Category Archives: Commute Reports

Reports about ER commutes

SWOTM ride report

Not enough teeth on Bullet’s rear cassette to count the masses at Gordon this morning….great to see the return to the humble beginnings of ER by so many for this Second Wednesday of the Month.

No incidents or accidents to report – all riders managing to clip in/out today – with everyone arriving safely to join our Epping path brethren who were already firmly entrenched on arrival at the B&T.

Plenty out in their purple jerseys from the weekend’s exploits before the return to the traditional tomato and egg tomorrow. Thanks TD for the photos as attached. Drastique’s busily photoshopping a few more for the website that Colette kindly took on the weekend.

A great 3P write up by Mike – many thanks mate – summed it all up well.

Great to see a wing-clipped Magoo both on the way home last night and at the B&T this morning….looking forward to your return pronto.

The Spring Classics calendar will soon be updated…..diarise the Bobbin Head Classic and VD’s assault on the Blayney to Bathurst as next on the list – arrange your leave passes carefully.

Hope BT of the Sahara is doing well – looking forward to normal service being resumed when he gets back.

In other breaking news, Drastique’s lawnmower has broken down, and DT mowed his before running in this morning.

Have a good day all.

Mark / Satnav

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Chippo Displays his 2.5 finishers jersey

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The ER 2014 3P Crew – well most of them anyway

 

Second last way to start the day

Dawn was breaking slowly under a few scudding strato cumulus this morning which made for a steely grey sprint along the Asquith Golf course segment and a cool humid start to the second best way to start the day. For YHC it was a normal work day except it could be described as very much a holiday ride. Nil traffic before Waitara, there was a white van to report .. but looked more like the young driver was heading home rather than to work as he was observing the speed limit and displayed no agro at all.. YHC rolled forth unaccosted.

Fox Valley Road.. rendezvous was a question of me myself and I , the peloton discussed an early departure but got involved in checking the 360 app for DtB who was actually still at home..so at the appointed hour a reduced ER presence was noted but operations were still normal..

Gordon and tumbrels rolling around in the morning breeze, it looked like a solo ER bus would be the sum of it, but at 3 seconds to go Chippo hurled around the corner and doubled the numbers..( YHC was a little concerned as this could mean a hypoxic record breaking OTP but was quickly informed about a run at lunch scheduled so the ride would be at ER normal ( ok BT pace ) . So an on time departure for the second last OTP of the 2013 calendar and a perfectly formed but sartorially splendid peloton rolled out to ply the back streets of the north shore with vigour and enthusiasm ( at BT pace )..

The hills of death rolled over , and col de Lindfield increased the average pace a little, Rawhiti sprint left YHC in a breathless state although Chippo was politely jollying along .. not a single bead of sweat to be seen..then into Hills St and Welshie was waiting at the stop with Hans ( a potential new rider ) which doubled the peloton again.. its an ER thing..seems to double in size en route. ( and one of the issues we need to address with the BNSW boys as they won’t play with us until the bike bus scenario is embraced by their strategic thinking)

Nil traffic into Archer St and a clear run though to the Scaramanga climb, YHC leading ( the only way to not get dropped is to dictate the tempo up front then use elbows to prevent any overtaking on the bike path.. ) meant YHC was first to clear the carpark, in a bit of a haze I have to admit, with Chippo daydreaming on my wheel. The only traffic to Crows Nest was a garbo , and the only distraction there was finding a cafe that was open.. ( sorry flash Xenos was trap shut.. ) we decided to roll on.. What little traffic there was was actually determined to get in the way .. one was stopped at a traffic lights having overshot the stop line by a half car length, the other was a garbo parked at 90 degrees to the road blocking the on coming traffic, but he was busy ..

The lights aligned nicely along Miller St, giving the peloton a boost to the bridge and early arrival at the clam tight shut B&T.. We’ll have to call Vic and tell him he sold out..

