Six ER’s – Goaders, Greg, Admin, Michael, Big Phil and myself – set off from the Railway bridge in Wahroonga (note to self, not the overpass near Abbotsleigh) at 5am for what was to be certainly the most epic ride I have ever done.
Stock standard ride up to the Pie in the Sky – which wasn’t yet open. There was a very lovely chocolate brown “guard” dog waiting for us near the entrance, begging us not to leave with big puppy dog eyes. Alas on a Goaders schedule, we continued onwards past the Glue Factory (doesn’t smell as good on Saturdays), past some magnificent black and yellow cockatoos (which almost caused Goaders to come off his bike) and down into Gosford. Stunning morning on the coast, pity about the yobbos in commodores who gave us the odd beeping. Having done 80% of the climbing getting to Gosford, it was a cruise along to The Entrance. We sat down to a massive breakfast only to run into one G. Boycey! Earning points taking his lovely wife away for their wedding anniversary.
The Central Coast Hwy, the long flat bit up to where we met the Pacific Highway, was awful. Rather dry and windy, rough surfaced, lots of sticks and with a small crappy shoulder that had us in single file (again copping it from Coasties). I was very relieved when at the end, Greg turned to me and said that part was easily the worst bit of the ride. Turns out it wasn’t but I was happy at the time! We did the rolling group thing (which was effective to a point) down into Swansea , enjoying blue smurf frozen ice things (half frozen sugar water basically). Taking Wilsons directions, we hopped on the Fernleigh bike path (an old railway line) all the way to Adamstown, which INCLUDED A TRAIN TUNNEL AND A STATION! I was very excited. So was everyone else when we realised were we going uphill for ages – it very suddenly got a lot easier!
Lunch at Newcastle was grand. We lost Admin and Phil to the lure of the train (and their families). Seagulls circled looking for every opportunity to attack Goaders. We all ate HUGE amounts of food – Mr Goad ordering a steak with potatoes and salad and then an extra family sized wedges. The sweet potato chips from the burger place next door to the Brewery are awesome, FYI.
Back on the bikes, the real fight against the wind began. Even on the bike path we copped it. On the highway back up to Swansea was even worse. If it wasn’t fully in my face, it was hitting me from the side and throwing me off path. Even drinking plenty of water, head started to ache at Swansea (where I switched to Powerade).
Gosford. FINALLY. After taking some random way through West Gosford industrial estate (full of meth labs no doubt). Everyone was hurting. Except for Greg, who looked full of the joys of spring when his brother turned up in his car. That said, EPIC ride sir. To get that far is an amazing effort given you had only ever done 100km once or twice before. Eating more food and drinking more sugar water, we gazed up at the lights at the top of the next climb. Getting 80% of the climbing done in the first section is great, except when you do the return…
I had a false injection of energy at Gosford, probably from excitement of being close to home (since when is Gosford close to home…). The climb up was pretty cruisy. The next climb, from the creek up, felt like it went on for 10km. Finally down the other side and across the Peats Ferry Bridge, only for Goaders to stop, take his shoes off and start scratching around like a giant chicken. Michael was stone silent and I was in stitches! It felt like we were dragging cement up the final climb. My ass was so sore I was out of my seat for a lot of it. We are all also going slightly mad at this time.
FINALLY we get to Asquith. Can’t possibly go further without sustenance, so we share a romantic Coke between the 3 of us. After finding out Hawthorn and the Roosters won, we set off again for home. I walked in the door, took off my shoes and knicks and lay on the floor for a good 20mins. I don’t think I have ever been that shattered and I’ve done some pretty crazy things.
Great riding all of you. Even those who made It to Newcastle – 160km is a massive effort!