(written by Dave)
Posted a day late…. We had long day yesterday and stayed with some great hosts at a WarmShowers stop. This meant no blogging last night. Here’s a quick recap of the day.
We knew we would have a long day so we were on the road by 7:40, the earliest start of the trip so far. The night was rather un-restful as the afternoon rain showers turned into very strong winds overnight. We had the tent and tarp well staked but there was lots of flapping. Only good to come of it was a dry tent for packing up in the AM – I don’t think either of us slept more than an hour straight.
While not being great for sleeping the winds were great for riding. The first 70k were pretty flat and fast with great tailwinds. Based on more local knowledge (visitor centre and WarmShowers host), we spent the entire day on back roads, going through towns of Allora, Clifton and Nobby – lots of farm/range land and virtually no traffic. In Clifton, Nancy spotted a pie shop just in time for morning tea – of course we had to stop.
The second half of the day, last 30ks, was very difficult (ok, not technically half but it took nearly as long to ride). The wind turned on us and we had to gain 400 meters, not a lot unless your bike weights 52kgs as ours do. It was a real slog. We nearly ran out of water and actually resorted to roadside ditch for lunch (left over baguette and cheese and applies). We made it to our WarmShowers host right on 2Pm – not too late, but we were pretty beat.
Things looked up almost immediately as Hugh arrived home just as we arrived, thus beginning an afternoon of bike story swaps that took us until bedtime. Jude, Hugh’s wife came home later in the afternoon and we had a great dinner – the stories kept coming. We got a break late in the piece for some “advanced math discussions” with Hugh and Jude’s youngest son, Henry. Henry is in year 12, heading to Uni next year to study quantum physics – he’s a bright lad for sure. They have a great old Queensland house up on wooden posts – and some great bikes in the garage. They are tandem enthusiasts, with a recumbent tandem, a couple of other recumbent bikes and a Bike Friday tandem expected any day.
Hugh and Jude are our second WarmShower hosts. It is great to have someone who is so cycling aware and supportive to stay with. As we posted previously, the average public sometimes doesn’t “get us”. So far I think the WarmShower hosts are “almost” as crazy as we are – almost.
Toowoomba is the Queensland city that many around the world saw on news reels when the flooding occurred in January, with cars being washed away. Lots of flood damage around here and it has apparently been a very rainy summer so we hope that they do not experience any more flood incidents like occurred earlier this year.
A long day, but a good one.