Monday, March 26, 2007
Back to reality
We are back! We did good! Certainly I did way better than last year, so I am feeling very chuffed with myself. The girls were awesome - no complaints whatsoever with the riding, nor with getting up. (Occasional irrational spits in the heat of some afternoons once we got into camp, but we were all prone to that!) With me, it was probably a combination of better fitness and training (my bum came through with flying colours), my stoker (Cait was three years older than what Ali was last year, so a much stronger rider )... and my new 'cluster' - with a lower gear - meant we rode up every hill, and thus were never far behind the others. (In fact some times Marc struggled to reel us in, which I think he was slightly surprised about.)
The kids had a ball with the other kids that were there - as with last year we struggled to drag them away from their after-dinner dodge ball games. On our way home yesterday I suggested that maybe next year just Dad and I could go on it, and they were most affronted. Rose coloured glasses already - even with waking up on the last morning to rain and a sodden, muddy oval to slog through and a 30 km ride in driving rain to Taree.
It is a strange feeling to be back to reality. For nine days we were in this isolated little world, focusing only on getting up (at 5 am), packing up our tents and gear, and getting the five of us on the road by around 7.30am. When we got into camp, we were focused on getting our luggage, getting the tent up, and (most days) getting cooler by finding the local pool, even if it meant getting back on the bikes and riding 3 km into town. Then dinner, bed, and up and doing it all again the next day. In between all that, my main 'Mum' priority was getting bike knicks and jerseys for 5 washed out - which hit a few hitches this year with washing facilities not being set up in time. (We used a laundry service a couple of times which was a wonderful, wonderful thing!) Next time I would make sure the girls had three sets (instead of two) as well to take the pressure off.
Back to basics, really.
Today we have a truckload of washing (and dirty socks from the couple of rainy - hence muddy- days that may never be white again.) And two sodden tents to put up in the back yard! And sleeping bags and inflated sleeping mats lying all round the lounge room (drying out).
As with last year, I was still obsessed a bit much with riding and I didn't take many photos. (I plan to buy one of those slim line cameras to use for next year.) Added to that, the family camera drowned in a puddle of water the first night (it rained and the vestibule of the tent leaked - it had been hiding in a bum bag, and left on the 'floor' of the tent... bye bye camera. (I wanted a new one, but this was rather inconvenient...) Cait took some with Marc's work camera, and then we couldn't find the charger for it for a few days... So, not the most photographic of adventures. We will, however, gradually collect photos that others took - like the one above, and I will write it all up on a website.
Back to the washing!
Labels: bike riding
Good to see that you are back home safely. I flew over you yesterday, saw Coffs on the map in the plane and wondered whether you were home yet. It was cloudy over NSW and raining when we changed planes at Sydney. Not the best weather for a bicycle ride. I can outdo the MM.
Ah! EXCLAMATION POINTS not apostrophes. It's been nagging at me for hours that I wrote that wrong. God how embarrasing .......
Way to go! Looks awesome. Look forward to reading more since I'm sure once you get going, you'll have lots of little bits that inspire you to write.
Thanks for the big ride update. Sounds great. What a wonderful experience. I too, can't wait to read mmore. Welcome home, I have missed your blog.