy away, making my speed about 10km on the flat. there was some bushfire damage evident, but sime regrowth, despite the dry conditions. I pushed on for the remaining 10 km or so until lunch and then collapsed there for a while. As at Goulburn last year, lunch was those crappy vege rissoles, which I've never been able to eat. There was also an apple, a yoghurt lollie on a stick and some juice, which went down all ok.

Road to Bethungra
Road to Bethungra

Fire damage
Fire damage

The lunch stop was Bethungra - a little fly speck of a place with what appeared to be no more than an RSL memorial park and an industrial shed of some sort. There was also an old semi-decayed house with a "Keep out. private property" sign on it. The northerly was kicking up dust everywhere and there were great big ants crawling over any unattended food.

Bethungra
Bethungra

While I was eating I noticed a St. John van pull up over the road from me. It sat there for a while and I figured that was their assigned location for a while. I took off and carried on getting tireder and a bit of abdomen pain like a cramp started to kick in. I had stopped to drink while resting off the bike when I noticed the van drive by again. It stopped a bit up the road while the driver got out and moved a bit of wire off the road side. I started off again and road past them and then they drop up to me and asked how I was going, saying "we've been talking about you".

I explained that I was getting tired an in a bit of pain and they suggested I ride the 50 metres or so to the next water stop (which I had not noticed was there), where we could decide if I wanted to carry on. The upshot was that I left my bike for the sweep and could either get a ride back to Bethungra and wait there for the bus, or the St John team could drive me straight to Cootamundra. Obviously there was no choice in the matter and I did the latter.

At Coota, the resident volunteer went through my medical history again, but couldn't suggest anything other than rest and re-hydration. My core temperature was again quite high - 37° She got someone to and buy a sports drink for me while I sat there and drank ice water for about half an hour. Then I went out and set up my tent. Again I had to wait until about 5pm for the bike to arrive.

I wandered up to town and came across Lauren and Grant again (I had run into them briefly at lunch). We had some food together. I had about half of a plate of fish and chips and a couple of apple juice drinks. The greasy food impulse from Junee was obviously still active.

Wandering back to camp, I came across James. We walked and talked for a while and came across the Captains Walk - a series of busts of cricket captains - which is part of Coota's celebration of itself as Don Bradman's birthplace. James is a bit sick of the luggage truck detail. I think he started it as part of a way to avoid some of the confusion at Holbrook, and it carried on. Today he started late, instead of at the head of the pack, and just rode his own fast pace up the road, talking to everyone he passed.

Bradman
Bradman

Later in the evening I felt nauseous again so I went to the St Johns location. They had the services again of Dr. Simon Gallow who looked at my knee in 2003. He suggested that the antibiotics could be causing it and, if I still had a problem in Boorowa, I might have to stop taking them. I'm still planning to ride tomorrow, even thought it's sure to be a shit of a day - 91.7 kilometres.

Ride Statistics
DST  56.87 km (out of 83.4) 
TM  3:07:18 
Max. speed  42 km/h 
Avg. speed  18.1 km/h 
Avg. RPM  71 
Max. RPM  111 

Route map

Day 7 route map (from Google Earth)
Day 7 route map (from Google Earth)

Day 7 route profile
Day 7 route profile


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