We are home!
Our 1000+klm Far Ride in 24 hours was fantastic, but oh, my tired behind is happy to be home. Same boots, same jeans, same socks...you get to a point - at about the 800klm point - where you just want to hit the shower and scrape off the sweat, dust and cinders (we rode through a bushfire).
Home was soooo appreciated when we turned the last corner and caught sight of our front gate. But let me start at the beginning...
We rose at 4.30am, had a quick coffee, some strawberries and yoghurt, and rode off at 5am. It was dark and cool, but an hour into the ride the sun made an appearance...
..and quickly we warmed. I had relished the early cool air because I knew it was only a matter of hours before we'd be scorched in the tropical sun.
And we were! It was a long hot ride down the coast before turning west from Mackay to our mountain destination, Eungella. This was only our second short stop in 6 hours. We just had to hydrate with some long cool iced teas!
We also needed a break before the ride up the mountain!
It is a very steep ascent with hairpin curves all the way and sheer cliff drops along the road side...
It was so worth it, though!
The view from the Eungella Chalet was breathtaking. They even have a ramp for hang-gliders to leap from!
The rules of this Far Ride were for all participants to arrive at the Eungella Chalet between 11.30am-midday.
There were so many riders arriving with us, and I was glad to see a couple of other pillion wives as well.
We even caught up with John and Andrea, fellow Ulyssians from the Townsville chapter. We had camped with them at Mt Surprise in July! (you can read about that trip HERE)
Once the formalities of signing in was over it was time for lunch and socialising....
then a good peek over that cliff drop...
John and Andrea had their camera, so Mr E and I were able to get a rare photo together...
The bandana helped with the helmet hair for the first 600 klms, then it was useless. However, long rides like this don't happen all the time so I'll be wearing a bandana for our regular 250-300 klms rides on Mr E's days off from work.
In case you wondered, there were a couple of riders that arrived 20 minutes late and couldn't be counted in. Poor guys! We heard them roaring up the last of the mountain, only to discover they hadn't made it before midday.
All up we had around 60 people who had ridden from Victoria, Northern Territory, ACT, NSW, and of course Queensland. Mr E finally met many of the people he knows through an internet riding forum, and stories were shared back and forth over the 90 minutes we all spent at Eungella.
Of course, the time ended too soon before we had to ride back down the mountain and off to our various locations to complete the 1000 klms.
A few hours later Mr E and I were heading back up the coast between Mackay and Proserpine when we hit a roadblock. Bushfire!
30 minutes later - hot, thirsty, and covered in cinders, the road was opened and we continued on our way.
I was glad to see the bush firemen had saved a sugar cane crop, and averted the fire from claiming the home of the plantation owners. Our bush fireman certainly are amazing men and women, and with Spring temperatures around 36C (97F) all day, they had it tough.
Today we are sunburnt, sore, and tired - but happy. Can't wait to do another Far Ride in the future!
Hope your weekend was just as great!