Ride Start Date: 2019-12-19
Author: John McMullan
I am starting to gather quite a collection of EEW permanents I think because it is the flatest of our South East Qld permanents and I am very comfortable wih the ‘top half’ of the route being close to home.
I discovered on my last run in November that a 6am start whilst getting a bit more of the day’s heat actually has part of the 1-3pm section of the route in partial shade which makes the ride more bearable.
Peter Lovell and I had discussed riding this with Pete starting at a control closer to his place and collecting me on the way through at the next. This was not to be as Pete had other commitments so I headed off solo once again with a 6am start.
The weather forecast was for 32 degrees, a far cooler temperature than my last but the headwind was strong enough to be a bit annoying, turning to really annoying as it persisted all the way to Victoria Point.
The morning was pleasant with my usual amenities break at Sandgate before heading around the cliffs and past the volunteer marine rescue facility. I was surprised to find the bike lane full of parked cars at 6:30 in the morning with people lined up at the seafood stalls just afterwards but thankfully all the vehicles on the road in that area seemed to be parked there already making it a moving vehicle free area.
The RO had made the couple of route corrections that I mentioned and I was soon on the Gateway Bikeway enjoying the mild 19 degree morning.
Soon after the Boonall roundabout I encountered a chap struggling with a replacement tube. I stopped and helped by lending him my pump which also didn’t work for him either. I had a look at the tube and discovered that the valve was stuck shut – something that happens occasionally and the rider had missed. Once fixed I headed off again and made my way down near the airport where I found Lomandra drive full of vehicles – not surprising considering it was close to 7:30am and people were on there way to work. After 5 minutes of waiting I managed to turn onto the road to make my way to the ascent of the bridge.
I arrived at the top of the bridge at the observation window and stopped to put sunscreen on. I normally wear a head rag but as they were all still drying I wore the trusty Audax cap and tried something different to prevent the erspiration getting in my eyes by not putting sunscreen above my lower eyelids on my face, but still making sure I applied cream to my ears to prevent burns. The shades and cap would protect the eyelids and forehead.
The run to Wynnum Central was equally busy due to the time of day but traffic was polite all the way through. As I climbed out of Wynnum to the T intersection at the top I was passed by a delivery truck that stopped to turn right, just as I needed to do. I waited on his left to turn when he did but keeping out of his way. While we waited a low loader turned into the street we were turning out of, but from the middle of the road due to his trailer length. An impatient driver coming on our left tried to shoot the gap as the truck turned and was nearly taken out by the wide swinging trailer end. Rule #1 – a noticeable amount of drivers are impatient.
Amazingly the rest of the trip to Ormiston shops and the first control was worry free but I did catch up with a couple of cyclists for a brief chat as we rode.
I had a nice salad sadwich and a coke before making my way through the ‘way’s to Vic Point and then onto the second control.
Fortunately the wind was at my back and the seven sisters were more tolerable due to the lack of heat. Just after I spotted the Stapylton radar I ran over something that sliced the rear tire with an instant deflation.
I went back to look for it but it wasnt to be found. When I looked at the tire it had a 12mm slice in it down to the vectran belt so part of my repair was to put a couple of layers of spare tube under the tire to protect the new tube. Halfway through a kind motorist slowed down to see get if I needed assistance, thankfully not required as there wasnt room to have a car on the shoulder.
20 minutes later I was on my way and came to the last pinch on the way to LoganHolme where I saw a young bloke trying to ride up the grassy shoulder but hopping off halfway up. That pinch is steep and trying to ride the grassy bit would be near on impossible.
Once over the top of the rise I was surprised that he outpaced me over the next km or so. Once at Drews road I stopped for lunch before heading northwards with less traffic than I had expected. The wind had changed direction from mostly southerly to mostly northerly so I knew I would have a bit of a slog, but at least be cooler as I rode. Just past Ikea at Springwood I slowed to let a delivery truck turn into the loading dock and a dealership car raced past up the hill. Once towards the top, the dealership car was turning into it’s first driveway but there was a large tow truck in one half. As I rode past I noticed that it was a wide driveway but the dealership car didnt go round the truck. Curious but supports Rule #2 – A noticeable number of drivers only do what is convenient. About this time the delivery truck passed me again as we got near the top of the hill left indicator on. I slowed down to avoid stopping and his turn into the side street was slow due to parked vehicles. The dealership car driver had arrived here too and was unimpressed with the delay and leaned on the horn. With the truck out of the way, he raced the extra 100m up the road and turned into a third dealership driveway. Rule #3 – a noticeable number of drivers are always in a hurry.
I left Springwood behind as I headed north through Eight Mile Plains and made the Veloway which was nicely shaded on the northbound side.
The Veloway stage E is coming along nicely but will not be ready for the January EEW. I stopped at the servo for a coke but no icypole and chatted a little longer to the shop assistant than I should have when I realised I was going to be cutting it fine for the next control, arriving with 15 minutes to spare. I had a think about how much time I had left and thought I could be in a spot of bother with the headwind.
The next section after Eagle Junction is less than optimal to me with some pinches after stopping and cooling down, but persistence always wins. Fortunately traffic was light and I pushed the pace up a bit to give me a bit of spare time at the end.
My run beside the northern end of the gateway was at peakhour and despite the significant roadworks that occurred last year the congestion at the start of the Houghton Highway was as bad as I remembered it in the past and I was making better time than the traffic.
As I got to the start of the Ted Smout Bridge the headwind really hit, dropping my pace to about 17kmh. Halfway across I needed to stop and take a couple of painkillers to ease the foot pain, briefly rest then regroup. I took the opportunity to put the new vest on and change to clear glasses as the sun was getting low and rather than make another stop it was best done at the time.
The rest of the push to the tip of the peninsula was windy, broken here and there but once heading south the riding was very pleasant with a tail wind for the last few km.
This is a bit of a memorable ride simply because there were no childish drivers yelling out the window .
All in all, i made the last 42km in about 2 hours – a bit quicker than I expected.
Now all I need to do is change the tire before my next ride. Luckily I have some in the cupboard. Oh….and make sure I take a vest that fits – apparently one size doesn’t fit all