Day 7 - Friday, 15th September 2006 - Ravenshoe to Innisfail
Yesterday afternoon and last night the rain and the wind kept up. Ravenshoe put on a street party, and the wether did its best to make it hard to enjoy. There was some wood chopping at the top pub, I saw the hard hitting competition, which is a vertical post, and it is a competition to cutting it down in the least number of cuts. Then after that there was a relay, one person doing a horizontal log, and the other doing a vertical log. All up they were quite skilled and good watching. I ended up back in the tent at 8pm and read my book for an hour or so, as it was somewhere warm and dry.
Luckily this morning it was only drizzling a bit, so I could pack up without getting soaked. I had some clothes hung up under cover last night, but they were still damp this morning. They were packed as is. I wore my still damp soacks from yesterday, as I didn't expect to stay dry, and without knowing my drying prospects at Innisfail, I though it better to wear the wet ones rather than a dry pair.
I rolled up town to fill up my water bottles, and when I got back to the gate Scoty was there. We went back into town for him to fill up, and it was 7am by that stage, so we headed off. Today we were heading to Milla Milla for Morning Tea before descending down to sea level. Up to Morning Tea, there were still a lot of ups and downs. We went past the Milla Milla Wind Farm early on. Although people say they are eyesores, I though that they looked pretty amazing, as some of the Windmills had their tops in the clouds. For the first part of the day, we were in some beautiful rolling country, it was really green and there were many postcard scenes that wouldn't have looked out of place in England. Many of the hills around us had their heads in the coulds, and there was a place called the Misty Mountains, but no Rivendell that I noticied.
There was one descent that was pretty sketchy, the road surface was very lumpy, and with the wet road it wasn't too comfortable. I pulled away from Scotty but looked back when I could to make sure he was staying upright. I slowed down at the end to let him catch back on. There were two slat bridges today which we were warned about at briefing, the attitude was if you are confident at riding them to do so, otherwise walk. I picked a good line and crossed without a problem. There were bolt heads poking through, which I later learnt caused multiple punctures to other people.
Scotty and I hit Morning Tea at about 8am, we didn't go in and kept on, Scotty didn't want to vist Milla Milla Falls, but I did and so he relented. It was only about 2km off route and well worth the visit. As we left, the weather set in again. We were on a main highway, and we noticed it pretty much straigh away as a truck passed us very close. A bit up the road we hit the first major descent and it had signs of 10%. Despite the warnings at briefing, we didn't touch the brakes and enjoyed it. At the bottom we then had an 8% climb for the next 3k's.
Because of our deteur to the falls, we had lost the lead, but we swept a few up on the hill. Once over the top, we had another good descent. We sat on about 50km/hr for the next 7km or so. There was a toilet stop at the bottom of the hill and Scotty and I joked about the location of it. Lunch today was late on the route at about 60km, so at the bottom we had to come to terms with the wind again. We pressed on, and a few k's short of lunch we finally swept up the sole rider ahead of us. He jumped on our wheel briefly but we were pushing at about 40km/hr and it was a bit too fast for him. We made lunch a bit before 9"30am, and it was a hamburger, so I ate the cake and chatted for a bit.
When we left at about 9:35am, a few of the other rast riders were in. I estimated we could finish by about 10:12am, but I knew we would have to push it. The wind was basically a crosswind, but it still allowed us to get a good pace going. When Cyclone Larry went through earlier this year, it hit this area quite heavily, it showed today, as we saw several areas of forest that had obviously had all their follage stipped off them. About 10km out of town, my legs weren't feeling the best, I finally pulled out the energy gel and got it into me.
About 2 minutes later it kicked in and I felt a lot better. Scotty wasn't feeling too good, so he sat behind me. A few times I had to ease up so he could catch up. We made a final turn and straight into the wind, but at least by this stage we didn't have far to go. A bit further on, a cement truck turned onto the road behind us and as he went past, I gave the bike a kick and just managed to make his slipstream. I must say that slipstreaming trucks is
a) bloody dangerous
b) bloody stupid, but
c) a bit of fun.
I sat with him for about 2km before tuning off to camp. Nothing had yet arrived, so I asked some locals setting up a food stall for a good Coffee Shop. Scotty had arrived by this stage so we went into town and refuelled. A few other riders showed up after a while and we chatted about the route.
After about an hour we came back to camp and waited for the luggage trucks. Michael and I claimed a camping spot, but that was pretty much where the luggage trucks stopped. Once setup I put up a clothes line and dried out some stuff from yesterday. Next on the list was s trip back to town for some lunch. The closest pub is the Innisfail Hotel, which was still closed due to damage from the cyclone. This camp site is absolutely brilliant, especially considering the mud bowl we were in last night. We have one more full day, and then it is pretty much over.
The Milla Milla Wind Farm
Some of the beautiful scenary for the day.
Milla Milla Falls
The Latest Fashion in keeping your feet dry, as modeled by Trisha
The Innisfail Hotel, still awaiting roof repairs.
Cyclists coming into camp
for more Photos from Day 7.