Chippo led the way to bar Fredo.. Shut .. Yahoo, shut.. three strikes and he was out.. Welshie, YHC and hans found an extortion merchant on George St next to the Philips foot. $5 a coffee.. beggars though are not choosers so we swallowed pride and coughed up.

YHC then rolled to the office and found the Hobbits ride ensconced at Vivo ( the eatery at the foot of 388 George and an IAG local) ( who wants to go there to quote Chippo )

So it was a perfect start to the day, all the boxes ticked..YHC is looking forward to BDR and alps return to Mt Colah probably on the early mark if at all possible.. will be monitoring the mail list for all your ride reports to destinations around the Sydney basin with interest.

Have a great day all

BT

OTP the recovery ride of champions

YHC was on the blower to the UK until all hours last night so was up a good hour before going to bed for a slow gentleman’s roll into town via the Galstone Gorge. Deliciously cool and slightly overcast making for a perfect start to the week. It seems the gravel trucks and quarry hauliers are still abed at 0530 making for a clear and calm transfer to the lip of the gorge, unfortunately the 5 utes parked outside the coffee shop at Galstone village must have seen me chuff past.. giving me a head start so they could find a few blind corners to attack me on.. no worries the only one that came close saw the camera and gave me the space required..only meter but yes it matters.

Ketones.. the alternative source of energy.. you get to use these if you do not consume sugary drinks and staples like bread. I am now as they say in the blogs “keto adapted” what this means is that I can chuff along in a slow and well aspirated manner, pretty much all day..but have little top end power for the sprint.. thus it was great to arrive at the top of the gorge with the legs to do many more.. but alas being a Monday..it was an OTP on the menu rather than a DtB 170km all points of the compass path around the northern beaches..but I felt like that would have been a nicer option.

Gathering at the Roland av bus stop , Teflon and B1c aboard then Xena all made our way through the Turra debacle .. nicely congested to within an inch of gridlock. Then through to the Gordon rendezvous, where 25 more ERs had grouped for the second best way. A cohort of Sydney’s finest rolled out on time, and were blessed by minimal traffic and gentle tail winds to assist along that well worn trail. Pink Stratos took off early to give the peloton a little something to chase, and was caught before the Rohiti sprint. The regroup on Hill St bringing now 30 ERs to heel, made a nice meal for the Archer st shredder to digest.. and a well parked car just short of the Tindale turn, provided a choke point that choked..

YHC by now was content to slide to the “arriere du peloton” to give the ‘lanterne rouge” a little company and also to enjoy rolling through to North Sydney at social chat pace.. paying due respect to Andy Schleck McD as he was doing the opposite and sliding to the front to cane it across the bridge for a place in the coffee queue and to rearrange the tables at the B&T..

All being well with the world ( except for Finchies NDE ) the B&T was BAU and worked their magic to make 40 coffees in 10 minutes as ERs arrived through various routes to slap backs and regale with witty repartee and wisdom. Much conversation about the triumph that was the ER “festive season” party.. ok let’s just call it Christmas..

Departures ( whispers of a cheeky Flambie or MMMT are scheduled ) if the forecast is correct conditions will be “perfect”

Have a great day all

BT

OTP Tuesday blast

A bright clear morning, and YHC was out and in amongst it .. straight into the Subi over to Gordon before anyone could snaffle my parking spot which is now around the corner from the launch. Chinz curtains ruffled as i set up the bike and gave the locals a glimpse of the second best way to start the day.

14C and dazzling sunshine make for a heady mix, and this was soon enhanced by the sight of 25 plus gathering on the OTP for a chatty roll into town. Let’s just say all the cracks had gathered for the fray, and no old regrets as it seems that wicked enthusiasm has triumphed. Our little band was only one of three, Flash was spotted, making his way towards a hobbits run, and of course the Fluffers were unleashed from Snives at 5:15..

