Sunday, August 30, 2009


Another fog delay greeting me he next morning and I spent some more time chatting to Quentin before the fog listed and I was able to hit the road again.I was about 130k out of Noosa and I realy didn't feel like making it a huge day to get there.I have ridding that section before and did not want hit the hills that are to be climbed late in the day when I am tired and trying to negotiate traffic.I decided instead to make it two easy days and make the first nights stp on the southern side of Gympie some 70k away.

After chatting to a nice family about bike fundraising and my trip while I was at the Information Centre I set off and found my legs surprisingly fresh after the huge effort the day before.My first rest stop was to be a nice little rest area that I have stopped in a few times before on rides I've done from both the Sushine and Gold Coasts.It is near a little hamlet called Gunalda and is a really nice little spot.Once I arrived I set up all my cooking stuff and made coffee and some lunch.This was going to be a long stop so I decided to do some washing while I was there.Some of the other people who drifted in and out of the place must have been wondering just who this dude was,sitting at a bench just wearing a towel and a hat,surrounded by a clotheline full of lycra flapping in the hot northerly wind.The chance to have clean clothes that no longer stank was worth all the weird looks.
A couple of hours later I woke up from my little nap and got myself ready for the afternoons' ride through Gympie.Luckily the wind had picked up and the next 30k was very easy and even the part I was dreading the most was bearable.Gympie is a shitty place to ride through.There are all kinds of roadworks going on and it seemed not much had been achieved since the last time I rode through the previous year.It wasn't much fun as the drivers in ths town tend to be real pricks and this day was the first time I had some young punks giving me some choice abuse as they drove past.So nice of them!!
I was happy to be through the main part of town and stooped at the local info hut to find out where the next rest area was.Just before I hit the rest area something hit me.My first bird-strike of the trip.Australia is famous for having extremely territorial and aggressive birds in the spring and they just love to attack cyclsts and little kids walking to school.This little bastard gave himself away too early and missed me as I ducked under his attack.Last year one of the little dive -bombers actually took a slice out of my ear and I bled all over the place.It is acutally really dangerous as your instinct to swerve out of their way can force you into the path of an unforgiving semi-trailer so I've learned to just suck it up and let the little buggers peck my helmet.

After finding out all the info I needed I got back on my bike under the watchfull eye of that bloody bird and rode on another few kilometers to the rest area at Six Mile Creek.It was a pretty average place with an even more average vibe about it.There was not a lot of love being shared around and everyone just kept to themselves and didn't seem interested in making friends.That was okay by me and I just went about my daily routine and after feeding myself was tucked in bed before the sun went down.

I was up well before sunrise the next moning and packed my stuff but really I should have stayed in bed as this mornings fog was by far the thickest I'd encountered.I was all packed up with nowhere to go and it sucked.That was,until one of the campers told me that just at the top of the hill,about a kilometer away was a truckstop I could hang out in.I needed little encouragement to make the mad dash up the hill in the cloak of mist knowing that hot coffee and a dry place to sit were on offer.When I got there I found the truckstop had the coolest western themed restaurant which I though would be more fitting in Texas and not here in South East Queensland.I felt like I had stepped straight into some South-Western U.S. antique store like the ones I had seen while visiting my brother in Austin, Texas.I was strange but really cool at the same time.

A couple of coffees and a nice chat with the manager later and I was off for the 60k ride into Noosa.I was going to be at one of my favourite places in a couple of short hours and that thought pushed the pace on the bike to the extent that I score the fastest average speed of any day of the ride.I was pretty happy with that as there are quite a few killer hills on that stretch of highway but my legs didn't care,they just wated to get to the beach and fast.It was hot though an by the time I reached Noosa and climbed the stupidly steep driveway up to the heritage listed old building that is the Halse Lodge Youth Hostel, I was ready to put the bike away for a few days and just hit the beach.

Which is exactly what I did....for the next five days!

Early morning in Cardwell,Nth Queensland