Day 9 - Boorowa to Binalong - 30.9km
A pretty carefree bunch setting off this morning. Mind you, Alison
and I still couldn't manage to sit on the back of Marc, Cait and Zoe, and I waved
them off while we plugged away at our own pace. There were still a few inclines
to combat, as the first 20km was a gradual up. But at least we rode it.
They waited for us at the last drink stop so that we could
finish all together. Got a bit of the old hurry up.. which to be frank was starting
to wear a bit thin because we just couldn't keep up the same pace any more. OK
so it was only 30 km, but we could have a drink and a chat couldn't we? Wasn't
You can tell that the girls weren't working hard that morning
- they were still wearing their thermal tops! With the three of them in their
bright striped thermals that morning, one of the highway patrol cops called out
to Marc and me that next time he wanted to see us in matching outfits. (Needless
to say Marc and I never felt the need to put our thermals on any morning! - plus
we'd given up washing out bike clothes by Cootamundra - certainly didn't have
time to wash after we got into Boorowa, so it was t-shirts for the finish!).
The last 10 km was pretty much all down hill to Binalong - way
So that was it, we'd done it. It had been a huge physical effort,
but one that was rewarded not just by the buzz achieving it, but also by the
The kids had a ball. Apart from their pool tour, they raced off
after eating each night to play dodge ball with the other kids. I think it was
the night at Gundagai that the Great Boys vs Girls dodge ball match was held.
(And don't boys cheat when they think they're in danger of being beaten by girls!)
We met some great people too... and I'm sure that's what pulls
people back again and again...
And the whole thing couldn't happen without the huge range of
volunteers. I suppose while many people wondered why we would decided to ride
such a thing, I couldn't help wondering what inspired the volunteers. I did ask
one older volunteer guy who came back year after year, and he enjoyed it as a
way to see the country - again, in a way you wouldn't normally do.
We made a point of going up to the Highway Patrol guys at the
end to say thank you. Asked one guy, think it was Alison's motorbike cop - or
maybe it was DC "Mintie" (one of the cops patrolling in the car who gave out
minties to us!) - what made him come back each year. He loved it because it was
a real positive experience. Suppose compared to booking people it is.
Marc and Caitlin already reckoned they'd do it again. Alison
and I did it tougher, there's no doubt about that. So we are less enthusiastic
(and writing up Day 8 hasn't helped) but I know that I will get sucked in again!
You can always find ways to improve on the bits that weren't so good. Fitness
is one area to improve on. Plus I finally got Marc to prove that the gearing
on our tandem didn't go quite as low as his. (Let's just forget the fact that
he was towing Zoe!). So something might get done about that.
Alison would probably rather pedal with Dad. So would Cait. And,
hell.. so would I for that matter. And then we have the matter of Zoe growing
out of the trailer bike, and 5 (people) into 2 (tandems) doesn't go. Unless you
buy a triple. *boggles*
We've threatened to leave them at home for the next one... (and
we are about to take delivery of a new tandem Marc has bought from the
States) but they don't seem to like that option. (Like their mother, they don't
like to be left behind.) We're still waiting (June) to find out where and when
next year's ride is. Guess we've got the bug.