The process of moving ERs along the OTP has now become almost as natural as breathing, there are pulses of riders, which form at about 50m intervals and then accumulate into a bunch at junctions and lights.. and from my vantage point today well to the front at the start of the ride and well to the rear at the end, I can attest to the general good behaviour and bon hommie all around.  There was a car that transgressed the rules of common sense by overtaking at the crest of Lindfield avenue, you get that, and cameras will make these fools think harder if they are indentified and evidence is available.. but that is encouraging a them against us ethos which is counter to the ER mentality of doing the right thing, and trying to get on with everyone. I confess to wearing a camera, because it generates a good metre and a half clearance along New Line road..where the locals have yet to be convinced Cyclists are allowed.

The shredder was effective this morning, and the Tindale regroup was an effective coagulant, thus proceeding through the Artarmon park was a longish single file affair with style and aplomb.. to be completed by an assault course of walkers up the scaramanga..again ER colours showing manners to all concerned.

The coffee sprint was launched as usual from the top of Crows Nest, needless to say Schleck was already well into his coffee before YHC arrived, the motor on my bike running on diesel with speed limiter ..in definite need of a tune up..

Shambles,  mayhem , and queues around the corner for coffee as the a multitude of lycra piled in, let’s hope they change into business wear before the Lunchie Yum Cha special this afternoon.

Return busses all ready and waiting for the off.. I will be on an early one.

Have a great day all

BT

( see I avoided all talk of the evil wheat )

 

Rapha Gentlemen’s Ride Report: Part 1

Catholic mystic,  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, We are not human beings having a spiritual experiencewe are spiritual beings having a human experience.” If you ascribe to that tenet, then everything you do, say, or experience is an opportunity to reach out and grab hold of that grand idea. That’s why we, dream, that’s why we strive, and that’s why we “just do shit” (Source: DT).

So when I mistakenly showed up cc’d on an email entitled “Rapha Gentlemen’s Race,” I thought “just keep your head down Bullet, pay your dough, and by the time they wake up, it’ll be too late.” Perhaps I was being too hard on myself; I was, after all eminently qualified to live in the company of the Raphaelite:

  • I could grow a foxy George Clooney
  • I rode an Italian Steel mistress
  • I could do sultry, yet mildly disdainful looks to camera
  • I’d been on the tele, so knew my good side
  • I was just as big a knob as any of them.

It was to be a spritely jaunt (location to TBA) filled with “’triffing, whizzing, and lashes of Ginger Beer – a real top notch gadabout”. I hadn’t been this excited since I saw Melinda Robson’s mum getting changed through a crack in the door (cue Simon and Garfunkel…”Here’s to you Mrs Rob(in)son…..”), but that’s another story for another time.

Back to the task at hand……the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race is an annual ride that is held at undisclosed locations – to keep it mysterious and dripping in cache, you are invited to “apply” to compete – to keep it mysterious and dripping in cache; teams being made up of 6 riders, with one team member having to be female – to keep it mysterious and dripping in cache. I promoted my credentials as the rider most suited to this role ie Bullet (La), but Magoo would have none of it – even though we agreed that her George Clooney could potentially outgrow mine. It turned out that Magoo, as CFO (Chief Fashion Officer), held disproportionate sway, so I was in!

The team presented: 

  • Magoo – she of the sleek Merckx (think about it) and faultless fashion sense
  • Fore – he of the firm buttock and desirable wheel (just ask Magoo)
  • Schleck – he of the inspirational leadership, firm but fair, harsh with a hint of “hello sailor”; I’d tumble over a mound if he shouted “CHARGE!” I can tell you.
  • Nicko – skinless, boneless, the poster boy of Heroin Chic and team Greyhound. “I see rabbits” was his menacing mantra.
  • WBA – he of the subtle yet accurate perception – “Don’t be offended, Bullet…..but I’m glad you’re on this team…..that means I won’t be last.” He was right, damn him.
  • And Bullet (Le) – urbane, calm under pressure, courageous under fire, the rock, the foundation stone.

This’ll be a cinch.

