There was movement at the station at a ridiculously early hour this morning, not YHC astride the bike but Hills Shire returning to the premises to remove garbage they missed on Friday..driver obviously angry as a full 5000 rpm required to lift about 10kg of detritus. So yet again up before going to bed, and well covered to fend off the early morning chill (had an under-vest on) to make the journey through the stygian GG and onto the OTP.
Blinking brightly as blind Quarry truck drivers are not quite awake at that time, it was a welcome left turn onto Old Northern and thus out of the danger zone a mere 700m into the ride, and once more into the quiet of a predawn calm. Cruising along though the undulations before Galston village, it was definitely feeling a little cooler, 11C on the clock from 16C in Dural, nothing that required further layers but a heads up to have made those winter clothes purchases while Wiggle and all Northern stockists are trying to off load their stocks heading as they are into spring..
The GG was deep, and dark, and lonely..very little moving through, YHC recovering from the 3P tapping out an easy beat in 4/4 time getting into swing of it and oops it was over before it began, (these short 10 minute climbs even the remembered pain was fleeting) ..
Pushing through onto the OTP gotta say I had a GOFTR token administered on the Pacific Highway..I now define a GOFTR token as conspicuous dangerous driving in the vicinity of a bike..this eeejit thought a metre didn’t matter and gave about 5cm room, then got caught by the lights at Knox…perfect opportunity for YHC to slip in front and use the lane for some conspicuously belligerent slow acceleration and into a good sprint up to Turra..(thus missing the 6:30 rendezvous at Fox Valley..) but as the blood was up Gordon was only another 5 mins away..
A crescendo of colour and style, the wagon train that is ER rolled into Gordon as single entity..25 or more rolling in before the BOF. Of note was a new steed bearing the family Stratos
Once the remaining 10 or so had accreted to the rear of the peloton, a split was arranged and Flash led out a Cat Flap contingent, while an assorted 25 made the pilgrimage along the OTP. Great to see such a turn out, even after the exploits of the weekend where is seems the ER colours are flown far and wide.. You would have heard the peloton clearly before it rolled into sight, as this morning was swift but at full volume..I wonder if a pedestrian gets the same high to low Doppler effect as 30 odd riders pass at speed. Stories recounted and plans made for next weekend all happening en route.
The Stratos tandem was leading through the Hills of death, maintaining a punishing pace through to the regroup at Roseville..I think Blue said something about making the stoker angry enough is a bit like treading on the accelerator, it worked..as the whole peloton was caned. (in all seriousness, great team work and very impressive paint job..superb , a real highlight)
YHC was towed up Burlington by Herb, YHC unable to speak at the top for five minutes, Herb barely panting…YHC needs more caning..
The usual Schleck advance from Burlington to the Bridge..a brief catch on the lights but that coffee suck seems to give him another 200 watts power..impressive.
B&T in full ER mode…40 coffees brought out and called in about 10 minutes..the smile on Vic’s face belies the earlier Vic we once knew..”well aren’t we a …sunshine” sticker has been removed, and he may even serve hot chocolate and mock achinos if asked nicely (but personally I would not dare) ..
Return flights are all scheduled and fueled ready for the off, check out the calendar for the one that fits yours.
Have a great day all