Did not happen.
A massive weather event did, and a bike ride was the last thing that was going to occur in Northern NSW this weekend. Wisely the organisers of the event made use of weather watching technology and advice from relevant authorities and kept the registered riders up to date during the days prior to the event.
So when word came through on Friday morning that the ride was cancelled, it was no surprise. But it still gave me a strange feeling. I had planned and prepared, trained and shown uncharacteristic discipline in getting myself into physical shape capable of completing the ride. I felt ready in mind and body. 4 months of training, 18kg of weight loss. I could still be lighter, fitter, but I'd done what I'd set out to do, and now the culmination was taken from me. No doubt the other riders felt the same.
So.... as a riding friend put it, we made lemonade out of lemons. (Thanks Susie). Andrew Demack had done precise logistics planning for the event, with accommodation, transport and support all organised. Within 5 hours of the event being cancelled there was a new format, with loop rides from Noosa. 7 of the 8 GTI riders were still available, and the support vehicle would no longer be required. Which was a shame as the company of those good men would be missed.
We headed north from Brisbane to the hot and clear land of the eternal roundabout which is Noosaville. And food was eaten, bikes were ridden, more food was eaten and there was an abundance of craic.
|Headding down for dinner, Noosaville|
Andrew's Odyssey for the first day took us to Gympie and back via some little used country roads, some of which were dirt. We had more flats than Manhattan. This gave us plenty of opportunity to catch a breath (there were plenty of hills) and have a laugh. It took us most of the day to complete the 140km, and there were certainly some stiff bodies that made their way down to dinner on the river that evening. I found the ride very doable and was pleased to find myself mid-pack for most of the ride. My goal for GTI was to finish with the Southbank Bunch Group, and it seems I would have been capable of this.
|Off we go, adventure calls|
For Sunday's ride there was some threat of bad weather, but the 80km loop out to Belli Creek district (towards Kenilworth) remained fairly dry and the bunch enjoyed some great views from the numerous ridges that were ridden. A lazy morning tea was enjoyed at Eumundi and fish and chips on the Noosa River was a splendid way to finish up the time away.
Thanks to all the bunch for a really enjoyable weekend. Particularly to Andrew for his work in sorting accommodation and finances, planning rides, and then navigating them. Thanks also to the well-wishers who were cheering us on from the electronic sidelines.
Tonight as I try to reflect on what has happened, I have a mixture of feelings. I most strongly feel blessed to be part of the community that is the Soutbank Bunch. I feel content that we made the absolute best of unfortunate weather timing. And I feel uncertain of how I can keep my personal development of fitness and health going in the right direction. It seems I will soon have a lengthy period off the bike following surgery to my right wrist. In recent times I have seen some colleagues deal with this in noble fashion and I take inspiration from them.
When does registration for 2014 GTI open?