Only thing that I could see as possible obstacle, was the fact that I’d never ridden the distance – 143km and 2800mtrs climbing – a minor details, and that I didn’t actually own any Rapha clobber – a potential deal breaker. The CFO had clearly laid out her vision for the ride – “ER Dress Jersey, Rapha Knick and Natty Rapha Yellow socks.”

Riding in the company of “Rapha Gods/esses” I felt compelled to scale Olympus, liquidate whatever was left of my obliterated asset base, and head off to the House of “R”, 88 Bumcrack Road, Slurrey Hills, to right the obvious wrong. WBA had agreed to accompany me, so off we went.

The House of “R” is a wonderland of cycling chic and all round two-wheeled yumminess. Such a feast of cool stuff had my head spinning, not sure where to start, or where it might end? Enter, Clara, Rapha siren resplendent in on-brand attire and suitably exotic accent. She spoke with silken tone and her words clearly conveyed a subtle yet compelling subtext:

Clara (to Bullet): “Can I help you?”

Translation: “You are a beautiful man, you’d look good in anything and even better in nothing.”

Bullet: “Classic knicks and natty socks, thanks.”

Clara: “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I think you’d be a large.”

Translation: “There is a heat burning in me, a fire that only you can quench”

Bullet: “I’ll take them.”

Clara: “Anything else?”

Translation: “If you take the gilet, myself and 2 of my girlfriends friends will make mad, passionate love to you.”

Bullet: “……….mummy”

Clara: “That’ll be $280, thanks”

Translation: “That’ll be $280, thanks”

Bullet (to WBA): “I think we had a connection”

WBA: “Yeah, to your wallet.”

Thanks to WBA, after a quick complimentary coffee from the proprietor, I escaped Clara seductive clutches with my self-respect and bank balance largely intact. We were attired, caffeinated, tapering and were going to look fabulous. All systems go.

Now go and get yourself a cup of tea before you read the next bit.

Saturday morning broke, as did my wind – a mild nervous disorder, I’m told it has something to do with Gluten…..BT?  Collected by WBA with Schleck riding shotgun and Magoo on board, we peeled northward to the departure point that had been distributed via secret communiqué a couple of days prior. It was to be a Galston kick off, circuit out to Wiseman’s Ferry with a sidetrack thrown in, finishing with a Galston return – 146kms with 2800mtrs of climbing (according to the map – here’s the link http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3635812 ).

A cheeky little spin by anyone’s measure.

The carpark at Montview Oval was awash of whiskers, pastels and Zipps. Notable was the vomit tones of the Attacquer team – I think they were called  “The Porcelain Bus Drivers” or maybe it was just what they were wearing. Needless to say there was plenty of the Branded Merch adorning the morning as rider after rider pursed their lips, scanned the general vicinity, and disapproved.  The George Clooney had been superseded by the Ned Kelly, so I found myself wildly underdressed – but it was too late now.

The might ER’s were prepped and ready, a ripple of excitement laced with a dash of trepidation (I hope Bullet doesn’t blow up in the first 20) and sprinkled on our muesli – the perfect start to what we hoped would be an epic day. The weather was cool and overcast, the rain had held off, and it all felt very Fitzroy.

Nicko muttered “I love seeing people with Zipps suffering,” so I knew it was going to be quite a ride.

Quick caffeine hit, trot to the toot to manage the trots, and then we huddled up for the ride briefing. A skinny coot – Mr Pink Tee Fancy Pants – waived a trendy looking clipboard and told us that “everything’s cool. Keep an eye out for the pink (go figure) arrows on the road. Take it easy and let’s have fun,” and began flagging teams at 1 minute intervals.

“Rattling Dags……..go!”

“Sagging Coin Sacks……go!”

“Prostate-a-gogo……….begin!”

“Whiskers for Jesus…….go!”

“Easy Riders……..hey, you guys look great……and man, love that bike……steel is real, baby……go!”

