I slept in the car and woke when we got to IKEA. Spent some money on picture frames and then on to the hotel. We met up with friends for dinner at an Irish pub and then walked down to the Guylian chocolate shop for dessert. Yes, overindulged.
I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. I woke just before the alarm and finally felt refreshed and ready to go. All I had to do was get dressed and wander down to the race start. It was Gary's turn to run. The Sydney 10km run. He did it last year and loved it. A flat, beautifully iconic, sanctioned race so you know you're running a fair dinkum 10km. Gaz, Margaret and Deb headed out for the run while us supporters waved a cheery farewell and then went in search of coffee.
Gaz finished relaxed, and as he still had to run in the afternoon for 2hrs, he took it easy. Still improved on his time from last year and finished in a comfortable 48.50.
After the race we all went back for breakfast and again, I over indulged. Way too much food compared to what I am used to. This entire fortnight has been about over eating. I need to fix that!
So we headed home. The plan was to make up for my lost bike ride. We stopped at the last petrol station before the National Park. It's the petti we stop at when we do the loop, so I know the road very well. But still I was nervous as hell and was fighting my head to ensure I didn't change my mind and pull out. Gaz and I had talked on the way up to Sydney about how I am finding that I am becoming more and more risk adverse. I seem to be reluctant to do new things, easily talking myself out of it. Not sure why, when usually I love new challenges. Anyway, he new my secret and so there was no way he was going to let me get out of it. So I sat on the side of the road, just me and my little bike as he drove off. Ok, legs (and Cervi) take me home.
I feel like I rode really well. The wind was at my back the whole way, which made life easier of course. But it was so busy in the park; day trippers out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. It was a little scary on the road. With dead leaves and branches littering the side of the road and 5-10 cars and motorbikes at a time driving past me, I felt very exposed. But I made it. Climbing up out of the park was enjoyable for a change as usually this is the way home and my legs are tired. But I was still pretty fresh and so the legs were good and I made good time.
I stopped at the top of Bald hill for a quick photo. I was homeward bound and I could see home way off in the distance. Yep, the furthest mountain line on the horizon, that's home. Approx 60kms to go. It was so busy on Bald Hill lookout. Motorbikes, car clubs, sight seers and me (the only pushbike). I climbed aboard Cervi once again and prepared to do the huge drop down into Stanwell Park. Always fun to descend as fast as the cars, with an 'L' plate driver nervously following behind me.
On the way home I made a quick diversion pass Coach's place. He was home and we had a quick chat. In part, it was to let him know I was doing the ride, on my own, and that I was committed to getting it done. He said if it had been anyone else in the Crew that had not made the ride due to lack of sleep he would have got up them. But he knows that sleep is my only issue and it is usually related to stress. I really don't think I was stressed though at the time. Life is pretty good at the moment. Though this trip in October and finances for it are playing on my mind. Anyway, I headed off again. The legs took a little while to get going again and the day had grown grey.
I turned the legs over and at one part of the road I had to hit the bike track rather than the road due to safety reasons. If I was in a bunch I would have held the road. But the road swept by and I sat on a comfortable 31kms with the wind pushing me along. The road grew flatter and flatter the closer I got to home, with only Port Kembla hill in my way. I climbed it easily, too easily. Wow! I had changed the 27 granny gear off the cluster on the Friday night and when I took my wheel off I realised that I must have put the spring on the skewer in wrong AND it had been jammed inbetween the bracket and the wheel. This would have caused the wheel to not spin properly. No wonder I felt like I had the brakes on the whole time. Geez. Now with a 25-11 cassette and no impingements, I was spinning along and the hill was simply a bump in the road.
I made it home, challenge met! Happy with the ride and for getting it done!