2023 Indi-Pac Day 27 Report

Thursday April 13, 2023: I had a long chat with Melissa last night and together we had come up with a relatively firm plan / stage-managing of my arrival at the Opera House – all very Harry and Meghan I know but a necessary contrivance. It had been 4 years since I had seen friends and family and some of them actually wanted to come and see me finish. Given that my finish was quite a bit later than originally anticipated and “published”,¬† it may actually be the only opportunity to catch up before Family Croker flew back to Philly on the 19th April. However they all lead busy lives and have better things to do than spend a day in the city waiting for old muggins here. A couple of hour arrival window was therefore required for Melissa to distribute to all, which could then be fine tuned as I got closer.

This is by far my least favourite part of these rides and a source of a few giggles between Melissa and I……..after the fact. We’ve had the shared experience of 2 Trans Am finishes (the second a bit of a debacle but that’s another story), to fine tune the logistics of post ride meetups. I use the term “we” loosely here. All I have to do is answer one question and turn the pedals, while she has considerable more on her plate – driving the 520k’s from Philly to Yorktown, Virginia in 4th July holiday traffic, arranging accomodation in peak season, managing the mood swings of 2 boisterous lads, etc, etc….

The snapping out of adventure / me, me, me mode and realising that there are other people in the world who’s lives directly intersect with yours can be a real harsh landing.

There will be a phone call that will come within 500k’s of the finish…..

“So………(pregnant pause)…….when…….”

“Don’t say it……….don’t say it!”

ūüėāūüėāūüėā.

Anyway, early tomorrow afternoon was agreed upon……….see what I did there?………(bought myself some more time).

358k’s to the Opera House.

That meant that I absolutely had to get to Wollongong today!!

No pressure.

A reasonable start – 6:13am.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Ahhhhhh, the memories.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Tarago Road between Bungendore and Tarago.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Tarago Road under repair between Bungendore and Tarago.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Ahhhhhh, the memories. Take 2.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Gloves weather….

Thursday April 13, 2023: Tarago Road between Bungendore and Tarago. Take 2.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Rolling into Tarago (pop. 510).

Thursday April 13, 2023: Rolling down the main drag of Tarago.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Just out of Tarago, eastbound.

Thursday April 13, 2023: More road repair – being escorted through by the pilot truck….Morning Lads!

Thursday April 13, 2023: More road repair – being escorted through by the pilot truck. Take 2.

Thursday April 13, 2023: I can see you Sydney!

In Marulan (pop. 1,178) some good friends of Melissa’s family, who were down from Sydney visiting their son’s family in Bowral rolled up next to me, gave me a toot and called out. If I hadn’t been given the heads up that they were going to try and track me down today then the approach would have scared the crap out of me.

Lovely roadside chat while I inhaled a couple of freshly made sandwiches (Chicken and Targon – see what I mean about finally being in civilisation), from their son’s cafe that they very kindly brought out for me. Mike used to be on the board of the ARU (Australia Rugby Union) and I just had to ask him about the recent appointment of Eddie Jones as coach of the Wallabies……………obviously a question that has not dated well but at the time a very hot topic that required a lot more time and cold liquid refreshments than we had.

Till next time Mike.

Thanks for popping out guys.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Roadside visitors in Marulan.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Roadside visitors in Marulan. Take 2.

Back into it….

Thursday April 13, 2023: Tallong (pop. 914)

Thursday April 13, 2023: Highland Way between Marulan and Tallong.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Highland Way between Tallong and Wingello (pop 510).

Thursday April 13, 2023: Highland Way between Tallong and Wingello. Take 2.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Highland Way between Wingello and Bundanoon (pop. 2,640).

Thursday April 13, 2023: Green Commodore has been here.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Rolling into Bundanoon.

Thursday April 13, 2023: As the sign says…..

Thursday April 13, 2023: Downtown Bundanoon.

Not far from Moss Vale (pop. 8,570) my stomach was in urgent conversation with me about the need for Macas….

But first a quick chat with Kev and his Mum who had taken the time out of their day to say G’Day.

Thanks guys! (Kev – I hope all is well with you Mum and that she is looking forward to cheering on this years riders).

Whilst I was feasting at the Moss Vale Macas I was joined by another Dot-watcher. Can’t remember his name, lovely bloke. He had plenty of stories about past racers, one of which involved escorting (by car) Clown Down Under down Bulli Pass. He and his wife were thinking very seriously about selling up in Moss-Vale and travelling around Australia with their kids who they would home school.

I hope he’s out there somewhere in this amazing country, living the dream.

Back into it – 75k’s to The Gong.

Thursday April 13, 2023: …..and fuck you too!

Thursday April 13, 2023: Make that 57k’s to The Gong.

And then the rain came down!

My Mossvale Macas mate whom was very concerned about the wear on my tyres, to which (in a perfect example of being in denial), replied that “she’ll be right”, obviously felt the situation untenable in the rain so he drove out and caught up with me with a replacement tyre.

It was way too wet to make the change roadside so I just wrapped it around my seat post and saddle bag.

Yet another example of selfless generosity.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Fun times in the rain.

Thursday April 13, 2023: More fun times in the rain……

Thursday April 13, 2023: …..and more.

Thursday April 13, 2023: …..and yet more.

There were a couple of times where the rain got too heavy to safely ride, so I had to pull over and shelter under tress or under an awning in the town of Roberson (pop. 2,010). It was a distinct inconvenience but to be fair, I’d probably choose two days of rain all the way to Sydney rather than copping a couple of hours of it in the Mountains. Alas though, the delays meant that by the time I eventually got to the famous Robertson Pie Shop, it was closed.

Just after 5pm it cleared just enough to tackle the Bulli Pass, an extraordinary road that I can distinctly remember being transfixed by as a kid on family roadtrips, that transports you down about 300 metres in elevation from the Southern Highlands to the Illawarra coastal plain, via a series of spectacular switch backs.

Brakes squealing like tortured banchees and me holding on for dear life all the way down.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Just about to hit the Bulli Pass.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Bulli Pass…..

Thursday April 13, 2023: Bulli Pass…..

Thursday April 13, 2023: Bulli Pass…..

Thursday April 13, 2023: Bulli Pass…..

Thursday April 13, 2023: Bulli Pass…..

Safely “on the ground” the heavens opened once more to make the next two and a half hours to my hotel in Wollongong rather uncomfortable.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Have a go at those clouds….

Thursday April 13, 2023: Have a go at those clouds. Take 2.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Type 2 fun times.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Type 2 fun times.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Type 2 fun times.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Type 2 fun times.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Type 2 fun times.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Type 2 fun times.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Type 2 fun times.

Thursday April 13, 2023: Type 2 fun times.

Thursday April 13, 2023: At last!

The Day According to Strava:

 

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