 

Heady with the delirium of having achieved Fitzroy cred (tick that one off the bucket list), we dived into Galston with the past life screams of “Tora, tora, tora” ringing in our ears. It was a snappy descent made all the more exhilarating by the coolness of the morning air, and having gone from dead stop to breakneck in no time flat…..then we got to the bottom.

To be continued…

OTPe Report Thursday

Well another perfect day for a ride into the office, YHC was up in time to see the sun poke above the horizon and  pedalled into a deliciously 14C clear morning sans Bdoubles on the New Line road.. you have to be out before 6 for that privilege. OTPe combatants mostly MIA just the usual suspects lined up at the loftus kick off.. DtB and a slightly jaded correspondent. No records in mind, PBs and cups all having exactly zero influence today, it was all about enjoyment ( ok no cranking up to the threshold of pain or exerting to the point of hypoxia.. I know some in ER would regard this as the opposite.. no enjoyment without cranking to near death )

Beecroft threw up a couple of choice reds, and a glimpse of the Dulwich Hill mob.. but nice little cruise into the ridiculously designed M2 alternative route. DtB was in form and pushed the pace to arrive at Vimera about 5 minutes early, in time to see Dobbo thrashing over the hill attempting KOM while Lobbster was on the Omnibus.. once en route of course no more silly explosions of power and enthusiasm ( until we reached Scaramanga, and the “safety group” of the ER OTP.. about 5 minutes ahead of their normal time.) OTPe therefore was pedalled with grace and aplomb, in a well aspirated pace sufficient for chit chat..jollity and slow enough for YHC to keep up. Then that all changed .. as mentioned the greyhounds of ER baying for their early coffee seats at B&T sparks flying off their rear derailleurs .. the sight was too much for Dobbo .. he tried to hang back but half way up Scaramanga the temptation overcame him and heezgorn off like a botfly was on his tail.

The OTPe crew proceeded in stately manner along the freeway heading ER greyhounds off at the pass.. acquired Blue Stratos along the way ( I think he caught on as we climbed the Naremburn bridge ).. and managed to arrive at Milsons Point just ahead on the roundabout which can only be described as  perfectly timed.  Not that there is any competiveness or racing on the commute.. official reports will say no accidents, incident, or illegal activity..

SHB was glorious, sometimes you have to wonder why anyone would cross it at a sprint..

Arrivals at B&T sufficiently spread out to ensure no queue beyond about 3 deep and various ER menageries settled in for a well earned and much appreciated coffee.. Bullet was an early departure, along with Phantom heading up to Surrey Hills and that shop..I am sure there will be tears at bedtime when the credit card bill arrives..

Anyhow, Sydney is going to turn on a warm and mostly dry return, make the most of it as apparently we are headed into a heatwave followed by another cool change with rain and storm for the weekend..

Cheers BT

 

RR Ride Report – a confluence of MAMILs

It started as a drip, a trickle and eventually become a flood.

4.55 I woke just in time to shoosh my 5am alarm so as not to disturb Lady Dora.

A bite of toast, a cup of team, ablutions, into the E&T and out the door to pedal the crisp, chill dark of pre-dawn Willoughby.

Shotgun quickly located at corner of Penshurst & Victoria. Soon joined by our favourite Freudian, Horatio, for the steady pedal northwards, following the legendary Way of the Dragon.

The Blessed Virgin caught us up and then Daffodil sprouted on the horizon. Thus we were five and soon bound for LCNP, with fingers freezing, keeping a keen and misty eye out for Hobbits.

On cue one appeared, Dopey (by name only) – blasting out of Browns waterhole like a halfling possessed. Only to be followed by another, Stealth.

Foolishly we passed them, swimming against the tide we headed north, down into the hole and then up for a perfectly timed rendezvous with the northern horde who charged towards and then past us. We turned and chased, mad for the hunt – in and out of Browns once more.

Cresting the hill on the other side found Shotgun unloading both barrels into the gutter. Good one son. Better out than in. Fair play for smashing the SS through Browns two times with gusto.

