Day 7 - Friday, 26th March 2004 - Newcastle to Bateau Bay
You could tell it was the day after the rest day today as people were very slow getting started this morning. I was packed up and fed by 7 am so there was a 30 min wait until the official start. I joined the queue so I could get a quick get away and beat the crowds, as I like to do. The route this morning had to get us out of Newcastle first so there was a reasonable amount of suburban riding to start the day.
We joined onto a new cycle path that was a converted coal train line, although this was also used by pedestrians, I had no problems riding along this, there was one section that was under the Pacific Highway, it was the tunnel that used to be used by the trains. At this point I had a really bad average, I didn't feel bad on the bike, but I was not going as fast as I thought I should have been. I wasn't being caught by other cyclists so I wasn't sure what it was, I ended up putting it down to a slight hill. We left the bike path behind and kept on through suburbia.
We rejoined the Pacific Highway and after a while there was a detour to Lunch. Lunch was early in the route today and I reached it by about 8:30am. I didn't stop for long and I kept going. The route continued along the Pacific Highway for a good stretch and a couple of times I was unsure if I was still on the route. I hadn't seen another cyclist or a volunteer for quite a while. The route did turn off the Highway eventually into Munmorah Recreation Park. Afternoon Tea was there, I stopped for about 5 mins, the lead riders where there ahead of me and a few had gone on. This was one of the nicest part of today's ride as it was scenic and rolling. Unfortunately it didn't last and we were soon back into suburbia and the ground was very flat.
I belted along here pushing up to 40 km/hr at some points. We kept along this road hitting the towns on the approach to The Entrance, once past The Entrance, we had a few turns before we made camp, again I was one of the early finishers. Personally I found today's route to be dull and uninteresting. A lot of today's riding was on the Pacific Highway and I can do this in Sydney. Along the Freeway was like the Princes Highway towards Waterfall. Today was a very flat route so it wasn't particularly challenging. It was a nice day for cycling, just not inspiring.