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 a race!!

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 to go.


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 social experience.

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.

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