Andy (my warmshowers billet for tonight) kindly sent me a bikely.com map of how best to get to Gympie avoiding the highway. I saved the details to my netbook as a pdf as I couldn’t be assured of internet access.
The next morning (Sunday) I set off at 7:45am after having breakfast & breaking camp. It was raining lightly which became heavier for about an hour. I arrived in Eumundi and had to make my decision whether to ride to Noosa or not.
With the rain easing, I decided to hazard the ride so off I set – it was only 20km there and 20km back after all! I clocked 75.5km/h down a massive hill and was in Noosa before I knew it.
I hooked up with Sharon and she embarrassed me by organising to have my arrival announced from the stage and I had to ride in and trip up onto the stage for an impromptu interview. It’s hard to think that I might have become a minor celebrity with what I’m doing – I still think of it as just something I’m doing for my kids! I hung around for about an hour and then had to move on – after all, I was expected in Gympie that evening, so back to Eumundi I rode. The big downhill became a big uphill but I still managed good time and before I knew it I was back on track heading up Eumundi Range Rd to Cooroy for lunch at the bakery.
After lunch I again headed out of town, this time on Cooroy Connection Rd to Yurol Forest Drive and on past Pomona to Kin Kin Rd. I had been promised a huge uphill on this route but I had yet to see it. At Kin Kin I turned left and headed up Sister Tree Creek Rd where I came across a ‘knee-breaker’ of a hill. I had to stop for a drink and a toilet stop but managed to climb it successfully. Whew! I continued on the sealed road onto Cedar Pocket Gap Rd and it was here that I came across the REAL hill – a 15% lung-ripper that very near killed me! I managed about 1/3 of the climb before I had to admit defeat and get off. Even pushing the bike was very hard work but I eventually crested the hill and looked back over my shoulder – WOW! It may have been improved by the ordeal I had just been through but I thought it good enough to take a photo of anyway. From there it was a relatively easy ride into Gympie.
I had done 132.4km for the day at an average of 21.3km/h in 6:11hours and a maximum of 75.5km/h (on that downhill towards Noosa). A good day’s work by any account but I even managed to bring a smile to my hosts’ faces when I arrived. As cyclists themselves, they could really appreciate what I had gone through. Andy and Clare have a young daughter Rosie who reminds me a lot of Keighley when she was that young. They also have Clare’s parents (Brian & Noreen) staying from New Zealand so dinner time especially is quite a merry affair. Clare put on a veritable feast for me and I retired for the night feeling quite satisfied.
The next morning I had an early call from ABC radio asking for an interview on the morning show which, of course, I jumped at. It aired before my presentation and I had a good turnout on a day where the rain was incessant. I again find myself enjoying the talks more and more each time I do them. Who’d have thought this would be the case a mere year ago!
Tomorrow I head on towards Maryborough and another talk.