Saturday, February 19, 2011

Aborted cycling trip

I headed out yesterday, attempting to put in 300km over two days on my bike. the first 150km would be relatively flat (from Brisbane to Ipswich to Boonah to the bottom of the range), followed by a 1,000m climb. I would then drop 400m into the town of Killarney, and stay there overnight.
The next morning would involve about 30km of long rolling hills over the border, through Woodenbong, and back into Queensland, before about 90km of dead flat through Rathdowney and Beaudesert, finishing up in Beenleigh.

The signs before-hand weren't good. The gears on my bike broke on Friday afternoon. I picked up my brothers 6-year-old hybrid that is way too small for him. I put my seat and wheels on it. However, the gear allignment was out of whack, allowing me only six gear options.

at 7:05, I rode up Moggill Road, seeing a sign that explained that College's Crossing was closed. My only way into ipswich. Ah well, let's see if we can get over anyways.

The first one and a half hours were horrible. I felt like I was six hours into a ride, and even walked a steep hill. On my road bike, I don't think I've ever walked a hill.

I started to relax into it as I made my way through the blisteringly hot plains between Ipswich and Boonah. The eventual cloud cover made it even better, before my choice of saddle was proven incorrect. Due to the sitting position on the hybrid, using a road bike saddle caused me some serious bum pain, to the point where I would prefer to be standing up in the saddle than sitting down. The 8kg backpack would not have been working to my advantage in this regard.

Stopping and having lunch in Boonah at 11:30 relieved this problem, temporarily. After floundering around for ten minutes, not sure of which way to go, I found the right road. I then proceeded to take a wrong turn, which ended in a dirt road, adding a couple of kms onto my total for the day. Following this were some long, long hills, most of which I walked.

I had been debating turning around and heading back to Boonah for basically this whole time. And then came the event which sealed it. I arrived at an unexpected crossroads, 110km and six hours into the ride. Right - Killarney way atleast 50km and 1,000m of vertical away. Left: Boonah - 21km. After hesitating for a long time, I decided to go back to Boonah. My reasoning was that I was clearly still recovering from the weekend before, and although I knew that I could make it up to Killarney and back home, it would probably push me into a deep deficit. I would live to die another day.
Just as well that I had turned around, I walked most of the hills back into Boonah.

I then had three options: cycle 40km into ipswich and catch the train home, stay overnight and then do much the same, or catch a cab home. I chose the third, which cost me $140.
In the end, it was worth paying that much, I really need the rest.

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