Day 7 - Friday, 9th September 2005 - Killarney to Boonah
Yesterday afternoon I had a look in the Historical Society Museum at Killarney, again a lot of history shown in a small Museum in a small town. Last night we found out that most people had made it past the dirt section with no dramas, any issues were quite minor. We were warned about the downhills for today, and some people who lived in the area said that they werequite vicious. Last night I went to the pub to see what was going on down there. There was a musician, but he had been pushed into a corner, as the cricket on the television was taking centre stage. I met Wade and Yishay outside and so we chatted for half an hour or so. We had all noticed that compared to the NSW ride, where eveyone seems to be at the pub, Queensland seems to be much more subdued.
This morning, I rolled out with Pete at about 7am, and unlike previous morning they were holding people back until the official start time. They let the bunch go just as I made it to them. Today started witht he biggest climb of the ride, it started a few k's up the road from the start, and it was really enjoyable. The only problem was the cattle grid near the bottom, the catch was that the best way to cross them is at speed. A bit difficult on a decent hill when you aren't warmed up. Some of the views on the way up the hill were pretty amazing, it mde the climb absolutely fantastic. Once at the top, I saw Morning Tea, this was only 10kms into the ride. I went straight on as it had only just gone 7:30am. A bit further up the road, Pete caught up with me as he had missed me at the start.
Along the top of the hill some of the scenary was again breath taking. At one point we were riding through rain forest. It was beautiful, I was only half watching the road and just really looking around. There were also a lot of Beef Cattle up here as well. I stopped occasionally to take some photos. We hit Carrs Lookout and we were told that the road was closed after 8am, both Pete and I rolled on, as we wanted to do the descent without others around us. Just at the top of the first downhill we were stopped and told not to go until they let us, whcih would be at about 8:30am, it was a few minutes shy of 8am at this point. We hung about and we were chatting to the other riders as they came in.
It was a bit of along wait but it was quite pleasant standing in the sun. Finally they let us go, and Pete, "Cannonball" Tony, Jim (who I know from the Pegasus Crew at RTA Big Rides) and I all got moving pretty quickly. Tony, Pete and Jim were all a bit ahead of me, and as they made the first hairpin bend, all three went bush with Pete and Tony going down lightly. I made it around without comming down, but I was pretty wide by the end of the corner. There were a few cross words between Jim and Tony, but no one was hurt and all bikes were OK. All three passed me and I kept going at my own pace. The decent wasn't too bad, there were some switch backs, but there was a fiar bit of road and it was in quite good condition. At the bottom, I could see Pete and Tony ahead of me and so I was off chasing. I soon caught and passed Tony as the terrain was undulating and it wasn't too long until I had caught Pete. We could see Jim ahead of us and so we were chasing him.
There was a second big descent that was worse than the first. We caught Jim just before it and again we had to stop at the top. There was a mechanic there from Epic who checked our brakes and then sent us on. The second descent was a single lane, with loose material in the middle, luckily the road was closed to general traffic, so there was no fear of us meeting something comming up the hill. This descent was steeper, and twistier that the first, there were no barriers, so if you over shot a corner, there was a long drop. There were some vollies to get us to slow down at some points. As I was the third rider to descend, I think they still didn't have a great concept of a cyclist who was going to fast. A few times I had to let got of the breakes to try and give my hands a bit of relief.
I made it to the bottom with no dramas, but I heard at camp that not everyone was so lucky. The bottom of the hill was really fast and a good opportunity to really get going. Pete and Jim were ahead of me and I watned to see if I could catch them. The road was still closed ahead and really nice cycling, slightly downhill and quite fast. Tony cauight up to me, but a bit further on, after we were back on open roads, there were a few uphills where Tony couldn't match me. I was on myown again but really powering on and enjoying the day. Some of the hills in the area were really beautiful to look at. I had caughtj no sign of Pete, or Lunch, by this stage I was about 40-45km, into a 70km day, so I was a bit surprised that I hadn't seen it yet. At one point I passed a house with some turkeys in the yard, so I gave them a few gooble-gooble's that really got them going. There were a few cattle grids still on the route, and at one I was coming out of a corner. I finally found lunch at 50km, quite late in the route.
Pete was just leaving and as it was vegie burgers, I just grabbed a sweet and left with Pete. He knew the approach to Boonah as he had raced out here in the past. The route was still quite fast, it alternated between good rolling hills and nice flats. There were a few small hills and the odd long one, but nothing too bad. Pete told me were on the last hill, but as we crested we saw another one ahead of us, so much for the local knowledge. On the final run to Boonah, it was another flat road. We came in, found camp and turned arouind to a Cafe that Pete knew. Despite us not being on the route, a lot of other cyclists found us.
At one point we saw a couple of Ambulances shoot up towards the route, not a good sign. Then a bit later, two locals started having a punch up at the Cafe, a bit of excitement for the day. Finally at about noon we rolled to camp. The luggage trucks were unlaoded and so I set up. I had to walk to town as I was nearly out of sunscreen and I also wanted to buy a new hat, baseball caps really don't do the job. So with two days to go, one full and then one half day, I am still having a great time.
Some of the beautiful scenary on todays route.
How can you hate riding up hills with views like this as reward?
Even the clouds made spectacular scenary today.
View from Carr's Lookout.
Top of the first descent.