And then we were many, streaming through the back streets. Finchy, Chippo, Bam, B1 & Norman showing how it’s done MTB style. VD leading then peeling off to follow the Parra Path. Admin on the drops and menacing the Kona.

Rhodes – a sneaky slash, Concord – local constabulary out in force with all pursuit vehicles in attendance – not ready to mess with these easy riders, Five Dock, Canada Bay, Rozelle, then Anzac to arrive in a full torrent and wash up on the shore of the Google Cafe.

47kms on the clock and grin on the dial.

Good job team – a cracking ride and a great way to start the weekend.

Friday Pre GG OTP

Great morning for it, conditions..perfect..temps and pressures all in the green, maggies checked and all nesting, power to weight ratio could be a little better but we’ll live with it..ignition and transfer to Gordon in plenty of time to view a few erstwhile ERs pedalling towards start lines of much harder rides than the Mallow OTP that YHC was about to enjoy.

A chilly blast was a bit of a wake up call in the car park..9C on the clock, but with the clear blue sky and large sun, YHC chose to tough it out, and not don the rapha..( nice to know the option is there though ) . It was an eclectic bunch this morning, the weight and might of the financial markets in the form of TFS discussing the next big ferrous challenge with DT..and YHC heard that Saint Nav has found a polly pedal around Canberra for the weekend..250kms, 4000 plus climbing in a lumpy little course through the back country only a mountain goat would enjoy..”we’ll see what sort of shape I’m in for the 3 peaks “ he said..hmm is all I could respond.

Into the misnamed hills of death, and on to the OTP, 20 plus riders in fine form and style, playing nicely with the traffic and bantering on, Friday..beautiful one week, perfect the next.

No accidents, incidents, GOTFR tokens, nothing.. just the second best way to start the day. Of note was a garbage truck blocking the Tindale climb out..interesting to see a rag tag bag of misfits having to form an orderly queue to line astern formation while actually having to pedal up that hill.  The SUP through to Naremburn was filled with grockles ( East Anglian slang word for tourists ) which is also providing opportunities to test the ER resolve to abide in peace. Nice to see though, that  orderly conduct and consideration has become the norm, even a highlight.

Rolling through North Sydney..hmm another opportunity for practicing peace and calm in the face of multiple motorised challenges..but arriving over the bridge and in one piece..priceless… job done.

GG tonight, all the usual suspects will be lined up.. you know who you are..

Have a great day all

BT

Chaos commuters warned

Chaos commenced for YHC as the sun poked above the horizon illuminating the  garret at Dural with a bushfire glow , and a quick check of the wind direction ( visible blown smoke) ..decisions.. which way to go ? Strapping the camera on visibly to the right side of the helmet I was keen to see if the traffic along New Line would give a little more room if they thought there would be evidence of agro..so after pumping the tyres and oiling the chain it was onto the OTP Dural route.. and hey the camera created a magic 1 meter clearance.. no ute / Bdouble / Bus agro, and only one P plate GOTFR token..

A gentle push over to Fox Valley as there was time to waste, and arrived just as the bell rang for the 6;30 off.. caught at the lights for a banter and back slap before rolling the well worn path to Gordon. 6 on the Fox valley, followed by  3 more at Heydon and caught by Phil before Turra, making a tight but perfectly boisterous peloton sufficient to create a bike lane on the Pacific highway..all that was missing was the paint.

The ER gathering at Gordon was looking a little anaemic until our arrival doubled those waiting in the traps..and within a short while the stragglers rolled up to double it again making a huge 20 or so ( huge considering there are a bulky number still in transit from Melbourne riding the bay ) ..and chaos again when the Fatty O’Barrel failed to show..20 odd looking riders not able to slip the surly bonds of Gordon until a toot from our friend.. now scheduled for 6:47.. YHC rang the bell at 6:45:30.. putting an end to the confusion and calling a start a start.

It was orderly, but with multiple cars on the first roundabout, we quickly found a small traffic jam, and giving right of way meant a cycle jam ensued. Unravelling in single file put all traffic back in motion with minimum fuss, allowing YHC to slide “arriere du peloton “ where all the laughing was..much to be said about being official lantern rouge.. there is no one fighting you for the privilege. Of note was watching the legs of David Brown, putting in 200 rpm along Lindfield av.. road runner meet DB ..

Perfect weather for a roll into town, provided you have no objection to wood smoke, but temperature in the 20’s wind calm, viz a little blurry beyond about 200 metres ( that is with my glasses on ) there would be few who would complain about that. Tindale regroup was sufficiently long to be door stopped by the Tindale residents action and progress group, dedicated to stop all action and progress in Tindale.. politics as we know it.. a do it yourself get it done sort of thing, we salute them..

There were all the usual suspects on the SUP, and ER morning discipline on show ensuring all runners, dogs, prams, children and pensioners using the path were left unshaken, if a little stirred. It is after all a stiring sight to see this rag tag bunch.. filtering through in a blur of egg and tomato.

Regroup at Crows was in stages, half and half, making a safety sized bunch to attack North Sydney in waves, the late comers and YHC appreciate those who go over the top first, by the time we follow all lights are green and traffic looking out for cycle traffic.. even the 612 let us past only to take the turn into Lavender from the right lane around those waiting for the filter right to change green.

B&T churned out the caffeine in spritely fashion, having had an orderly arrival in small groups led of course by the OTPe and all various groups from all suburbs ..a phenomenon soon to be marketed to tourists as one of the great migrations of Sydney.

Loins to be girded for return rides, look to the web for your preferred option.. and recruits are required for a 3:45 departure ( that is AM tomorrow for a Gettalong with Flash ..go on you know you want to )

 

Have a great day all

BT

OTPe with the Cherrybrook Chapter

YHC was roused in the middle of the night again, pitch black and blinking as the alarm insisted it was time to be up..everything else was certain it was not. Not even a hint of Bdouble or essence de truck out on the Old Northern, it was definitely dark out there.

Motion by pedal to the Loftus rendezvous, in a deliciously cool predawn daze.. YHC resumed automatic pilot while the brain claimed one or two moments of REM making one last attempt at a sleep cycle.

Danny the Boy and TD arrived within mere seconds of each other from different directions, kicking the OTPe in action with a minute up the sleeve. TD on the Bundy ( one day he may be able to afford gears on it but not today, it was configured with some tiny cog on the back and was looking for pain ) Dtb and YHC found a gap in the Beecroft traffic and sauntered into the rollercoaster lottery, TD held back and chased, but as there were multiple red lights we all arrived at the railway tunnel well gassed and perhaps a PB up the ramp. Alas I had selected the wrong gear ( must have put the wrong legs on ) DtB and TD flew past, leaving YHC in the dust.. The rest they say is history.. OTPe is really is a ride of two halves.. the good bit was over, and now there is a ridiculous roundabout network of interconnecting back streets which spit you out at Delhi Rd.and then interrupt normal progress by a succession of traffic lights and junctions.  Lobbster set a cracking pace from Vimera, a rolling boil for the 15 minutes up the 3 Epping climbs..YHC was cooked to a turn by pacific highway only to be overdone at Scaramanga.. limped over the SHB in time to rearrange the tables at B&T. Composure was just re-established as the ER OTP arrived and a pretend nonchalance betrayed by steam and sweat.

ERs arrived from all points, the new Manly chapter arriving as the first wave was leaving, the TSS was also a visitor, 9 weeks off the bike and feeling it, banter and tall stories of week end rides, Canberra, MTB exploits, 200plus Audax, Goader’s hill fest, there was pathos, hyperbole..all the devices used..

Choice abounds for the return rumble, blazing sunshine expected as afternoon is misnamed as evening.

Have a great day all

BT